A bad habit that I’ve been trying to get rid of for years: when I start a testing project I tend to focus too much on the results and too little on people.
How does this abstract idea manifests in real life? Here is how…
It’s been 2 weeks since we’ve started a new project. We have to help a team in the US to do a final round of testing before the product reaches the beta testing phase. It is a very tight schedule and we’ve missed the first two days of testing because of environment configurations and user account issues.
A quick note: when I say “we”, I mean my 2 colleagues that are testing on this project and me.
When we finally received the credentials and the environment was up and accessible, we jumped right into creating a test strategy, as we had learned in the BBST course. We used the info we had received initially and from the demo session. We asked ourselves a few good questions and sketched an approach for this tight-deadline project. Then we prioritized tasks and started testing and logging bugs.
The first meeting we had with the US team was brief. We only addressed the questions related to bugs, environment and tests. I think it took 10 minutes or so out of the 30 scheduled in my calendar. And it was the same for the rest of the week, during our daily meetings.
On Friday evening, I came up with the idea to ask the QA manager from the US team to give us feedback. And at that point I realized that I didn’t know if the entire team was located in the US or not, if she was working on multiple projects or only this one, how many people in the US team were doing testing, if any. I had no idea who the person behind that QA manager role was.
In the feedback request I wrote her, I included these thoughts, like a self-evaluation of what I could have done better. I looked her up on LinkedIn and added her as a connection. And the very next meeting we had was around 26 minutes.
Working remotely makes the relationships with the people involved even more important. For people to trust each other, they first need to know each other. I think I put a lot of effort into arguing for some of my ideas and maybe I could have come to the same result by building a better relationship with the team. This may be helpful especially for projects that last more than a few weeks.