Monday, 8 March 2010

Process Improvment. Small Steps

As testers we should always be asking "what can we do better, and how can we do it better?". As we all know Project stakeholders are looking for ways to their product to market quicker to market. In order to do this they look at ways to reducing the time things are done, and in particular it seems they always pick on the testing part of the project. They seem to think that testing is they easy bit!

From my own experience test teams often sit down and have their process review and say "We need to do all this, so it will save us time here and here". Quite often it’s a huge list of things which get written down in a document which invariably ends up getting buried in the Test Managers back garden next to the last document that was done last year; where it is producing rather nice roses and not much else. Even if the suggestions are acted on, they are often quite big changes and we don’t have a lot of time to get them working. We end up getting fed up after all we have this important release to do..and we slip back in to the bad habits.

My advice is to look at the small things first, quite often it is the small things that all add up. For instance today I instigated "Project Clean up" simply because our management tool we use has become far too cluttered for my taste. I had been dropping hints for months about this without any of them really catching on. So I decided to send an email to TM of UAT and the System testing outlining my plan of action

"I want to create Archive folders in TD "
"That’s a good idea why haven’t been doing that?" came the reply back from the TM's

So I am now in the process of planning this all out, might take me a morning to do it all but its small thing that in long run will make our management tool a lot easier to use and drive reports from. Small step kids, small steps.