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ISTQB Advanced CTAL Exam-Study Guide-Part 8

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ISTQB Advanced CTAL Exam-Study Guide-Part 8

Prior to appearing for exam for ISTQB Advanced Level certification, it is wise to quickly brush up your knowledge by reviewing the following questions – answers that are extremely important from the examination point of view.

Q. 71: What type of information to be collected and documented for problem tracking as a part of V&V plan?

1) When the problem had occurred
2) Where the problem had occurred
3) State of the system before occurrence
4) Evidence of the problem
5) Actions or inputs that appear to have led to occurrence
6) Description of how the system should work; reference to relevant requirements
7) Priority for solving problem
8) Technical contact for additional


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Q. 72: What type of data needs to be collected and documented for tracking of test activities as a part of V&V plan?

1) Number of tests executed
2) Number of tests remaining
3) Time used
4) Resources used
5) Number of problems found and the time spent finding them

This data can then be used to track actual test progress against scheduled progress. The tracking information is also important for future test scheduling.

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Q. 73: Explain the Shewart’s Plan-Act-Check-Do paradigm?

Shewart’s paradigm, applied to both the software product and process, generally consists of the following activities:

1) Plan:
The SEI capability maturity model is a general framework or plan for developing five increasingly improved levels (initial, repeatable, defined, managed, and optimizing) of software process maturity. Because the CMM is designed to be generic, each organization must customize its process improvement plan for its own application(s), environment, and company organization. The five levels are designed as a logical progression, so each level must be achieved, in order, from one to five. It is not possible to skip levels.

2) Act:
Because software is not produced by a manufacturing process, software designers must both strive to meet the users’ functional requirements for the product and design for correct implementation and easy maintainability.

3) Check:
Software inspections and peer reviews are the major product control mechanism used. Quantifiable inspections results such as change requests provide the foundation for measurable process control and improvement. Audits are the most usual process verification process.

Auditors need to examine not only whether the standards, procedures, and tools are adequate,

but they also to see how well the project is following the prescribed process plans.

4) Do: Software quality control is often specified both by the customer acceptance criteria in the contract or requirements specification and by whether the software product meets written standards. Software measures are used to measure product quality in a quantifiable way.

The most common process quality control approach is tracking actual against expected performance. Causes for significant deviation from the plan are found and corrected.

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Q. 74: What are the uses of the CMM?

The capability maturity model, developed by the Software Engineering Institute, is designed to help both development organizations and customers (government organizations or companies who acquire software). Software organizations need to understand the quality of their software process and how to improve it. Organizations contracting for software need ways to evaluate a potential contractor’s capability to carry out the work.

The CMM has four intended uses to help organizations improve their software process capabilities:

1) Identify improvements
2) Identify risks in selecting contractors
3) Implement a process improvement program
4) Guide definition and development of the software process

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Q. 75: What is SPA – "Software Process Assessment" method for applying CMM?

A software process assessment is an in-house determination, primarily of the weaknesses of the software process in an organization as a whole. It is an internal tool that an organization can choose as a part of an overall program for improving its ability to produce high-quality products on time and within budget.

The objectives of the SPA method are as under:

(1) Identify strengths, weaknesses, and existing improvement activities on which to base an organization-wide improvement effort and

(2) To get organizational buy-in to that effort.

The method is used to help an organization identify key areas for improvement, begin to baseline its software process, and initiate improvements.

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Q. 76: What is SCE – "Software Capability Evaluation" method for applying CMM?

A software capability evaluation is an independent evaluation of an organization’s software process as it relates to a particular acquisition. It is a tool that helps an external group (an "acquirer") determine the organization’s ability to produce a particular product having high quality and to produce it on time and within budget.

The objective of the SCE method is to identify strengths, weaknesses, and existing improvement activities in a supplier’s software process that best indicate the risk associated with using that supplier for a particular software acquisition. The method is used to identify software risks, help in mitigating these risks, and motivate initiation of improvement programs.

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Q. 77: What are the differences between SPA & SCE method for applying CMM?


SCE - Software Capability Evaluation

SPA - Software Process Assessment


Used by acquisition organization for source selection and contract monitoring

Used by organization to improve software process


Results to the organization and the acquirer

Results to organization only


Substantiates current practice

Assesses current practice


Assesses commitment to improve

Acts as catalyst for process improvement


Analyzes contract performance potential

Provides input to improvement action plan


Independent evaluation—no organization members on team

Collaborative—organization members on team, with representative from licensed SPA associate or SEI


Applies to performance for a particular contract

Applies to organization overall, not individual projects

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Q. 78: What are the Key Process areas – KPA in CMM?

Key process areas (KPAs) identify areas on which an organization should focus in order to improve its software development processes. Each key process area is made up of key practices that contribute to achieving the goals of the KPA. Goals can be used to resolve whether an organization or project has adequately implemented a key process area. Goals signify the scope, boundaries, and intent of each key process area.

Key process areas are building blocks—fundamental activities for organizations trying to improve their software process. Other process areas exist, but these were selected as particularly effective in improving process capability. Each key process area is unique to a single maturity level.

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Q. 79: What are the Key Practices in CMM?

Key practices are the lowest level, specific details of the CMM. Key practices define each key process area 3 by specifying policies, procedures, and activities that contribute to satisfying its goal. They are a working definition of the key process area.

Key practices provide a link between the CMM and the maturity questionnaire. Specific questions relate to specific key practices. Industry experience and empirical studies were used to identify the key practices chosen by the SEI. Each key practice describes, but does not mandate, how that practice should be performed.

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Q. 80: What are the Maturity Questionnaire in CMM?

The maturity questionnaire consists of questions about the software process that sample the practices in each key process area.

The maturity questionnaire is a springboard for an assessment or evaluation team’s visit. The CMM provides a hierarchical structure that guides the team in investigating an organization’s software process. Answers to the questions identify process strengths and weaknesses in terms of key process areas. Questions in the maturity questionnaire are designed to determine the presence or absence of the various key practices. Questions are not open-ended, but are intended to obtain a quantified result from the following answers: yes, no, don’t know, and not applicable.

The SCE team identifies strengths, weaknesses, and improvement activities that they consider to be most relevant to performance on the acquisition contract. A group in the acquisition agency then transforms the findings into acquisition risks and/or technical ratings, which, along with other criteria, the agency can use to select a source or monitor a contract.

The SPA team also analyzes the questionnaire data to determine the current software process maturity level, identify key findings (that is, determine what will impede capability to produce quality software), and note strengths the organization can build upon. The team presents the results to senior management and, often, to the entire organization that was assessed. The team often enlists the aid of others within the organization to make recommendations for process improvement actions. An action planning group (often a software engineering process group, under the guidance of a management steering committee) develops the strategies for accomplishing long-term process improvement and determines what improvements are achievable within a specific time frame. They work with many others in the organization to create an action plan and implement it.

Reference: Technical archive from SEI - Software Engineering Institute

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Comments :


# 1 qtp tester on 2010-07-11 14:59:44
Wonderful! Really helpful for ISTQB overall preparation.
But I need the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Analyst Sample questions and answers. If anybody have that then please forward me.
Thanks. Bye.
Qtp Tester.

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