Product Ecology for Testers

When we test a product we need to identify factors that should benefit from its values and we need to identify the threats to these values. Whenever we’re trying to figure out what a product should be in relation to its environment, we say we’re trying to understand its context.

Product Ecology is a method to identify all the factors that have meaningful relationships to the product. Each factor, like a stakeholders or another systems, as well as its relationships to the product and the product itself should be studied to an extent that the right level of information is gathered to inform a decision.

There is a common notion that information is best represented by text and maybe some diagrams. But what if we would start mapping our mental models into visual models and use these models while we are trying to make sense of the product and its context? Wouldn’t it be more effective if visual modeling was an integral part of solving a problem?

The purpose of this presentation is to describe and explain the Product Ecology method. We will also learn how heuristics and visualisation techniques can be used to resolve this context analysis problem. Examples from a real project will be used during this presentation to illustrate the points being made.

  • Speaker


    Ruud Cox - Test Consultant, Improve Quality Services BV, Netherlands

    Ruud Cox is a testing practitioner and teacher.

    In 1992 he started out as a software developer in the embedded systems industry and has worked in domains like consumer electronics, semiconductors, lighting, and healthcare. Finding out what a system actually does in relation to how it is perceived by people, made him shift from development towards testing.

    He is one of the founders of the Dutch Exploratory Workshop in Testing which is a group of passionate testers, trying to change the world.

    He loves to draw, art, notebooks, fountain pens, music and beer and he is on Twitter at @ruudcox.