EuroSTAR 2010 > How To Embed A Passion For Quality – Geoff Thompson

Interesting start to the presentation with a flashy video of an Aston Martin Vantage (nice car)…..Geoff is going to buy one when he retires

Now a role play between a Project Manager and the Test Manager about estimation on data migration.
The test manager builds an estimate with the team
TM : 12 weeks, seven staff, project manager chokes
PM : estimate doesn't include planning???? We need full estimates, go away and come back with full estimate
PM : Another 4 weeks from the Test Manager.
TM : We do test cycles…..

you can see where the conversation goes.

During the conversation no one discussed what "finish testing" was or what was meant by "quality"
The Test Manager didn't pro-actively look at how to help devs stop defects, as he has a wealth of experience.

The Test Manager is not just there to be a defect detection tester, they need to be pro-active in preventing bugs in the first place.

Case Study
A test team approached a project by creating a massive list of acceptance criteria the project/software must meet before testing will get engaged. Their passion for quality (and V-Model) blinded them from actually getting involved in the kick off of a project.

They changed this to get involved earlier which made a massive difference. They are now involved at the start where they get to plan their own testing and estimation.

Case Study
Legal and General where Geoff worked as a Test Lead in IT. The team asked for four more weeks to catch all of the defects. Their passion was blinding them to being able to test in shorter cycles. This team never listened to anything, their passion drove them in the wrong direction. They wanted quality but were potentially misguided.

Case Study
Government project where they were changing the internal product. Deadline is tight and 75% of our business will be lost if we don't meet the deadline. The Test Manager knew you needed to look at the software to inspect for confidence.

The team he had wrote tests that checked all of the values in fields. This is unit testing so he moved these testers to the dev department.

Devs didn't like it, so test manager went to CEO and laid it on the line. Dev manager finally bought in….sounds like he/she had no choice…

There's a worrying trend I've been noticing over the last day that there is still a massive assumption/concept of testing being a separate department to dev. Them and Us. Us and Them. Testing isn't a phase, it's just part of the process (I think Elisabeth Hendrickson coined a much catchier version). <– just my thoughts, sounds like there's still "a wall" mindset hanging heavy in the air in the testing community.

Geoff suggests that testers work closely with devs. Help them out. Point out the problems.