I can't believe it took me this long to notice the obvious. If you are doing Software Development in any fashion, and are worried about how to manage your testing to develop a "quality" product, stop it.
Let's be clear about what I mean here. If you consider any software development life cycle (SDLC) process, you will find activities like the following arranged in some fashion or other:
- Requirements gathering, specification
- Software design
- Implementation and Integration
- Testing (or Validation)
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat (i.e. Maintain, Enhance, Fix, Mangle, Spin, and so on)
These activities aren't Waterfall or Agile or anything else, they are just activities. HOW you choose to do them will reflect your SDLC. I don't care about that right now. The part I'm picking on is the Testing bit near the middle, regardless of whether you do them in an agile, Waterfall, or some other way.
In particular, I am picking on the fallacy or myth that a good Test Management plan/process is what you need to develop and release a high Quality product.