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Welcome to the EuroSTAR October Webinar
Series
Today’s webinar is presented by Iain McCowatt and he will
discuss The Commo...
The Commoditization of Testing
Iain McCowatt, UK
The software testing business is in the grip of a commoditization trend i...
Q&A
If you have a question, the control panel on the right has a Questions
box. All questions will be answered at the end ...
How can I get the
slides?

Slides and all materials will be posted on the EuroSTAR website as well as emailed to you.
@esc...
Join the conversation on Twitter
#esconfs
@esconfs
@imccowatt
Continue the conversation with the speaker on Twitter after ...
The Commoditization of Testing
• What this presentation is
• What this presentation is not

@esconfs
#esconfs
Project #1

@esconfs
#esconfs
Project #1
• An opportunity
• Staffing decisions
• Things start to unravel
• Micromanagement, master/slave
• Focus on proc...
Project #1

GAME OVER
• This wasn’t the first testing vendor
• Nor were they the last
• There will be more

@esconfs
#esco...
Commoditization: Introduction
• Investopedia:
• When a product becomes indistinguishable from others like it and consumers...
Commoditization: Where?
• More common in the enterprise, particularly in organizations with
global buying power
• Endemic ...
Commoditization: Origins
• How to run fast: put one foot in front of the other, quickly
• Who here could win Olympic gold?...
Commoditization: Origins
• A lot of people see testing like this:
Test Plan
Write scripts
Execute Cycle 1
Execute Cycle 2
...
Commoditization: Dynamics
Demand for
skilled testers

Testing
failures

Collaboration

Perceived
as low skill

Perceived
a...
Commoditization: Dynamics
Vendor A competes
on value

Vendor A competes
on price

@esconfs
#esconfs

Vendor B competes
on ...
Commoditization: Consequences
• Master/Slave, chilling effects on collaboration
• Information starvation
• Fungibility and...
Project #2

@esconfs
#esconfs
Project #2
• What’s the problem?
• Your competition can do it cheaper
• No budget!
• If IBM said it, it must be true
• Let...
Project #2

A Happy Client
• A second year, a second release
• A growing portfolio

@esconfs
#esconfs
Spot the Difference
• This was not a commodity testing service.
• But what was different?

@esconfs
#esconfs
Sources of Differentiation
• People
• Passion
• Skill
• Creativity

• Relationships and trust
• New ideas, new technologie...
NOT Sources of Differentiation
• Process
• Methodology, branded or otherwise
• Templates and other “accelerators”
• Tools ...
Project #3

@esconfs
#esconfs
Project #3
• Passion speaks volumes
• The managed service misnomer
• Early conversations, aspects of quality
• Where’s the...
Project #3

The Future Looks Bright
• Taking a very different approach to predecessor
• Building on a solid relationships
...
Reframing the Conversation
• We focus on software quality but rarely discuss the quality of testing
• Perhaps a quality mo...
A Model of Testing Quality

@esconfs
#esconfs
What can you do?

@esconfs
#esconfs
Customer
• Observe vendor behavior: are they interested in you and your
problem?
• Do they understand your problem?
• Do t...
Vender
• Dare to be different
• Sack the salesmen, consult
• Be prepared to say “No”:
• If they want it cheap, let them go...
Tester
• Empowerment starts with YOU
• Don’t wait to be given a learning agenda
• Learn how to learn
• Learn anything and ...
A Final Word
• Commodity testing isn’t going anywhere: both demand and supply will
remain
• Some of us (vendors) are succe...
Questions?

@esconfs
#esconfs

www.eurostarconferences.com
EuroSTAR Webinar Archive
Access over 80 on-demand software testing webinars by the world's leading
testing experts. Topics...
The EuroSTAR Community.
Are you a member?
Did you know we have an online resource area with almost …

600 software testing...
Are you coming to Gothenburg?
Join us in the Swedish Exhibition &
Congress
Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden from
the 04-07 Novem...
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"The Commoditization of Testing" with Iain Mc Cowatt

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View webinar: http://www.eurostarconferences.com/community/member/webinar-archive/webinar-85-the-commoditization-of-testing

The software testing business is in the grip of a commoditization trend in which enterprises routinely flip flop between vendors-vendors who are engaged in a race to the bottom on price. This trend introduces perverse incentives for service providers, undervalues skill, and places excessive emphasis on processes, tools, and methods. The result is a dumbing down of testing and the creation of testing services that are little more than placebos.



