SWTC Manchester - Talking Testing


So this is the first time doing this for Manchester, to be honest, we either weren’t told we had to, or we both forgot, but we’ll make sure we do them from now on!

This meetup took place on the 16th July 2018, if you’ve not joined the Ministry of Testing Manchester Meetup Group and are located within reach of Manchester, I encourage you to do so, then you’ll be the first to hear about future SWTC meetups.

Also a huge thanks to Equal Experts for sponsoring the SWTC Manchester!

Talking Testing

We are currently on month 7 at Manchester and the topic was Talking Testing, we focused on communication and selecting what information you should tell key stakeholders in the context of testing.

Exercise 1

We started by asking attendees to write their thoughts on the following:

  • What is communication?
  • How can you do it?
  • Why is it important?
  • Challenges faced

Here are the results from the groups…

Exercise 2

We played the ‘communication game’, I don’t know who originally created the game, I believe @danashby got it from a book. But it’s rather simple.

For us, we formed teams of 6 or 9 people and gave each person in the group a piece of paper. They were not allowed to show anyone else in the team their piece of paper. When these pieces of paper are placed in the correct arrangement they make one big picture. The challenge is to explain what’s on your piece of paper to the rest of the group and decide an arrangement, and hopefully, you get it right!

All fours teams solved it, some longer than others, but they all succeeded. I posted a few videos on Twitter.

We debriefed as a group, and here is what we recorded

Exercise 3

Our final exercise of the night was a talking testing scenario. Back in their original groups, we set the scene that some testing had been done, and you had to report to the following people:

  • Fellow tester on the team
  • Test Lead
  • CTO
  • CEO
  • Scrum Master / Product Owner

Sure, CTO/CEO depends on company context, but it was more of a thinking exercise. We asked them to list the kinds of things they would discuss and the framing. Here is the outcomes:


Always consider your audience, think about your framing, consider the right medium. Consider your tone, and also how much time you have to share your message. Consider the narrative.

Importantly, identify your stakeholders and ask them what they care about it, giving them just what they need will be a lot easier in the long run. If you’re already giving reports, revisit what is important to that stakeholder, and see if you can get the important information to them in a different, faster more target means than the current one. And finally, continue to review your current forms of communication, to look where it can be improved.

Thanks to all that attended, see you in August!