Here – have some of my power

One of the ways I lead the team of testers in my project is through delegation of power from my own role…

1) A test manager in my group asks guidance. The members in the project team does not reply her requests or give her the information she needs. As a test manager in the project she does have the theoretic power, but not the practical power… I send her back with all my powers – to tell them that because I said so, they should respect her. I don’t mind taking “stars” of my shoulders and giving the power of my role and position to someone junior to me.

2) A tester on my project team approaches me to ask for permission to create tasks on our task board. I immediately grant her a “do every thing you need to do, without asking“-permission. By all means take the initiative and ownership. I probably fail to manage everything, so we need to work together on this. By all means go ask the developer, create test cases, find things we didn’t know – think.. and test.

Sometimes I think, this is perhaps a Danish “equality” culture – but then I realize it is a collaborate approach for the modern knowledge worker. It works equally well with people from both India, Denmark, Philippines and China.

My style is not to CONTROL – but to facilitate KNOWLEDGE. In my team the team is the star


Define: Snow plow testing in context

Imagine that the city has just have a ton of snow – a solid layer everywhere. The snow plows come out – first they take the highways, then the main roads, the bus roads, the side roads. They miss the private roads and pedestrian streets, but that’s OK – because they get the city started.

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Smoke Testing vs. Sanity Testing: What You Really Need to Know | Michael Bolton | Nov 2011]

Both smoke testing and sanity testing refer to a first-pass, shallow form of testing intended to establish whether a product or system can perform the most basic functions.

Snow plow testing  is my usual way to avoid the Smoke test/Sanity test discussion. That is until I had to explain it to my Indian colleagues … they had never seen snow. For all they knew, it could as well have been the Black Viper Testing Technique.

We re-framed the activity to Test environment check – the early morning (Danish time) activity of taking the high-way scenarios in the system complex. Day after day it proved to be a very useful activity in many ways – all though it never cleared all the snow…