EWT21 – Talk to me!

EWT21 – Talk to me!

Date: Saturday 5th June 2010
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm GMT

Mission: Your team are about to start work on a project creating a small desktop application. The post-project review session for your team’s last project revealed that the stakeholders found the reporting they received from the testers confusing and uninformative. Your manager has asked you as a team to research better ways of reporting test progress, and to make some recommendations about which ones to explore, and how.

Product: You don’t have any design info or specs for the new product yet, but you know you’re intending to launch in 8 months.

Testers: Ajay Balamurugadas, Dhanasekar  S, Jaswinder Kaur Nagi, , Kavitha Deepak, Artyom Silivonchik, Anna Baik. Ram and Dr. Meeta Prakash joined us for the debrief.

Anna Baik facilitated the debrief, with Ram and Dr Meeta also questioning.

Ajay Balamurugadas started the debrief.  His framing for the mission was that he was a Test Manager leading a team of talented testers, reporting to a management who understood numbers.  His role as a test manager was to protect his testers from unnecessary blame and pressure by management. He presented his thinking broken down into the Stakeholder’s View, the Testers View, and the Non-Technical Management.

Dhanasekar  S was next.  He suggested regular progress meetings with stakeholders, reporting the status of user stories along with complexity factors.  He also suggested  comparison study with the competitor products if available, and that to make the product successful UI is as important as functionality.

Artyom Silivonchik found the EWT session was interesting. It gave us a chance to think about “What should we include in our report?” and “What is useful for people reading it?”

Kavitha Deepak continued.  This was Kavitha’s first time in EWT.  It was an enjoyable session, and a chance to learn new things as well as making new friends.  Among the points Kavitha raised were the need to raise a red flag at the right time, keeping stakeholders informed about slippage of critical testing modules, and to ensure reporting has been understood by having follow up meetings.  Communication and interpretation is an important factor for project success.

Jassi completed the session by sharing her learning.  She found today’s mission very different, and set herself the task of forcing herself to ask more questions, as she felt she would otherwise end up as just an observer.  She was able to think and ask more which made her feel quite happy.  She felt that testers often forget the stakeholders when they’re under pressure to execute test cases – sometimes there are so many reports that testers can feel like they are not testers, but data entry operators.

EWT21 Chat transcript.

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