Testing needs to change

Abraham Lincoln once said:

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”

To tackle the changes in the development processes, testing must grow along with these changes. The shift in most companies is from waterfall (or traditional) development to Agile development. To enable this growth, testing should go from an industrial, manufacturing model towards an agricultural model. You cannot predict the outcome of testing, you can just – like a farmer – create the conditions under which testing begins to flourish. Keep in mind that you can predict the outcome of a single test, but not of the complete testing process. To make testing flourish, you need to adapt testing to the context. In some settings it seems enough to reform your testing, but in most cases a transformation is needed.

I advise starting with a clean slate (transforming) over changing your current process (reforming). Aligning with the new context is easier when you are not bound by decisions made in the old context. Start off with thinking about what you need and not what you have! So what do you need? Your context can have a lot of (conflicting) demands, such as:

  • Short time to market
  • High quality
  • Low costs
  • High auditability

From these demands, look at efficient and effective ways to arrange your testing process along with the development process. You must not only find out when to test what, but also how this testing should take place. Do you still need the process driven testing, with testing techniques to get you test cases that can check if the product meets its requirements? Or do you need exploratory testing to validate that you built the right product? Or do you need both, or other approaches?

In my opinion you need to look at your product from multiple angles. So in your process, you should find a combination of approaches that best fits your needs. None of the approaches is completely wrong or right, they are just different. So why not try to take the best of all worlds?

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One comment on “Testing needs to change

  1. Pingback: Five Blogs – 6 March 2016 – 5blogs

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