From Managing to Leading Test Improvement

W14     Start Time : 13:45     End Time : 14:30

WATCH: Ruud previews his presentation

I don’t know when I got involved in test improvement for the first time, but it was way before models were introduced for it. Helping people and organisations to get better at testing is still a major motivator for me: it is one of the most rewarding jobs within the testing craft. Truly helping is not forcing them to do it “your way”. It is all about enabling them to do the best they can in their context (lead not manage): give them the means they can use in their situation. Wherever you put the emphasis “means they can use” has to be true.

THEY have to use it, so it has to be in line with their skills, not yours. Whether they CAN use it depends on their abilities and if they are allowed to use it. If people choose to USE something it’s because they think/know/feel/hope/expect/… that using it enables them to do it better, faster and/or cheaper. So the MEANS have to help them achieve what they want. In my opinion, “fit for context” says it all. That’s also why I’m convinced that “one model to rule them all” does not apply to Test Improvement. I learned “through damage and shame” (sorry for the Dunglish) that the characteristics of each test improvement model define its added value and its limitations.

That’s why we need to innovate test improvement. Renowned models like TPI (Next) and TMM(i) are great, but they become counter-productive in more mature Agile environments or too extensive for small (test) organisations. Test automation is another weak spot. Although aspects of it are covered in key areas, most models are not really helping you improve your automation. I will share experiences in test improvement in a wide variety of environments, including valuable lessons learned and good practices for test improvement to deal with this. Lesson #1: A manager sticks to his model and tries to fit the context in his model; a leader uses what is “fit for context”. And in many cases, that’s more than one model or no model at all.

  • Speaker

  • Ruud Teunissen - Polteq Test Services BV, Polteq, Netherlands

    Ruud Teunissen is active in testing since 1989, with passion for the profession. Throughout his career he has played almost any possible role in testing (tester, test manager, test trainer, coach, sales, manager, test consultant, …) in a variety of environments and companies. Ruud is coauthor of several books on structured testing, including Software Testing: A Guide to the TMap® Approach.

    This book is the foundation for the current TMap Next Approach. As senior test consultant and architect with Polteq Test Services BV, Ruud focuses on test improvement and test management in any context. Ruud is frequently invited to speak at national and international conferences. Ruud is involved in the Research & Development department and as such constantly looking for improvement and expansion of the testing profession.