Oftentimes companies forego hiring large professional test teams and opt instead to use individuals from the business to perform testing. As a test lead, leading a team of business testers can be a different and unique challenge. Business Testers aren’t necessarily trained in testing and can struggle with tasks such as test planning, test execution, and test reporting. In this situation, it is imperative to approach test leadership differently.
In this webinar, we will look at how to successfully lead a team of Business Testers. We will discuss five important facts to realize when planning and executing testing in this environment. We will also examine how to set the team and your project up for success.
See the remaining questions, now answered by Nancy below.
Download: Leading Business Testers Slides.
Nancy Kelln is a passionate Context Driven & Exploratory Test Manager with 16 years of diverse IT experience. Nancy enjoys working with teams that are implementing or enhancing their testing practices and provides adaptive testing approaches to exploratory, context driven, and traditional testing teams. She has coached test teams in various environments and facilitated numerous local and international workshops and presentations. From small-scale to multi-million dollar projects; Nancy has played many roles within testing including Project Test Manager, Test Manager, Test Lead and Tester. Her most recent work has been exclusively with Context Driven Testing implementations at large scale companies. A co-founder of POST, Nancy is an active member of the Calgary Software Quality Discussion Group, Association for Software Testing, and the Software Test Professionals organization. Nancy and her family live in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
During the webinar, some questions came in that we were unable to get to, Nancy has answered them here…
Olgica: Thank you, it was nice to hear it from your experience! In which
form were test case written? And did you use BDD?
Nancy: My test cases were all capture either in a mind mapping tool like xMind or in Excel. Since we were focused on capturing high-level scenarios and not step-by-step test cases we utilized a lightweight tool. My business testers knew how to do the various scenarios within the system, therefore, I didn’t require step-by-step test cases. Instead, we capture scenarios (such as Hire an Employee, Promote and Employee) to show the areas we covered and the tests that were run. That was enough for my testers to test with and for me to report on test quality and coverage.
Mohan: Good webinar. Have you considered AICPA Guides for various industries?
Nancy: I will check out that resource. However, I find when working with business testers I prefer to use their company and industry knowledge rather than documentation that may or may not apply. As the test lead, I’m not looking to learn the system. I’m relying on my business knowledge to find do the testing and find the issues. Therefore, I don’t need a resource to teach me the business rules. My role as the test lead of a group of business testers is to guide and facilitate testing not perform the execution.
Jigar: What is the best way to testing in product based company in which
mostly everyday release?
Nancy: There are a couple ways to approach this. Without more information, I will give you a few to consider.
- Automation. If you are releasing every day a quick and through automation set of tests will help give you feedback about the quality of the system.
- Technical testers that can understand what has been changed in the release and how it could impact the functionality. A clear understanding of the technical risks is important when you are moving so quickly.
- Testers that also understand the business risks of the software. What are the high priority tests that need to be run and which set of tests can be skipped on the daily releases? What’s the impact if certain areas of the system do not function as expected or do not function at all on go-live?
Testers that understand these areas can do more targeted, risk-based testing on the highest risk areas to help mitigate issues in production.
Asir: What happens if the business keeps saying they don’t have time. Refusing the perform testing even it is escalated to senior manager.
Nancy: This is unfortunate when it happens, but I know all too often it can. Then your role has to change. You need to shift your focus from planning and organizing testing to articulating the risks and concerns of not having the testers available. Start raising risks that testing will not ‘complete’, you are behind schedule, and you need to drop testing scope. Start talking about the areas of the system that will not be tested, what the impacts could be, and what the risks are. Ask the management who’s telling you “there is no time” to sign off on these risks and own them. If they don’t want to sign off and own the risks then the ask for their direction on how to mitigate the risks. Try to make your problems, their problems…that often causes them to change their tune.