Even before there is an “system development life cycle” – testing in the form of thought experiments and evaluation can take place and add valuable information to the context.
My test management tasks are often about the next thing coming up. Bids for outsourcing agreements and application development often comes with a large document of test activities to be answered and elaborated. In this role I am the the subject matter expert (in test), and while have to write the tender reply for my domain. Sometime down the line the bid materials becomes an actual project, but by then I’m onto the next thing.
Sometimes I draw an analogy to the Secret Service advance team arriving two weeks before the president, setting up protection and identifying gaps – while then moving on to the next location before the president even gets there.
Another example of advance work for test people, is where the organisation uses frequent releases of systems. While the majority of the test effort is put into the release currently being tested, some effort must go into looking into the frame of the coming release. In the coming release the test manager can look for headlines to test, review initial high level design and find flaws and conflicts in the release content.
Sometimes I draw the analogy to the blue and gold teams of US nuclear submarines. While one full crew is out sailing/delivering, the shore team prepares, trains for the next big push.
Testing early can also be in the form of running simulations on various business case scenarios. Business simulations is all about experimenting and evaluating. For novel solutions prototyping, wire-framing and user experience activities helps develop minimum solutions to be tested for viability by the customer.
In the article “Continuous Testing in Dev Ops…” we see testing happening during Plan and Branch. In the article “A Context-Driven Approach to Delivering Business Value” testing can help establish viable market, match to vision and in identifying business risks.
testing related to revenue generation may focus on functionality or regulatory compliance; testing related to revenue protection may focus on maintainability or legal defense; testing related to supporting revenue may focus on business process improvement or cost reduction.
Testing is a lot of things – also outside the SDLC.
6 thoughts on “Getting Testing in Early”
[…] Getting Testing in Early Written by: Jesper Ottosen […]
The analogy to the secret service is a good one and to be fair, not one I had thought about before. However, I think the entire idea of continuous testing would be that the same group of secret service agents would be part of a larger, ongoing effort at the location. So, while I think the analogy is on point, it could be fleshed out a bit. Dan’s blog example of the testing process during DevOps is pretty spot on so I’m glad you linked to it. Thanks for the post!
Good comment. Being on the advance team sometimes also includes being on the ground during “the actual work”. I’m sure the secret service have that too 🙂 The might even have people permanently on site in some places..
It’s an analogy – so it has flaws. It probably fits better for the contexts I’m in, than for continuous testing. The above work examples have no continuous testing (shift left/right).
[…] Getting in early: https://jlottosen.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/testing_early/ […]
[…] very natural for me to hand over project approaches to my co-workers. I’m often “blue team” to outline the strategy, My best field of work is to bring clarity and consistency, not […]
[…] Yes indeed. It has happened for me in the last couple of months. While my role is not tester anymore (but advisor in testing) – it just wouldn’t make the headline as click-baity. Sorry for that, though it does help to prove the point that testing specialists can be a part of bids and tender teams. A testing mindset is needed even before there is an “system development life cycle”. […]