Test, the missing piece of the puzzle?

Why is it that test, despite having been around for such a long time, still isn’t a priority? Now, I shouldn’t generalize, but all too often, projects come to the realization that testing is necessary when the project is already under way.

Sometimes it’s at the last minute, and sometimes it’s when it’s already too late. The developer teams I have been in contact with say “it’s great to have a tester that checks everything”, or “why didn’t we include a tester from the beginning?”. The problem is that testing isn’t prioritized, but is rather viewed as a necessary evil that can be included late in development. All too often projects are planned with project managers, developers, clients, product owners, and whatever other roles are involved (almost every single project is unique), but the test resource, together with dedicated UX and requirement specification, is often not included to begin with. If test is included in the start-up phase, it’s possible to set up processes that will benefit almost everyone. Testers don’t just test. There are many things on a tester’s agenda:

  • Setting up of the test process (planning, set-up, follow-up).
  • Help to set up requirements specification (acceptance criteria).
  • Set-up and management of tools (e.g. Selenium, TFS, Atlassians products etc.).
  • Preparation of test suite set-up and test cases.
  • Initiate all reports both concerning and not concerning test (there are many to choose from).
  • Test activities (automation, performance, fallback, disaster recovery, regression, acceptance, function, integration etc.)

But it’s not just with testing that testers/test managers can be of service. We can also serve other functions to support and help the team forward. Almost everyone says that test managers serve a coordinating role, but I view us more like people who do our job (test), but can also perform all other tasks (apart from development) to relieve workload. So my advice to anyone who wants to make a change in a project: pick up test at an early stage. View a tester as a workload relief for the team, a jack-of-all-trades that can perform sundry, sometimes forgotten, tasks that often surface at the end of a project’s life cycle. The missing piece of the puzzle can usually help with precisely this.

  • Mats Johansson
    Mats Johansson
    Test Management / Testlead
    +46 725 04 43 68
About Mats Johansson

Mats Johansson is a test manager and test lead at Sogeti Sweden. He has 10 years of experience in the field, and is used to assuming many different roles at the same time. At the moment he is involved in several web projects using Sharepoint, Episerver and mobile solutions.

Mats lives between Linköping and Norrköping in southern Sweden, and enjoys running, hunting and hanging out in nature.