Over a decade ago, we executed a testing transformation at the enterprise level. The intent was to define testing boundaries, introduce risk-based testing, and, in general, attempt to provide some consistent method of testing across multiple platforms. Our testing community had a spectrum of responses as you might imagine but eventually, in my opinion, embraced the transformation and made it their own. A less subtle intent was to help non-testers understand the effort of testing.
Always one for experimenting, I encouraged testers to adopt all the aspects of the transformation and even struggled with them as we attempted practical implementations of risk-based testing. I attended (and presented) at STP Con during the early part of the enterprise rollout. After a attending a presentation by Bob Galen, I asked him about culture change and an expected time period. He said it takes about three years.
Through the course of three enterprise level projects (about 5 or 6 years), I saw testers embrace the transformation and some even became advocates. I did my share of educating non-testers (mostly project managers) in both the testing and the transformation.
I recently started on a new project in a Test Engineer Lead role. I’m finding it profoundly frustrating to still have to educate project managers who have been at the company as long or longer than me. In my opinion, they still think of “work” as developing the product and think nothing of inviting only developers to key meetings.
Still, I will forge ahead and have “The Conversation”. I advocated for this during my STP Con presentation. It goes something like this.
With the introduction of the Testing Transformation, and especially with the adoption of agile methods, developers and testers have become equals on a project. The benefit and value of their collaboration has been demonstrated on . One reason why this succeeds is they, testers and developers, have equal representation at planning, requirements, and design meetings. I would like your help in continuing this level of success in creating high quality products at a good pace.
Even this conversation - at least parts of it - require, sigh, iteration.
It’s 2019 and one would think the world knows that quality is a team sport.
If you experience this then I want you to know I support you. If you haven’t experienced this, I encourage you to embrace the fear and have a frank chat with your PM. I believe we, fellow testers, can make this culture change one project at a time.
Thanks for listening!