Compliance and Claims

Most products have product marketing materials that extol how great and amazing the product is. This marketing often contains claims that the product will do X or Y or Z.

You may also be working within some sort of compliance structure which again, means your product should do X, Y or Z.

As a tester it’s a good idea to find out, as early as possible, what this material is claiming and what compliance you are working towards.

You may be lucky enough to have these claims and compliance statements represented in user stories or specifications, often though they are not aligned directly with the product teams work.

Once you have this information you can start to test against these claims.

For example:

  • Our product is compliant with X standard ← Is that true?
  • Our product is the fastest on the market ← Is that true? How is that proven? Where is the data?
  • Our product is incredibly secure ← Is that true?

How to test for compliance and claims
Take each claim and compliance and jot down any questions that spring to mind.

It might be as simple as speaking to the product/marketing/management team, or researching each compliance regulation.

Ask questions, seek out more information and always discuss these findings with product/development (the person in charge of releasing stuff).

It could be that all of your questions and concerns fall on deaf ears, in which case give the product a test and find evidence for/against each claim.

Present this to the people that matter, but obviously use judgment on where you spend your time most valuably.

Useful Hint
If you are testing against standards and laws it might be worth popping a question on user forums or social channels like Twitter (use the #softwaretesting or #testing hashtags).

There will no doubt be countless others working in the same domain who might have some useful insights.

Useful Links

If you’re interested in a career in Software Testing then check out my book Remaining Relevant And Employable (Tester’s Edition) - it’s packed full of ideas about writing good CVs, communicating your value to employers and doing well in an interview.