Twitter Spaces: How Do You Convince Your Team/Company to Invest in a Tool?

Earlier today, @heather_reid and I co-hosted a Twitter Space on “How Do You Convince Your Team/Company to Invest in a Tool?”

Thanks to those who listened and to those of you who took to the stage to share your thoughts and experiences.

We referenced these two posts:

And we took the following public and collaborative notes. :memo: Please do add to them if you have further reflections or feel free to reply to this club post.


Sorry - I don’t know how to add to the notes, so I’ll just dump my thoughts here.

One thing that works well for me is to produce a considered presentation that details the ROI. Pushing the angle of, for example, continuing to behave how we have in the past over investing in technology / tool X to the cost of Y. Its nice if you can get payback in 12 months, as it tends to make it a no-brainer for those holding the purse strings - but I’ve succesfully used this approach where payback doesn’t appear for about 2 years, but with the useful lifetime of the tool expected to maintain the advantage over doing nothing for a lot longer, thereby saving money.

So, as an example, within the first 3 months of joining my current company I requested 20K for a combination of H/W (server rack, server, some specialised FPGA cards) and software tools (LabVIEW and TestStand) to support. The whole idea was to shift left testing that had been left to system left down to a hardware / software integration test that could happen much earlier, de-risking release and basically getting releases out sooner. I documented alternatives (doing nothing different, hand rolling a solution, or using the COTS stuff that I really wanted to get my hands on).

I worked the figures, and you can’t be too precise on these so it gives you some wriggle room to shoot for what you really want - we usually know as testers what the right thing to do is, we just need to successfully influence others to our way of thinking. Presented the whole thing upwards and got the money signed off.

I’m not saying its always going to work, but the people holding the money can then be under no illusions that you have recommended a course of action to improve what you / your team / your company do and have rejected it.

Sorry if this is off topic, or not really the kind of thing you’re looking for - but I didn’t see that kind of angle in the document. You’re looking to get non-experts in test to invest in something they don’t understand. Appeal to what they do understand.


I keep thinking “you go OpenSource” :stuck_out_tongue: The only way it will work :smiley:

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Open source can be a good solution, as long as you’re honest about it. I think the research bar I put in for open source can be higher, as I encounter too many advocates who are blind to a particular tools problems and so won’t have a reasoned discussion, everything becomes dogma.

Not that isn’t true for propriatry / closed source software, but if I’ve paid someone I usually have support to a defined level to get me over the line.

I also think that at a higher level of management there can be a real danger of the equation:

open source = free

that isn’t always true. And the total cost of ownership can be higher if you the tool selected isn’t ideal.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind picking a paid tool. Just the companies that I worked with don’t want to invest into paid tools for testing.

So I find it a good topic to talk about! :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing your ideas, Simon. Excellent to read them!

And this particular quote resonated. Power in appealing to what matters to the recipient.