Do you spend too much time providing status updates in emails, calls, and meetings? Does your testing team often not have the information they need to get the job done? Here is how you can improve communication throughout the phases of software testing.
Incomplete or inaccurate functional requirements are the root cause of most software defects. Agile and DevOps have proven the benefits of having testers on the development team.
Testers, developers, and product owners shouldn’t only communicate in sprint planning. There should be two-way communication throughout the lifecycle of the project. It is even more critical that there is effective two-way communication if QA is not Agile.
Reinforcing business goals on a regular basis in the most effective way available. That means sending the message in the tools in which the team members live. It is easy to lose the forest for the trees during the testing and development process. That is why it is so important to communicate and reinforce the business goals of the project. Reviewing requirements in the context of the goal provides a better shared understanding. This makes it easier to:
It isn’t reasonable to expect stakeholders to log in to different tools. You need to rely on the tools they already use to communicate. Some teams may use tools such as Slack and others may have collaboration built into their system. The important thing is to connect your tools with the tools stakeholders use. You should also set up a process for reinforcing the business goals of a project.
Testers should receive requirements and changes to requirements in their test management tool. That way testers:
The earlier that testers can review new or updated requirements:
Again, the important thing is to connect your tools with the tools stakeholders use.
Make communications about requirements available to everyone to:
Don’t rely on note taking during meetings. Instead, record meetings and have them transcribed. There are several effortless, low-priced transcription services available online. Then, post the transcript where all team members can access it.
Testers should be able to post questions to all project stakeholders. This provides all stakeholders the opportunity to give their feedback. It also provides testers the best opportunity to receive the best feedback.
Stakeholders should receive test cases and changes to test cases in the tools they use to:
The size of the testing team may change, particularly during the test execution phase. Before test execution there may only be a single test lead on the team. During test execution, you may need more team members. Providing new team members access to prior communications will help them:
Describing the behavior of a defect can be challenging. Ambiguity can lead to friction between the QA and development teams. Providing rich context speeds up defect documentation and resolution. Look for tools that can help you capture:
Those tools should also make it easy to annotate the screen shots and video.
Again, testers should be able to post their questions to all project stakeholders. This is very important during test execution.
Stakeholders should be also able to post questions about defects to the testing team. This keeps testers aware of the progress of resolving the defects so that they can prepare to retest.
Stakeholders should receive recorded defects in the tools they use. This will help them to resolve defects faster. Again, connect your test management software with the tools other teams use.
Stakeholders should receive reports about the progress of testing activities. Reports should include:
Stakeholders should receive reports on the:
Report progress in the context that matters to a stakeholder. A product owner may care about the progress as it relates to a particular feature. An executive may care about the progress of his portfolio. A good test management tool should provide you the ability to track and report on these items.
I hope this article has inspired you to take a closer look at how your team communicates. Communication is the springboard for improving enterprise software testing, but it’s the tip of the iceberg.
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