Using examples drawn from three recent projects in the banking industry, Iain McCowatt explores the dynamics of commoditization and introduces a quality model that can be used for framing the value of testing services. As a testing vendor, learn how to pursue a differentiation strategy, shifting the emphasis of the testing conversation from cost to value; as a customer of testing, learn how to make informed decisions about the value of what you are buying; as a tester, learn how to buck the trend and find professional growth.



Biography:


Iain McCowatt is a context-driven tester, test manager and automator whose experience and passion for testing spans multiple industries and more than a decade. As a Test Practice Lead and Program Test Manager with CGI in Atlantic Canada, he specializes in providing clients with innovative solutions to difficult testing problems and in building teams that place an emphasis on the skill of the tester. Having been both a customer and provider of testing, Iain takes a particular interest in the value that testing can provide. In his spare time, Iain is active in the software testing community, serves as a volunteer instructor with the Association of Software Testing, and blogs at exploringuncertainty.com

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"The Commoditization of Testing" with Iain Mc Cowatt

  1. 1. Welcome to the EuroSTAR October Webinar Series Today’s webinar is presented by Iain McCowatt and he will discuss The Commoditization of Testing. This webinar is due to start at 12pm BST. Make sure you stick around at the end for the Q&A session and continue the conversation with the speaker on Twitter after the show! www.eurostarconferences.com @esconfs #esconfs
  2. 2. The Commoditization of Testing Iain McCowatt, UK The software testing business is in the grip of a commoditization trend in which enterprises routinely flip flop between vendors—vendors who are engaged in a race to the bottom on price. This trend introduces perverse incentives for service providers, undervalues skill, and places excessive emphasis on processes, tools, and methods. The result is a dumbing down of testing and the creation of testing services that are little more than placebos. Using examples drawn from three recent projects in the banking industry, Iain McCowatt explores the dynamics of commoditization and introduces a quality model that can be used for framing the value of testing services. As a testing vendor, learn how to pursue a differentiation strategy, shifting the emphasis of the testing conversation from cost to value; as a customer of testing, learn how to make informed decisions about the value of what you are buying; as a tester, learn how to buck the trend and find professional growth." @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com
  3. 3. Q&A If you have a question, the control panel on the right has a Questions box. All questions will be answered at the end of the presentation. The GoToWebinar attendee interface is made up of two parts. The Viewer Window shows the presenter’s screen. The Control Panel is where attendees can interact and ask questions. The webinar will be recorded and you will be notified via email when it is available. @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com
  4. 4. How can I get the slides? Slides and all materials will be posted on the EuroSTAR website as well as emailed to you. @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com
  5. 5. Join the conversation on Twitter #esconfs @esconfs @imccowatt Continue the conversation with the speaker on Twitter after the show! @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com
  6. 6. The Commoditization of Testing • What this presentation is • What this presentation is not @esconfs #esconfs
  7. 7. Project #1 @esconfs #esconfs
  8. 8. Project #1 • An opportunity • Staffing decisions • Things start to unravel • Micromanagement, master/slave • Focus on process, KPIs galore @esconfs #esconfs
  9. 9. Project #1 GAME OVER • This wasn’t the first testing vendor • Nor were they the last • There will be more @esconfs #esconfs
  10. 10. Commoditization: Introduction • Investopedia: • When a product becomes indistinguishable from others like it and consumers buy on price alone, it becomes a commodity @esconfs #esconfs
  11. 11. Commoditization: Where? • More common in the enterprise, particularly in organizations with global buying power • Endemic in the consulting industry • May be less common amongst software vendors @esconfs #esconfs
  12. 12. Commoditization: Origins • How to run fast: put one foot in front of the other, quickly • Who here could win Olympic gold? @esconfs #esconfs
  13. 13. Commoditization: Origins • A lot of people see testing like this: Test Plan Write scripts Execute Cycle 1 Execute Cycle 2 Execute Cycle 3 Sign off @esconfs #esconfs
  14. 14. Commoditization: Dynamics Demand for skilled testers Testing failures Collaboration Perceived as low skill Perceived as commodity Supply of cheap testing Supply of skilled testers @esconfs #esconfs Negative effect Choice of effect Demand for cheap testing
