How Aligned Is Your Test Organization?

Disagreement-b1The testing profession has been around for many years – and we live in a world where change is constant.  Technologies are moving at the speed of light, new approaches are being introduced for planning, developing, and testing products.

In the rush to keep up, have we lost the control over the alignment in the team?  How many of us are unsure of the perfect answer to some of the questions and hot topic discussions today?  Are there areas where your group is not in alignment?  The answer is probably yes. Being a testing practitioner requires understanding the many schools of testing and who is supporting those schools.  It is important for testing professionals to understand the common topics where organizations are not in sync.

I am compiling expanded examples for two upcoming conferences I am speaking for in October.  As I prepare for these presentations, I am compiling hundreds of responses I received in a testing survey I took in early 2013.  Some of the area folks felt their teams were not aligned were:

  • Metrics – which are core to supporting test managers and the team?  Are they useful?  Misleading?
  • Test Certifications verses self-disciplined training (blogs, articles, consulting, etc.)
  • What is the role of the testing team in the decision to move a release to production?
  • Automation verses Manual testing – various sub-topics
  • Top 3 ways to show the value of the testing organization to the rest of the company

I NEED YOUR HELP!! => I would like your inputs, this week, ASAP, on other areas where you see teams are not aligned – and they may be split in their beliefs.  I appreciate any comments and postings you provide here, and I thank each of you in advance!

A Day In the Life of a Test Manager

NOTE: Please review the last of this post if you are interested in an upcoming e-book.

During the last 4 months, I conducted a research project for an area I felt would be a great conference presentation on test managers.  My goal was to do the following:

  • Interview experts and practitioners in the field on three discussion questions
  • Create a 50 question survey
  • Initiate discussions on my blog regarding test managers and test management
  • Initiate discussions on multiple LinkedIn sites for test managers and test management

Through the four months, I was able to gather input, quotes, and feedback from over 10 experts and practitioners in the field.  I received an enormous outpouring of support and notes through the blog sites and LinkedIn groups.  I was amazed at the amount of valuable data that was provided throughout the course of this research.

The most awesome part of the research project and data gathering was that my survey resulted in 275 survey takers, and the most revealing part of this was the three discussion questions at the end of my survey which were:

  • Why did you want to be a Test Manager? (173 out of 275 gave detailed responses)
  • What 3 to 5 things would you do differently if you had the authority to choose how your day would look?  (148 out of 275 gave detailed responses)
  • Which topics within your organization do you feel there is a lack of alignment or agreement? (136 out of 275 gave detailed responses)

I was able to condense the overflowing data into a 75 min presentation, which I shared at the Software Test Professionals Conference (STPCon) on April 23, 2013.  You can see the presentation on YouTube (see below)

My next step is to compile all of the interviews, responses, survey notes, and other valuable data into a detailed e-book on the subject, and once published, I will share with everyone for a very affordable price.  If you are interested in this e-book and would like to be notified when it is ready you can do one of the following:

  • Add your email to the blog (over on the right) to be notified when I add new blog updates/posts (least favorable, probably)
  • Post a comment on this post with your email I can use to notify you of updates to the e-book
  • Email me at mikewlyles@gmail.com and let me know you’d like to be notified when the e-book is ready

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the survey, to the experts that gave their time and quotable material, to all those who posted on my blog, to those who joined in on conversations in LinkedIn, and also to Software Test Professionals for giving me the opportunity to share the information with a very large attending group at the conference!  Without you guys, none of this would have been possible!

Best Regards,

Mike