Getting The Message Across – Beren Van Daele

Getting The Message Across – Beren Van Daele


Last week, I read the following tip: Never talk to management about testing. If you really have to talk to management, talk about money and risk. DO NOT mention Testing.

I’ve had my experience of talking about testing to management about testing. It didn’t go well.
The quote got me thinking though. If we can’t talk to management about testing, can we talk to –anyone- about testing? The same reasons apply to just about anyone. Management doesn’t care about testing. Developers don’t care about testing. Your mom doesn’t care about testing.

They DO care about the results of your testing.

Then again, most of the results, put in the form of a report are gathering dust in people’s shelves.

Much to our detriment, we’re pushed in a situation where we’re encouraged not to talk about what we do, but need to get our message across for sake of the project. We all have our little tricks and hoodwinks to get buy-in from our stakeholders and I want to show you three of them.

During my talk, I want to provide several hooks to explain ‘what we do’ to our stakeholders without actually mentioning testing. I want to show how we can create low maintenance interactive, visible reports to shock and/or mould the project one way or another.

We provide information. Through reporting this information, we influence and guide the flow of that project. By having human interactions around this information and talking about it with many different people, we lay bare:

  • What it means;
  • How we got it;
  • Why it’s important to the project.

For a year and a half, I’ve worked on a test strategy and adjusted it many times. We’ve grown from a rigid test case centred approach to a minimal documented approach.

The only documentation we kept at the end were bugs and reports.