Test Strategies Are 90% Waste

Remi Hansen, PROMIS AS

www.eurostarconferences.com

@esconfs
#esconfs




Me and my message
Anti-patterns
Recommendations

Photo (Flickr): Spiroll




Senior PM in PROMIS, a leading provider of agile
project and test management services in Norway
(www.promis.no)
20+ ...
1.
2.
3.

Dare to break the test strategy anti-patterns
Test strategies are for communication
– not for documentation
You ...
Photo (Flickr):
thegift73
An anti-pattern is a pattern used in social or business
operations or software engineering
that may be commonly used
but i...
Can you think of any
test strategy anti-patterns?
Use a template based on an international standard
- make sure to fill in something in every section
Write as if the document exists
without any context at all
Write as if the reader has never heard of
the concept of testing
Do not communicate any of the content
until the document is complete, in perfect condition
and formally approved
Volume = Quality
Write for the test management community
– Stick strictly to the test vocabulary!
Include a snapshot of the risk,
to have it declared once and for all
Write excessively about what the SW developers should do
in their unit tests
Additional anti-patterns?
If you follow these anti-patterns you should keep occupied
for a long time
producing an impeccable document
of at least 50...
Photo (Flickr):
thegift73


Build support from management
for the most important choices,
which gives you a clear boundaries
to manage within

Phot...
Be very clear on the distinction between


the strategy = what you must have management backing for
and



the plan = wh...
Present the strategy incrementally – build consensus
around the essential choices before moving on to
more detailed issues...


Put forward the important choices in an
understandable way

◦ Don’t let the important drown in details
◦ Don’t make the...
Don’t underestimate the level of test knowledge out
there
 A decision maker without test knowledge will not
become knowle...
What would you include
if you were to write a test strategy
on five slides?

Photo (Flickr):
Captain Tenneal











Which tests will we perform?
When (in what phases) do we test?
Who (what roles) will perform the test...
 Distinguish

clearly between

Test strategy – the overall policies, guidelines and priorities that
Project Management a...











Which tests will we perform?
When (in what phases) do we test?
Who (what roles) will perform the test...






Test objectives / Business risk assessment
Strategy for test automation
Clarifications on scope, ambition and re...
What you should remember
1. Dare to break the test strategy anti-patterns
2. Test strategies are for communication
– not f...
Emancipate yourself from bloated test strategies!

Photo (Flickr):
Jake Gagne
Photo (Flickr):
Horia Varlan

Reachable on remi.hansen@promis.no
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EuroSTAR 2013 - Test Strategies are 90 percent waste!

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Presentation from the EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference 2013 - 'Test Strategies are 90 % waste' by Remi Hansen, Promis Qualify. Fighting test strategy anti-patterns, and a fresh perspective on test strategy vs test plans.

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EuroSTAR 2013 - Test Strategies are 90 percent waste!

  1. 1. Test Strategies Are 90% Waste Remi Hansen, PROMIS AS www.eurostarconferences.com @esconfs #esconfs
  2. 2.    Me and my message Anti-patterns Recommendations Photo (Flickr): Spiroll
  3. 3.   Senior PM in PROMIS, a leading provider of agile project and test management services in Norway (www.promis.no) 20+ years in IT Consulting business ◦ Primarily Project Manager and Business Consultant on strategic projects in both private and public sector    Presenter on local and international conferences B.Sc. in SW Engineering, M. Sc. in Industrial Economics Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), PRINCE2 Practitioner, IT Project Professional (ITPP), CSPO, ISTQB Foundation and ITIL no.linkedin.com/in/remihansen/ Q U AL I F Y
  4. 4. 1. 2. 3. Dare to break the test strategy anti-patterns Test strategies are for communication – not for documentation You will receive a limited amount of management attention – use it wisely - to gain the mandate you need to do your job effectively Foto (Flickr): Jordan McCullough
  5. 5. Photo (Flickr): thegift73
  6. 6. An anti-pattern is a pattern used in social or business operations or software engineering that may be commonly used but is ineffective and/or counterproductive in practice
  7. 7. Can you think of any test strategy anti-patterns?
  8. 8. Use a template based on an international standard - make sure to fill in something in every section
  9. 9. Write as if the document exists without any context at all
  10. 10. Write as if the reader has never heard of the concept of testing
  11. 11. Do not communicate any of the content until the document is complete, in perfect condition and formally approved
  12. 12. Volume = Quality
  13. 13. Write for the test management community – Stick strictly to the test vocabulary!
  14. 14. Include a snapshot of the risk, to have it declared once and for all
  15. 15. Write excessively about what the SW developers should do in their unit tests
  16. 16. Additional anti-patterns?
  17. 17. If you follow these anti-patterns you should keep occupied for a long time producing an impeccable document of at least 50 pages With close to zero value because nobody can endure reading it - And if anybody does read it it’s certainly not the ones who should read it -
  18. 18. Photo (Flickr): thegift73
  19. 19.  Build support from management for the most important choices, which gives you a clear boundaries to manage within Photo (Flickr): Michele M.F.
  20. 20. Be very clear on the distinction between  the strategy = what you must have management backing for and  the plan = what you as a test professional and manager will take responsibility for and management shouldn’t really worry too much about  management by exception
  21. 21. Present the strategy incrementally – build consensus around the essential choices before moving on to more detailed issues  Presentation is more effective than documents  Create discussions and common conclusions  Do we need the traditional test strategy document?
  22. 22.  Put forward the important choices in an understandable way ◦ Don’t let the important drown in details ◦ Don’t make the readers relate to issues they need not worry about – that will only dilute the message ◦ Don’t waste space and attention on matters covered elsewhere  The document has no value in itself – it’s the shared understanding and direction it gives that creates value
  23. 23. Don’t underestimate the level of test knowledge out there  A decision maker without test knowledge will not become knowledgeable even if you write a lot of details – don’t write a textbook on test management! 
  24. 24. What would you include if you were to write a test strategy on five slides? Photo (Flickr): Captain Tenneal
  25. 25.           Which tests will we perform? When (in what phases) do we test? Who (what roles) will perform the tests? In which environments will we test? What test techniques are required? What are the test objects? What are the acceptance criteria? What tools will we use? What documentation is needed? What metrics do we need?
  26. 26.  Distinguish clearly between Test strategy – the overall policies, guidelines and priorities that Project Management and Steering Committee must support (contract between project management and TM) and Test plans – everything you as a Test Manager can take responsibility for yourself
  27. 27.           Which tests will we perform? When (in what phases) do we test? Who (what roles) will perform the tests? In which environments will we test? What test techniques are required? What are the test objects? What are the acceptance criteria? What tools will we use? What documentation is needed? What metrics do we need? What’s missing? Tabular / graphics presentation Do we need this in the strategy? Consider moving to test plan
  28. 28.     Test objectives / Business risk assessment Strategy for test automation Clarifications on scope, ambition and responsibility for more «peripheral» tests, like non-functional test incl. performance tests, regression tests, operational tests, quality assurance of documentation and training, usability tests, static testing, code quality, etc. Resource requirements – type and amount
  29. 29. What you should remember 1. Dare to break the test strategy anti-patterns 2. Test strategies are for communication – not for documentation 3. You will receive a limited amount of management attention – use it wisely - to gain the mandate you need to do your job effectively Photo (Flickr): ILhan Gendron
  30. 30. Emancipate yourself from bloated test strategies! Photo (Flickr): Jake Gagne
  31. 31. Photo (Flickr): Horia Varlan Reachable on remi.hansen@promis.no
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