Getting Started on a Project


(Heather) #1

I saw a great blog post from @deament during the week about getting started on a project.

I thought it would be useful to start some discussion about it here. Is there anything you would add to the list? Maybe there is something you might remove?

I’ll soon be moving to a new company so I’ve printed this out as my cheat sheet of sorts. It will be my first time as a tester entering a brand new project (in my current company I was a developer on the project so I was well integrated into the team).


(Gem) #2

I guess it depends on the set up of the team - are the test team all together, or do product teams sit together?

I look out for allies - support team, designers/UX designers/marketing. People who have an interest in testing/product quality, but may not be as involved in the day to day building/testing of the product and seeing what they do/what I can help them with an vice versa.

I think ingratiating yourself into a team and finding resources there as important as making sure you can get into slack/emails/whatever they use to track and manage work.


(Stefan) #3

I wanted to post on her blog without sharing through Google Plus and I failed. Nice to see the topic opened here.
I compiled the start of a list I’d like to share.

The list was really small in my opinion and experience. I thought of adding some stuff, which I hope it could be useful for others also.
To not repeat myself, although I probably will: I used the project environment questions from HTSM: http://www.satisfice.com/tools/htsm.pdf
Then, besides that, I asked these questions:
Who is my direct test-manager?
Is that the only manager I have or is there someone above him controling the resources and which I have to comunicate with?
What are their expectations of me?
How did they plan the resources/people/plan for testing of the project involved?
How are the development members communicating to eachother?
Who is the project main stakeholder/client?
Who are the other stakeholders involved linked to this project(there can be 2-3 other companies linked to it)?
How is the interaction done between all these teams/companies?
Where can I gather product information from, are there any traces of documentation?
Where can I ask for product information if needed?
Where can I gather project/development information from, are there any traces of documentation? Any persons to talk to?
How to get in contact with people to get information? Book an outlook meeting? How often can I get a hold of these people(once/week, every two weeks?)
What are the attributions for each of the project’s members? Is the tester supposed to pick up and do the missing tasks? Can we discuss between eachother and split some attributions?
What’s the testing plan? Am I supposed to plan/strategize/test/report/automate/+doing additional tasks to keep the project together?
Do I have time to do any of those? Do I need aditional help and resources/testers?
What tools I could use for testing? Are there existing tools team members are using? Or maybe tools used by other teams?
Does my strategy need more tools for testing? How could I get those tools? Who can I ask for credentials/access/configurations?
Who do I escalate to for project needs?(PM, BA, Test-manager, Operations test manager, CEO?,…)
What are the blocking issues and how can I help or get help to fix them?
How can I increase the testability of the product, or ask for more testability?
Were there are developers/testers before the current ones, what did they do, didn’t do? what did they mess up? do we have a big technical/testing debt? Do we have to change the approach or add more important testing?
Are people with product/project knowledge still in company, maybe in other projects/departments?
Is there any discussions history, changes history, sensitive product areas with difficulties that are reoccuring often?
What’s the ‘desired’ process of the project? How is it actually happening?
Can we ask for product/project/business training from external agency or internal support team? Can that happen or needs force/escalation?
How to get product/project knowledge if training on product/business is not available?
Do I have to be involved in more projects? In what capacity? What would be by responsibility there(+all the other questions)?
How is my time split between projects? How about time split between tasks on the project? Do I have to asses the priority myself or can I get some help and feedback from managers?
Do I have personal development time or have to work 40 hours/week on the current project?
Are there any deadlines or important milestones I have to be aware about?
Are there client meetings I have to prepare for or have to lead?
Which ones are the environments we can use for testing?, what is the scope for each of them?
How often, and when are these environments reset/refreshed(what test-data, how much time it would take to rework on it?)
Are the test environments shared with other departments, test teams, or even external agencies?
Do we have restrictions of what we can do there, what data to edit, what not to mess up with?
Do we need special sections of the test platform for testing purpose? Do we need to request ramp up of user rights?
Are there any tools I have to introduce, get accustomed to?
Are there any programing languages I have to learn, get accustomed to and practice for testing purposes?
Do I need additional hardware resources? monitors/pcs/servers/periferals?
Is there a space/wiki to share, keep and add test-documentation to?
Is there a company policy way of sharing files/credentials?
Are there any internal tools I should know about, for communication or other purposes?
How are all kinds of requests handled whithin the company? does each department have a ticketing system? use e-mails? personal desk talk?
What are the expectations from the project members for me? What do they need help with? Or what do they see as my tasks(besides testing)?
How do I know I’m having a good approach?'How do I know if something doesn’t work well for others, have to change or keep doing what I’m doing?
How to approach dissagreements and different points of view on testing?(with other testers or managers)

This is just about a quarter of the questions I had and tried to answer or get answers to.
If interested I can try more brainstorming and remember more of the stuff.
(From my experience as a new employee in a new domain - aviation).


(nicola) #4

Yeah I’ve found my approach works differently depending on if I mainly identify with a test team or a product team, also if I’m working remotely or am sitting with the team - I feel I’m a lot more dependent on communication tools when I’m sitting remotely (I still remember the time when I was remote from my team and couldn’t use IM with them, the only IM tool they had access to was the one IM tool I couldn’t just download from the net!)


(nicola) #5

That’s quite an extensive list! Quite a few of those are ones I do/ have asked but forgot to note down such as:

  • Are the test environments shared with other departments, test teams, or even external agencies?
  • What’s the ‘desired’ process of the project? How is it actually happening?
  • Were there are developers/testers before the current ones, what did they do, didn’t do? what did they mess up?
  • Where can I gather project/development information from, are there any traces of documentation? Any persons to talk to?
  • How to get in contact with people to get information? Book an outlook meeting? How often can I get a hold of these people(once/week, every two weeks?)
  • What are the expectations from the project members for me? What do they need help with? Or what do they see as my tasks(besides testing)?
  • Are there any deadlines or important milestones I have to be aware about?

Keen to use some of the following questions on my current project (still fairly new on mine, about 6 weeks in):
What are the blocking issues and how can I help or get help to fix them?
How can I increase the testability of the product, or ask for more testability?


(Santhosh ) #6

Maybe the below mindmap by Ajay Balamurugadas and I can help!

Thanks to all other responses as they are beautiful :slight_smile: