Jumping to conclusions

Jumping to conclusions

Good testers continuously ask questions about the product, the customer and the project environment and invariably on themselves. No question, no test.

When we're satisfied with the explanation we stop asking questions, we stop being inquisitive. For testers, it's essential to keep asking questions for as long as possible.

On the other hand, a test manager deals in conclusions in response to deadlines and an expectation from stakeholders.

This puts a test manager in the unenviable position where on one hand they need to encourage their testers to question, but on the other they need to be able to satisfy their stakeholders with conclusions.

A test manager has to deal with this conflict of inquiry and conclusion in the testing they deliver. If a test manager focuses only on deadlines and delivery, the desire to reach conclusions quickly will filter into the testing they manage. Testers will start feeling the pressure to deliver answers instead of ask questions.

Test managers need to be conscious of the impact deadlines and being project driven can have on a tester’s ability to find bugs.

If you’re a test manager, be mindful of the impact that deadlines & resulting conclusions may have on your testers. Avoid the temptation to drive testing with the goal of delivering ‘the simple answer’ because stakeholders expect it.

Strive for open mindedness and inquiry in testing. Avoid easy explanations and quick conclusions.

Or even better, encourage stakeholders to reach their own conclusions about the testing that’s being performed. Now that would be a real victory!