Most if not all development projects are short on time, resources and tests. This means that we as QA Managers and Engineers will be asked to cut our testing operations in order to accommodate for the delays of all the other project teams.
So how can we manage to test less and still deliver our obligations?
We cannot count on Testing Muscle or Strength, we will need to rely on intelligent testing & prioritization…
We can do this by correctly defining of our Jobs as providing Testing Intelligence™:
Relevant and timely information, captured from multiple sources and using many disciplines, that will help the project stakeholders make their tactical and strategic decisions.
Based on this definition, I see testing only as a tool and not the objective.
I already wrote, and I still stand by it, that if I could provide the same information without running a single test I would still be doing my Job right.
Reporting the bugs in the system is also important, but bugs are the responsibility of the developers who wrote them into the product and our job is to help by detecting the most important defects and focusing developers on the areas where they need to improve their code.
So if our main task is to provide information, we should ask ourselves 2 things:
1. Who are the stakeholders who need this information?
2. What information does each stakeholder need to make her/his tactical and strategic decisions?
Only you can answer these questions since they are directly related to the nature of the product, the team, the end-users, and many additional constraints that define you project.
Once you answer them, you will be able to change your mind-set and plan your testing process based on the information you’ll need to provide and the data needed for it.
Maybe most importantly, you will be able to decide how to reshape you test plans when they need some trimming or remolding.
An additional advantage of working this way is that you will understand your Internal Customers and their needs better. You will see that they need specific communication channels to receive their information in the most efficient way (Clue: this is not always as a 10-page document full of tables and graphs).
But I will talk about the different information channels on a separate article, this one is big enough as it is…
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