End-users: Involved at Last!

T6     Start Time : 16:00     End Time : 16:45

Can a small group of people change the world for the better, battling against difficult odds? In the story I want to tell you, yes they can. I’d like to tell you about a project and a team which refused to settle with a situation they found. They decided to change their situation – and this is the story of how they did it and what problems they encountered.

The situation in the project was that end-users were completely separated from the IT team. A highly important group of stakeholders, who used the software 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, were completely cut off from the development. This lead to problems like wrong selection of features to add, lack of knowledge about the system, dissatisfaction from the product, high maintenance costs or invalid implementation of new functions.

In this session you find out:

  • what were the problems in that setup
  • how not to do the Acceptance Tests
  • how important it is to know what the source of the requirements is
  • how we gradually changed bad Acceptance Tests into effective UAT workshops
  • what was the effect of running proper UATs with end-users
  • how we managed to involve end-users into the whole delivery process
  • an interesting way of running the Sprint Review
  • what were the benefits and the issues of having end-users so close to the IT team at all times

and

  • that you shouldn’t give up if you strongly believe that what you do will be beneficial to people around you … even if it is against some corporate policies.

I’d like to guide you through the path we, as a team, took to overcome the resistance of change. In the wake of the presented events, we managed to change the way the whole organization works.

I want to convince people that it is really important to keep open mind even if you are surrounded with company policies and processes. I’d like to inspire people not to give up in realization of good, innovative ideas. Sometimes you may open door for the whole company to grow and develop.

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    Michał Stryjak - QA Manager, PiLab, Poland

    Michał Stryjak is QA Manager at PiLab. Currently involved in testing a product that helps identify patterns and relationships of data elements between large, complex data sets that may be scattered around the company.

    Since 2007, when his adventure in testing begun, Michał gained experience as Tester and Test Manager at Siemens, Volvo or Objectivity. He quickly realized that testing itself does not improve the quality so he started to focus on processes and relations. He discovered that the real key to Quality is a well-organized team and efficient communication with project stakeholders.