Commercial viabilityAt the Canterbury Software Summit in Christchurch, Shaun Maloney talked about how technical excellence does not guarantee commercial success. You may have a beautifully implemented piece of software, but if you can't sell it then it may all be for naught.
Shaun shared his method of determining commercial viability of an idea using the following questions. Is it busted? Can we fix it? Should we fix it?
If the answer to all three questions is 'yes' then he believes that there is merit in pursuing the idea. If, at any stage, the answer is 'no' then the idea is abandoned.
Shaun visualised this in a very kiwi way using stockyard gates:
Moments of doubt, desire and dissatisfactionAlso at the Canterbury Software Summit, Andy Lark spoke about reimagining business by looking to address moments of doubt, desire and dissatisfaction as experienced by customers. He gave an example of how Uber succeeded in the taxi market by solving a moment of doubt, showing users the location of their taxi. [ref]
I think testing is ripe for reinvention. If talking about how things are broken isn't working, perhaps we'd have better success in focusing on the areas where people experience moments of doubt, desire or dissatisfaction?
Strategic prioritiesAt the Agile Testing Alliance Global Gathering in Bangalore, Renu Rajani shared some information from the World Quality Report 2015-2016. This report is compiled by CapGemini, HP and Sogeti. This year they interviewed 1,560 CIOs and IT and testing leaders from 32 countries.
The results of one particular question struck me. When asked "What is the highest QA and testing strategic priority?" on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the most important, they responded:
|Source: World Quality Report 2015-2016|
For this group, detecting software defects before go-live was the fifth highest priority.
When I reflect on how I frame change to management, I often talk about how:
- we will find more defects,
- the defects we discover will be more diverse and of a higher severity,
- testing will be faster, and
- we will reduce the cost of testing through a more pragmatic approach.
I have never spoken about corporate image, how we increase quality awareness among all disciplines, or how we improve end-user satisfaction.
My arguments have always been based on assumptions about what I believe to be important to my audience. This data from the World Quality Report has made me question whether my assumptions have been incorrect.
Sound bitesAt WeTest Weekend Workshops in Auckland, John Lockhart gave an experience report titled "Incorporating traditional and CDT in an agile environment". During his talk I was fascinated by the way he summarised the different aspects of his test approach. To paraphrase based on my notes:
"ISTQB gives you the background and history of testing, along with testing techniques like boundary analysis, state transition diagrams, etc. CDT gives you the critical thinking side. Agile gives you the wider development methodology."
Would "the critical thinking side" be something close to your single sentence statement about context-driven testing? What would you say instead? John's casual remark made me realise that I may be diminishing the value of my ideas when I summarise them to others.
Putting the pieces togetherI see an opportunity to create a more compelling narrative about change in testing.
I'm planning to stop arguing that testing is broken. Instead I'm going to start thinking about the moments of desire, doubt and dissatisfaction that exist in our test approach.
I'm planning to stop talking about bugs, time and money. Instead I'm going to start framing my reasoning in terms of corporate image, increasing quality awareness among all disciplines, and improving end-user satisfaction.
I'm planning to stop using impromptu sentences to summarise. Instead I'm going to start thinking about a sound bite that doesn't diminish or oversell.
Will you do the same?