Test Approach with no project documentation; no meeting invites, and had no contact with the project team

Hi All,
I have got this situation and want to know people’s thoughts on this…
The project requires that you not only manage your own time but also that of the 2 Test Analysts assigned to the project.
The project team consists of the following individuals

  • 1x Project Manager
  • 1x Business Analyst (BA)
  • 3x Application Developers
  • 1x Senior Test Analyst (YOU)
  • 2x Test Analysts

Day one (today): To date you have received no project documentation; no meeting invites, and had no contact with the project team.

Based on the above scenario how to approach the testing of this project and why?

My assumptions are:

  • you are the senior tester, so you can take care of your test project. You are a kind of Project Manager.
  • you were needed to improve the testing, so all every one except the testers can concentrate on their own tasks except testing.
  • you can get help, when you ask.

There are several ways to get started:

  • introduce yourself to all the people involved. This should a short chat. I would suggest a request for a more in depth meeting for at least half an hour per role. In the in depth meeting you can ask for specs and other relevant information. Face to face (Teams, Zoom, in person, etc.) is better than email or phone.
  • talk and/or test with the testers. How is testing going on now?
  • look at the test products and in the knowledge management system. How is testing going on now?
  • map the test activities in the testing quandrants as mentioned in Agile Testing by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory based on a model of Brian Marick. Some tests might be missed sorely.
  • use heuristics like SFDIPOT (A way to model and test a system) and FEW HICCUPS (Oracles). These heuristics were created by James Bach and Michael Bolton. These heueristics can be used for a fast analysis.
  • determine the areas with the highest product risks (in depth interviews) and get an agreement which areas will be tested.
  • if you and testers have only time to execute tests, use SFDIPOT and FEW HICCUPS to keep an overview. Use this in the communication. E.g. we only focused on the functions and not on the data. This is medium product risk.
  • if there is enough time for more in depth product risk analysis, a workshop with testsphere can be helpful.

That looks to me like you have one tester to each developer, which is a bit nuts if you read it that way. Nobody does that unless they are in a contracted/certification environment, in which case you would have loads of documentation available, so I’m guessing something in between is happening in reality.

Definitely go with the approach Han Lim sets out, you want to be hitting the ground running as well, so understanding why you got hired or translated into this team will be where your playbook comes from, stick to that original reason if possible as you explore the process Han describes above should get you results.


I’d simply reach out to all of those in the team and ask when shall we get together.

Then create a test strategy as a talking point to decide how you’re going to work. E.g. what level of tests are you writing, all the different areas you need to consider etc. There’s some good test strategy documents out there.

I’d be interested to hear how you get on @naveen448 good luck!

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Hi @naveen448,

Hopefully some of the things that have been suggested have been helpful.
How has it been going?

I would echo the theme of “go talk to people”. You won’t get anyone handing you a dossier of all the things you need.
Coffee, demos from the team, looking through the backlog are all useful things in my experience to get some foundation.

Presenting your understanding of things to the team could be a good way to get further information.


Thank You Han Lim,

As they said I had no contact with project team.
I have mentioned that my approach will be - I will explore the knowledge base to check user stories, designs and acceptance criteria. By exploring them will give me a rough idea about the project which helps me to create a draft Test Strategy for the project. I will also email my project team to know what’s going on with the project.

As there is no right or wrong answer it always depend up on Your approach towards a typical scenario. By which employer will access our skills.

Thank you @azza554

I have given my thoughts on this to the employer.

Thank you @melissafisher

Please see below quote about my response to employer and they convinced with my approach.


Thank you @conrad.braam for your thoughts on this

Thank you for your feedback, Naveen.

Looking at your context your approach sounds good. It might also be useful to slice the draft test strategy to your stakeholders. E.g. in a short mail you can mention that the emphasis is on

  • the functionality (does it provide the right service to the user?) and
  • the security (is it still safe enough with all the latest privacy laws?).

Depending on the reactions you have still enough time to adjust the strategy.

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