Measuring the impact of a new technology or system design change can appear simple. However, a poorly designed test can lead you to wrong conclusions. Tests are set up for one reason, to gain new knowledge about specific or several specific things. It is critically important that any test be address the following points.
1. Be Specific
This one always seems simple, but it often goes overlooked. The problem is often one of definition. Many teams fail to communicate and assume that they are all on the same page. In the end they
Before creating a test plan, our team memorializes the purpose of the test. This ensures that all parties are on the same page.
2. Isolate Variables
Anyone who had ever done testing in real world environments, knows this can be a very difficult task. Our team takes a methodical and scientific approach to ensure the validity of your data.
We have experience testing and training other technical teams all around the world. Our exposure to a variety of environments and projects has imbued us with deep expertise. We create significant value for our clients by providing oversight and objective thinking.
3. Data Collection Plan
Data is the currency of the new economy. It is vital that you have a plan in place to collect and record data. For some projects this can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. However, for other endeavors, it can make sense to develop a database.
Define when you will collect data and what kind of data you will collect. Develop standards for storage, format, transparency and access. Plan for the future, to ensure that your investment in testing has significant residual benefits.
4. Test Plan
The critical deliverable in test design, is a test plan. Good test design incorporates the aforementioned, into a cohesive plan. This plan often involves establishing a control or baseline sample. It will also include suggestions on test equipment, a budget and projected outcomes.
The California Air Resources Board and the United States EPA often require test plans for grant funded projects. A test plan will ensure that all parties are on the same page. Good test design also safeguards your investment. It establishes the upfront cost and ongoing utility of your data.