What may inappropriate test management turn out into?
Insufficient Test management may lead to many harmful results. There are many foul directions one may take and seemingly people often do just that. Here are several examples of what cannot be called test management, some of them are a real pain to somebody, who is in quality assurance and quality control:
- Testing is very expensive, hence it is a luxury we may live without. This is getting ridiculous. Surely many companies have already understood the value of proper software testing but there are still several suborned ones ignoring entire world because they did things the way they are doing now 20 years ago and have succeeded then. Nothing’s different now, right? I will not be writing much about this approach. I’ll just note that it is wring and corrupted to its very roots. And now we move on.
- What about squeezing testing in the last couple of days before the release? That sounds like a wonderful idea! Wait, what? OK, if you truly believe so, but consider this. What is testing done for in the first place? To validate software quality, meaning to find defects and bugs that are 100% out there in the code. So you are done with testing, you have found some bugs that are critical, hence require fixes and you have a release tomorrow. Something dos not seem right here, does it?
- Why should I understand testing? I’m a manager after all, I understand people. Surely managers do not require to possess all the skills of a professional tester but the process is not all about people. Some basics of project workflow are required knowledge. What if something unexpected happens? What about risk management? Which deadlines can be moved and which testing sessions may be decreased in time without vast losses in end quality of the end product?
- People are expensive as they are. More people means less tools are required. That could save me some dollars. That’s not how things work with software testing. Automation tools are best used for tasks that are repeating to often that your entire company staff won’t be able of doing in on time if all’s done manually. No tools equals improper use of man-hours and effort, equals poor quality, equals money losses that are far greater than the ones you would spend on required tools.
- Testing may and is to be completed within a certain deadline drained from an ancient estimate. Deadline is a great thing you are to meet, right but it can’t be a tool for measuring testing quality.The fact testers are not working on a project due the deadline was yesterday never means the code is clear of defects or all tests were run. If garbage is delivered on time it is still garbage.
The right way of managing tests
- You are to manage towards actual results. Define testing criteria that are to be met before the product is release to your audience. Those criteria are software requirements towards functionality and system performance. They differ from project to project yet are outstanding lighthouses guiding you through the process of testing.
- One process at a time. The correct flow of appropriate processes is to be established for easier management and better results. Without order people may be testing wrong things at a wrong time which leads to chaos and poor product quality. Also required time is to be predefined for every process.
- Deal facts only. Number of found defects is a fact, so is defect rate and number of executed test cases. That is something manageable we are talking about now, rather than presumptions that are possibly leading nowhere.