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  1. #1
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    Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    Hi there...
    I am the only tester in my company recruited recently. My Management asks me to have a discussion with our client. How to have a professional telephonic discussion with the client for the first time ? Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ? If so, As a tester what are the important topics to be discussed ? [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

    [ 11-19-2005, 01:25 AM: Message edited by: deepa341 ]
    Live, Love & Laugh
    Deepa

  2. #2
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    Deepa, "Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ? " It is not necessary for a tester to dicuss anything with the client. It would be good if some management-level people are in constant contact with the customer and representing all aspects of the project! Is it something that should take place? Read below and decide. Before the project starts? If it is to happen, that would be the best time for it. Anyway...

    This is about skills and not about you in the process of acquiring skills. Based upon the experience level reflected in your posts, I would make the following general recommendations within the confines of what you asked - and assume you intend testing:

    1) Get a seasoned person to have the formal discussions with the client.

    2) Capture all testing expectations with the client AND reconcile those against any contractual obligations or vice versa. HINT! Read and understand the contract, SOW, and related documents first!

    More hints (while still assuming this is about testing and not QA)...
    1) The client typically looks for a master test plan that categorizes and describes all other testing under this master umbrella. This means more plans, strategies, approaches, Unit/Unit Integration, Functional/Regression, System, UAT, etc., etc.
    2) The client will be looking between the lines so to speak, for assurance and comfort that you have a capable and skilled staff that can deliver a quality product on time and within budget.
    3) The client may ask any of many questions dealing with QA and testing. They may ask for example:
    3.1) How will you assure quality?
    3.2) What is your strategy for proving that the application performs to SLA or system specs?
    3.3) How will you track, manage, and communicate defects?
    3.4) How will you prove defect corrections are correct and they didn't introduce other defects?
    3.5) What is your testing methodology from top to bottom?
    3.6) What tools will you use in testing and do you have the skillsets to implement those effectively?

    (Do you have the skills to answer those?)

    Another possibility...

    What if the client is fairly ignorant of QA and Testing and they are looking to you as a consult in this area? Do you feel you are seasoned enough to guide them appropriately?

    It appears that your management has put you into a compromising position. I wonder if the following analogue/question applies? Would this be like the USA sending Howard Stern to speak at a conference on morality - or - B Spears giving vocal lessons?

    Your management appears to need education. You may direct them here for such. There are many educators here willing to help. Think of it as trying to prevent fraudulent representation by your management. Challenge your management to think quality, honesty, and integrity – and not money. Put your client and its consumers first. Some of us here may be consumers of the apps your management is responsible for. We won’t be happy with poor quality and risky software.

    IMHO - if this is an average project, your company is "behind-the-eightball". It is likely you will need more staff - with the correct skillsets.

    [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Good luck and Thank you! The good thing is that this represents a major opportunity for you to learn.

    [ 11-21-2005, 05:52 AM: Message edited by: JakeBrake ]

  3. #3
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    Hello Jake,

    U have made more efforts to reply me..thanx a lot..Jake, sometimes i think that i have chosen a wrong employer..just 3 weeks back i had been recruited as a tester here..suddenly they say that i have to look into management side also..my M.D says i will be the Project Delivery Manager..i donno how am going to learn my testing concepts..i thought i would be getting more knowledge in testing..
    If i have to link with client often, how could i concentrate on testing? & the management also tells i have to take care of testing too..how to deal both effectively?
    Give me an idea, that should make my employer to concentrate on testing & by the way he should make me to concentrate only on testing..
    Live, Love & Laugh
    Deepa

  4. #4
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    I would suggest that your company may have hung you out to dry - intentionally or otherwise. It appears that your company is in a serious bind. I would suggest you do what you need to do to protect yourself - especially if you feel that you cannot effectively represent your company to the client.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    Wow! Project Delivery Manager is way different than tester. PDM is the hat you would be putting on in order to approach the client.

    Whether this is a reasonable expectation is entirely another question. I'm thinking Not!

    Who else from your company is involved in the project and/or client relationship? If you don't know, find out now! If you're lone ranger, raise a big red flag now!

    Is there a project manager or equivalent role assigned to the project? If not, you're probably expected to fulfill that duty as well. Not a good sign!

    I'm with Jake that you're in a pickle. Without doing some serious digging within your own company, there is no way you can be expected to succeed in the position that you've described.

    We will willingly provide any more help we can.
    Resistance is futile.

    SuperK

  6. #6
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    I want to know what Deepa put on his resume to make them think he could do all this. I've known people that you'd think could do anything just by looking at them. Not that they could. They just looked that way. Maybe you're one of those Deepa.

    To answer one of the questions: "Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts?"
    No, it is not necessary. One of our most recently released products had almost no contact with the customer from test, development or any other part of our group. For some reason the product was not received very well. :-0

    What you might ask of them is what their expectations are with regards to deliverables. Besides the product, what do they want to see? A list of test scripts? The results of the testing? Lunch menus from where the test team ate? Also ask them what they think is the most critical aspect of the application. Check out how they do product acceptance. Ask them if they have any openings.

    MArk B.
    If you're a slave to your free associations, does it automatically become something else?

  7. #7
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    Deepa341, In one of your other posts you say:
    am a new entry to this testing world & wants to explore more..how to begin is my question..could you friends guide me to start my journey..?
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"> Although there is nothing wrong with starting out, as long as your employer knows you are just starting and know nothing about testing. But you are in the wrong job! Your employer obviously needs someone with experience, experience you do not have. How long are you going to try and deceive your employer? Since they are paying you money, or I presume they are paying you, you are receiving money for something you can not provide. Why not admit to the boss that you do not know the first thing about testing, perhaps he might offer to hire someone who has experience and can teach you about testing. As it is, you are giving testers a bad name.

    Sorry, that's just the way it is.

    Best of luck.
    Personal Comment

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    ~ Winston Churchill ~


    ...Rich Wagner

  8. #8
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    Deepa - Do you work for the same company I do?
    ;-)

  9. #9
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    I found it really handy at my company to talk with some of the end users/clients to get a good understanding of the intricate aspects of the business rules. This helped a great deal when proof reading/doing inspections of the requirements.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to discuss with the client b4 the proj starts ?

    Originally posted by Rich W.:
    How long are you going to try and deceive your employer? Since they are paying you money, or I presume they are paying you, you are receiving money for something you can not provide. Why not admit to the boss that you do not know the first thing about testing, perhaps he might offer to hire someone who has experience and can teach you about testing. As it is, you are giving testers a bad name.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">Happen to me before, and probably that it happen often..This is the time for a company (small usualy) to define the Role And Responsibilities for the people involved, and particulary with the customer...You can not wear two hats in a project ie. test and product manager, but this have top be treated with diplomacy with the management. [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]

 

 
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