  15. 15. Commoditization: Dynamics Vendor A competes on value Vendor A competes on price @esconfs #esconfs Vendor B competes on value Both stand to win long term relationships Customers get better testing Vendor B competes on price Vendor A: loses market share Vendor B: grows market share Vendor A: grows market share Vendor B: loses market share Race to the bottom: short term revenue, short term relationships Everyone loses
  16. 16. Commoditization: Consequences • Master/Slave, chilling effects on collaboration • Information starvation • Fungibility and economic incentive to “juniorize” • Focus on control, process and method • Demand for skill suppressed • …and ultimately the projects suffer @esconfs #esconfs
  17. 17. Project #2 @esconfs #esconfs
  18. 18. Project #2 • What’s the problem? • Your competition can do it cheaper • No budget! • If IBM said it, it must be true • Let’s give it a try • That was a leap of faith, but… @esconfs #esconfs
  19. 19. Project #2 A Happy Client • A second year, a second release • A growing portfolio @esconfs #esconfs
  20. 20. Spot the Difference • This was not a commodity testing service. • But what was different? @esconfs #esconfs
  21. 21. Sources of Differentiation • People • Passion • Skill • Creativity • Relationships and trust • New ideas, new technologies • Location @esconfs #esconfs
  22. 22. NOT Sources of Differentiation • Process • Methodology, branded or otherwise • Templates and other “accelerators” • Tools and technology, unless new and unique • ISO, CMMI etc. • Just about anything easily replicated or at home in buzzword bingo @esconfs #esconfs
  23. 23. Project #3 @esconfs #esconfs
  24. 24. Project #3 • Passion speaks volumes • The managed service misnomer • Early conversations, aspects of quality • Where’s the code? • Tests as experiments • Just getting started, but… @esconfs #esconfs
  25. 25. Project #3 The Future Looks Bright • Taking a very different approach to predecessor • Building on a solid relationships • And pricing? Part of the conversation, but not defining it @esconfs #esconfs
  26. 26. Reframing the Conversation • We focus on software quality but rarely discuss the quality of testing • Perhaps a quality model might help? • This model formed part of the conversation on Project #3… @esconfs #esconfs
  27. 27. A Model of Testing Quality @esconfs #esconfs
  28. 28. What can you do? @esconfs #esconfs
  29. 29. Customer • Observe vendor behavior: are they interested in you and your problem? • Do they understand your problem? • Do they care? • Do they have any ideas? • Do they have the skills to deliver? @esconfs #esconfs
  30. 30. Vender • Dare to be different • Sack the salesmen, consult • Be prepared to say “No”: • If they want it cheap, let them go somewhere else • Don’t follow anyone off a ledge • Education, education, education • Shared values => relationship => business worth doing @esconfs #esconfs
  31. 31. Tester • Empowerment starts with YOU • Don’t wait to be given a learning agenda • Learn how to learn • Learn anything and everything that might help you • Select, remix, invent @esconfs #esconfs
  32. 32. A Final Word • Commodity testing isn’t going anywhere: both demand and supply will remain • Some of us (vendors) are successfully exploiting this to build differentiated services • This shows there is a demand for something better • Skilled testers can find fulfilling roles • …see you in Gothenburg! @esconfs #esconfs
  33. 33. Questions? @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com
  34. 34. EuroSTAR Webinar Archive Access over 80 on-demand software testing webinars by the world's leading testing experts. Topics include…. Agile, Automation, Test Management, Process Improvements, Risk-based Testing, Performance Testing, Test Documentation, Cloud Testing, Session-based Testing, Weekend Testers Visit the archive! http://www.eurostarconferences.com/community/member/webinar-archive @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com
  35. 35. The EuroSTAR Community. Are you a member? Did you know we have an online resource area with almost … 600 software testing presentations, 80 topical webinars, over 40 videos and podcasts and 26 expert eBooks Do you know that membership is completely free and you can access these premium testing resources anytime? Join today! http://www.eurostarconferences.com/community/ member @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com
  36. 36. Are you coming to Gothenburg? Join us in the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden from the 04-07 November for the 21st annual EuroSTAR Conference. Visit www.eurostarconferences.com for more information on what you can expect to see at Europe’s largest software testing event! Over 850 attendees already confirmed!! @esconfs #esconfs www.eurostarconferences.com

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