I rarely test software these days. I mostly lead testing of IT solutions.
Testing in the context of:
- Updating all corporate PC’s from windows 7/8 to Windows 10
- Consolidating network equipment from more devices to one box, on 80 global locations *
- Move 40 live business applications from one data center to another *
- Take over application maintenance for a specialized public organization
- Implement track and trace for pharma products from production to shops
- Migrate HR data for 2500 people from one system platform to another
Yes, it happens that I participate in a project that is about developing a new business application, but my activities are less about testing software and more about testing in IT solutions in general.
Mostly I manage test activities and describe testing in these contexts. My preferred way of working is in setting and implementing test strategies. I prefer complex and non-ordered projects (Complex and Chaotic – I’m looking at you), it fits well with my context-driven approach of finding the “test solution that fits the context”.
Testing is in it self a solution, that must solve a business problem. Great testing is all about providing information to the stakeholders. I don’t care especially if this is done by someone TESTING or a TESTER. It is my responsibility to setup the testing activities (information gathering) that supports the team, faces the business & technology and challenges the product “sufficiently“.
Sometimes “sufficiently” is merely confirming and going through the motions of explicit requirement coverage. This is a special challenge to me, as I know of many effective and Rapid approaches, that could add valuable information. When I face this challenge, I try to look at the full picture of the project, and what the business want’s to achieve.
The business of the business is business. What matters is not software or projects, but the solutions to the challenges the business have. And the context of testing is similarly so much more than the software.
*: As mentioned in “How to test in IT Operations” at Nordic Testing Days 2016.