You got have processes in testing; it’s the basic law in our world. If we did not have processes and procedures you would have testers running around doing all sorts of things that makes their mundane job exciting. I am not saying it would be anarchy but it would be nightmare to manage. When I am testing I like to know that you call all tests by this, you raised a defect like this and assign to Developer dude A if it’s functional and Business Dude B if it’s a business rule. You save evidence over there with this name. All your scripts must go through a review process with one of your peers and must have review log if they don’t have one it’s not getting run...bla de bla I could go on and on, but its late and my book is calling me.
Have anyone of you been on project where things have become over processed? Are you using a test management tool like Test Director/Quality Center (hence forth know as TD or QC) and for some reason your Test Lead or Test Manager also has you filling out a spreadsheet with exactly the same data you are pumping into TD? I have been on a couple of projects where this has sadly been the case, people fail to realise how much this slows the poor tester down. Now I am very aware that TD and QC have their problems, the report tool is pretty limited and some still resort to using excel to put together reports but should be testers filling three or four spreadsheets if they change something here, they have to change it over there, and oh that one there too. We all know what happens don’t we? Things get out sync, people update the one over there, and not the one here and before long..you have the Test Lead making you walk through each everyone to make sure it ties up. After two hours of going through each line by line the tester goes a funny blue color and explodes.
There some out there, and lets call them process monkeys, who have no idea the pain and time it causes the poor testers, above all less tests are run because of all the things they need to do get their job done. Think about your processes, are they good? Do they all need to be done? Is their duplication of effort? Are you using TD and QC to their fullest by using customized fields ( you will not believe how many projects I have been on where no one has even attempted to sit down and do this.) I might be a bit cynical but the impression I get that some of the process monkeys actually enjoy the fact that they hordes of tester filling out spreadsheets that take on life of themselves, some get so big and wieldy that rips in the space time continuum have to be done just to store them. Above all they like the fact they have these duplicate processes because it keeps them in job...
Okay I am being cynical, but on the serious side we all need to think about this when start a project, if you think that you are duplicating something sit down and work out how long it takes you to do and then multiply it out across your project. I bet it will be an eye watering amount of time spent, when you could be doing something far better and productive to the project. When your project is finished put your observations into the lesson learned (usually the only spreadsheet that no one updates or reads)but make sure you are polite and reasoned, process monkeys get very touchy if you threaten to take their toys away. I’ m off to read my book now.