The article is based on How is the testing going by Michael Bolton.
Imagine that a Project Manager has approached you with a question “how is the testing going?”. We will let you know how and what to answer in this article.
An inexperienced tester will dive into numbers straight away, and his answer will sound like this: “Why, everything’s cool. I’ve completed 234 test cases out of 500. 16 automated tests out of 100 have gone down”. This here is a bad answer. Dry numbers with no context whatsoever do not reflect the state of the product, thus, useless. They do not help the manager decide what to do next and how the team should proceed.
An experienced tester has to provide his team with useful information that will help assess risks correctly and set up the priorities.
How to present information?
At Fora Soft, we present the useful information in this order:
- Explain the state of the product. What serious problems we’ve encountered, why they are serious, and how they can affect our customers. This information helps the team understand what to deal with first
- Explain how the testing is going. What still needs testing, what has already been tested, what we will not test and why is that. It’s important to mention how the testing was being done, what environment was used and why. This data is mandatory to assess the risk of receiving problems in the untested product areas and correct the testing plan, should the need arise
- Explain why we test the way we do it. Why the tests we’ve chosen are more effective than those we haven’t. When time and resources are limited, it’s crucial that we choose the right testing areas and sort out priorities
- Let the team know about the problems we’ve encountered during testing. Namely, what makes testing harder, what may cause us to miss bugs, what could help us make testing faster and simpler. If your team knows about your problems, they can help you
The main task the tester has is finding problems that put the product’s value in danger and reporting on those problems to the project manager and the team. Providing this information in a timely manner allows creating a high-quality product without missing deadlines.
To catch any problem that endangers the product’s value quickly, we use test plans and test strategies. Stay tuned to find out how the plan and strategy are created!