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Mash_V
Member


Reged: 11/26/07
Posts: 148
Why Testers not included in Requirement phase.
      #717805 - 10/10/12 03:41 AM

I am having a hard time explaining my company Management to bring into process - Having Testers in Client + Project Manager, Requirement related Meetings.

What I proposed is what many companies already follow, having testers role brought earlier in SDLC. SO that the suggestions usability issues that might get reported later is known to developers at SRS phase itself.

But PMs don't find it good idea. Seems they find Testers as obstacles in their smooth development (I would do as I like) methodology.

Has anyone too faced such a cold war?

--------------------
-Mash


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SimonFromLeeds
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Reged: 08/12/04
Posts: 139
Loc: Leeds
Re: Why Testers not included in Requirement phase. [Re: Mash_V]
      #717809 - 10/10/12 05:17 AM

Yeah. Explaining that requirements have no value, it's only the delivered working service/software that has value, and you're a core team member getting the service/software working might do it. I think best/most credible criticisms of the 'relay race' (each function exclusively owns a SDLC phase) style of software production come from Agile and SCRUM community.

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SimonFromLeeds
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Reged: 08/12/04
Posts: 139
Loc: Leeds
Re: Why Testers not included in Requirement phase. [Re: SimonFromLeeds]
      #717811 - 10/10/12 05:21 AM

The most succinct critique of the old-school, testers just involved in the test phase I've heard is "Did you have a looking out the window phase as you drove to work this morning?".

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broop
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Reged: 01/03/01
Posts: 195
Loc: Grandville, MI, USA
Re: Why Testers not included in Requirement phase. [Re: Mash_V]
      #718125 - 10/16/12 08:09 AM

Quote:

But PMs don't find it good idea. Seems they find Testers as obstacles in their smooth development methodology.




Of course they do! As they should... don't flame me yet, keep reading.

But they must also have a budget to produce the software, validate it meets the customer's needs and ship it. Finding those missteps in the requirements gathering/refining phase is WAY cheaper than delivering a BETA version of the software to customer months from now because the PM didn't focus in on usability or reliability or safety of customer's data.

I'm betting you're like me... a QA person who knows how to use the software better than the PM and better than the developers. That's not a slam on them. It's just a fact. I use our software every day and I know all of the little nuances of it. The developers know the areas of code they've worked on before, but not necessarily how those pieces integrate in together.

The PM may think (s)he knows the software, but they know it from the 5-50 mile overhead view... they're not in the trenches with the customers who use the software.

They don't inherently think about data security issues or response times. I find that my coworkers need to be reminded of these issues from time to time. But the more reminding I do, the more remembering they do.

But back to your issue.

I got over one of my hurdles by picking a proponent in another area. My inactive development manager listened to me when I suggested we hold a meeting before sharing the requirements with the whole team. QA met with the PM and the customer and we were able to head off a few of the issues that the original attendees would have missed.

It only took that one person listening to me to get the ball rolling. Find that one person in your organization. I know (s)he's out there.

Bo


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Richard_Hunter
Member


Reged: 08/16/04
Posts: 388
Re: Why Testers not included in Requirement phase. [Re: broop]
      #718389 - 10/19/12 06:31 AM

I am sure you have done this, but step 1 is outline the advantages of bringing in testers early and the measurable benefits this can bring.

Assuming this does not work, step 2 is to do some defect cause analysis on one of their projects. Highlight how many are due to poor/unclear/missed requirements that could have been picked up either in initial meetings or getting the tester(s) to review the requirements documentation before they get signed off. With some stated assumptions of how long an average defect takes to raise, fix, retest etc you can show an saving.

Good luck!

--------------------
Richard Hunter


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daluu
Member


Reged: 08/24/06
Posts: 339
Re: Why Testers not included in Requirement phase. [Re: Richard_Hunter]
      #718778 - 10/25/12 10:00 PM

I've observed this issue in places where I've worked so far. Perhaps the PMs and higher ups still think with waterfall model even though most organizations have adopted some form of agile development. Which means it's only agile in the sense once work starts to get developed, not prior in planning phase.

From my experience, they never considered QA in the process, or just seem to forget to. Good QAs, in ways, serve as business analysts offering perspective of how customers might use the product expectedly and unexpectly, and can point out issues in integration, usability, and performance based on their experience and knowledge with testing the product or industry.

Sadly I've found bad bugs and clearly state could be customer facing dismissed as not important until a customer later reports same bug then it gets raised in priority. Go figure how the bug triage team assess bug priority without giving our input more thought.


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Squamry
Member


Reged: 01/22/07
Posts: 145
Loc: UK
Re: Why Testers not included in Requirement phase. [Re: daluu]
      #718805 - 10/26/12 05:48 AM

The simplist arguement that management can understand for getting QA involved early is that this will help testing - you will be better prepared, understand the development better and make testing more effective. In some ways this is easier to sell as your self interest will be apparent "My job is ieasier if I can do this".

If you can't get involved with the requriements then try sorting something out with the developers who will probably be more receptive. We've just started doing sessions between Dev and QA to discuss new requirements, Dev go over the changes they have to make and QA on their test approach. Both teams get to point out the gaps and so both teams benefit from the knowledge the other team has.

The original post touches on the age old problem of test/QA not always being valued. You'll find plenty of posts on this forum about this issue. With PM's they like numbers so I tend to make it a numbers arguement. Useful numbers I've found in the past: amount of scope change, defect fix rate, test execution progress, amount of time on support issues, staff churn.

--------------------
The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.


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