Necessary Conversations – 1

Thanks for meeting with me <fill in Project Manager’s name>!  I appreciate this opportunity to explore the testing approaches for this project.  I realize we have just started planning and have no product designs yet, but this is the best time to have this conversation.

Soon, our team will begin to absorb and understand business needs, and transform them into viable products.  The Testing team, Testers and Test Engineers, look forward to collaborating with the team on that effort.

Yes, I can see where you might believe there is nothing to test.  Many are mistaken in this belief that there must be a product before testing can execute.  I would argue that the business needs will require some scrutiny and I believe Testers are best equipped to ask questions about assumptions and details.  These questions will help clarify the needs, clarify product definitions, and reduce the number of defects resulting from misunderstood or poorly written definitions.

Why the Test Engineers, then?  I’m glad you asked.  They listen to conversations for opportunities to make testing smoother for everyone.  By everyone, I mean Testers and Developers.  Basically, we have been practicing Shift Left, that is, moving evaluations closer to product construction.  We believe it can make a difference on this project.

How?  When the project team delivers unit tests with their minimal viable products, we know requirements are probably met.  This helps the Testing team focus on risks.  The time to complete testing is likely shorter.  That improves Pace.

Also, unit tests provide a first look at the quality of the product.  Both Testers and Developers review these tests.  More scenarios may be added to the unit test suite so the quality improves.  Unit tests are a leading indicator of quality and improve the confidence of Quality in the product.

The unit tests execute with every build.  If the build fails, the project team stops until they know the Build passes.  No sense in letting defects deploy because when they do, it is both unplanned down time for the team and an administrative defect management exercise.

Lastly, a growing suite of unit tests become the regression test.  We don’t need a large testing event (saving time and improving pace).  Additionally, the product team can confidently refactor and maintain the product in the long term which supports the Team.

Thanks for indulging me!  I look forward to a great project!

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