The Core Performance Testing Lifecycle

The Core Performance Testing Lifecycle

Good performance testing isn’t just about generating load onto the system; it’s about generating the correct load into a system and achieving accurate results.  I view performance testing as a sub-project in its own right.  A performance consultant should spend time elaborating and fleshing out the requirements; they should also take time to put the results of a performance test back into the context of the business. A performance testing assignment is small technical project that requires more than just scripting skills; it involves communication with disparate parties within a project.  Here is a broad high-level outline of the steps I attempt to put in place when faced with an assignment:

The Core Performance Testing Phase
The Core Performance Testing Phase

Performance Testing Requirements Phase:

  • Define Business Objectives of System
  • Elaboration of key Performance Requirements and Business flows
  • High Level Models: Sketch out performance scenarios based on requirements
  • Decompose performance scenarios into more detailed descriptions (suitable for performance scripting)

Performance Execution Phase:

  • Begin Scripting/Coding
  • Informal Testing
  • Formal Testing

Results and Summary Phase

  • Formal Performance Results
  • Management Summary

It may seem like a lot of steps just to execute a performance test, but I find that the documents produced do not have to be extensive – they just have to be a few pages.


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