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From the webinar: Live Specifications: Lessons Learned in Test Management-->
Below are Bob’s responses to questions posed at the ‘Best of EuroSTAR Conference 2012’ (Part 2) webinar entitled: ‘ Lessons Learned in Test Management’ Tuesday 29th January 2013. View the webinar here in our webinar archive. You can also download a copy of Bob’s slides here.
Q: In Agile, team makes decisions and manage themselves, so at this point centralized management of test gets weaker as well as importance of test manager as well compared to sequential SDLC methods.
A: The role of a test manager will change indeed. The test manager’s focus will stay on test policy and test strategy level but the operational test management task will be executed by the agile team. Risks that often remain are end-to-end process risks that often are not covered by the Agile team. The test manager still has to play an important role in that area as we tend to connect more and more systems not only in our own organisation but also outside (e.g. in the cloud, other companies).
Q: could you please give pros and cons as consequence of this situation for the organisation?
A: Working in an Agile way can deliver great benefit to an organisation. A lot of IT professionals however think that Agile and Lean are the answer for everything, but also that procedures and structure are not necessary anymore. They forget that both Agile and Lean principles include a very structured way of working in order to be successful. The test discipline should adapt to the new reality without throwing away its structured approaches.
Q: How do you train the maintenance department? Any specific approach you felt beneficial?
A good practice in training the maintenance department is to have it-staff of that department participating in your test team. In our experience knowledge transfer to the maintenance department should be accounted for in the test plan.
Q: 1. What kind of risks we cannot predict at the start of the project? – @ajay184f on twitter
A: The risks that did not struck us before in our collective experience and the ones we did not learn from. We try to bridge that gap by being very creative;-) Try to focus on the scope of the change and look from many different angels.
Q: You mentioned control as one of the duties of test manager. Can you open that a bit? In what way for example?
Q: Can you give examples of useful metrics?
A: The test manager needs to be in control of the devils triangle. That’s time, money and quality. There should be a balance between these based on the risks an organisation is willing to accept. These are the controls the test manager on one hand uses to steer the test project and on the other hand uses to rapport to the stakeholders. At any time the test manager should be able to answer the question which requirement have been proven(Quality), which risks have been covered(Quality), which problems are outstanding (Quality), how much money we have spent (money), how much money we have left (money) and how much time we have spent (time) and how much time we have left (time). When a test manager needs half a day to prepare a report on those controls, he/she was not in control at all.