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Before I getting into “2013 – Lesson Learnt”, I like to thank “Anne-Marie” who helped me to take the first step to start my own blog and share my thoughts/ideas to testing community. Last week I have finished my previous role as Test Manager with retail solution company and I should admit it was not an easy journey for me. I had a lot of ups and down but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. When I started this role my ultimate focus to create better test team and to add value by working closely with business. Below are the few changes we did in the past 1 year and I should say that I am really proud of the entire team as they are open for new ideas and ready to change the way we test software.

Be the change: As a lead, My first priority to meet everyone in my team to understand their passion for testing, motivational factor, day-to-day challenges and what they think about software testing in general. As expected, I can see everyone facing lot of challenges starting from process and the way we test different application but at the same time no one talked about what changes they like to make within the team to make this place better. Based on the feedback from team, we created our own Testing Road Map which consists of series of changes within the team . Below are few changes we made in last 1 year.

1. Introducing Exploratory Testing – Fundamental reason we introduced “Exploratory testing” to make sure our testers simultaneously “Learn, Design and Execute” test scripts instead of following traditional scripted approach which didn’t work for the team. Introducing “ET” helped us in lot of ways and the key take away are “ET” found most important defects from business perspective and “ET” helped every tester in our team to understand & learn the system/application under test which lead to better coverage. 

2. Lean Test Case Design – After reading Darren McMillan post on Mind Map, we thought why not experiment Mind Map in few projects to understand the advantages & disadvantages of Mind Map. After piloting in few projects we understood that Mind Map helps us to produce high coverage and better test conditions within short period of time. Also Mind Map helped us to visualise our business flow, Test Strategy and business team can understand our coverage better through visualizing our scenarios. After 3 months no one in our team wants to go back to the traditional way of creating test case using expensive tool set.

3. Bug Bash: As a Test team our objective is to ensure we test the application and provide early feedback to the business to make decision. We took another step and invited business to come and help us with testing. We called this procedure as “Bug Bash” and it was a great success as testers worked hand to hand with business. To ensure bug bash is successful we time boxed every session to 1 – 2 hour and collected all the feedback from business. End of the day we normally have usability feedback provided by business and few defects which we missed as part of our testing. Normally bug bash session happens once every release cycle and to make it fun we use to organise pizza session and award people who found important defects which will be judged by Product Owners.

4. Bad Metrics: Right from start of my career I always had issues with counting number of test case, Pass rate, fail rate, number of test executed per day, number of test executed per person etc.. I am not sure whether test team providing right information to business to make decision using above said metrics. So we worked with business to understand what exactly they need from business perspective and we stopped creating metrics which didn’t make any sense.

5. Celebrate your wins: Putting 100% effort is great for each individual but I strongly believe that celebrating success is key motivational factor for each individual. Our test team not just found the major issues but we started celebrating and started showing visibility to the entire project team on key success milestones.

PS: This is my first blog post, I am keen to get feedback from everyone.