The Politics of Testing

by Art Trevethan

Stakeholders have to keep the clients happy...
Developers have to keep the stakeholders happy...
Managers have to keep the bean counters and stakeholders happy...
And QA has to serve them all.!

I have run into the wall a few times in my career. The wall between testers and everyone else. Not only have I run into it, I have had it dropped on my head on occasion. QA is the area that has to insure that everyone is happy at the same time.

  • Stakeholders and managers think that QA let them down by missing a defect
  • Bean counters say that we don't need QA because we have good developers who can test their own code
  • Developers think that QA is just a stepping stone to their job

All are wrong and dysfunctional.

The Goals of Each Group

When the organization understands the goals of each group, all of a sudden it just seems to fall in place, and everyone can get along:

  • Stakeholders are trying to satisfy customers, so that the money keeps flowing and pays all the salaries and expenses
  • Bean counters are trying to do more with less money every day
  • Managers are under tremendous pressure to perform with their departments
  • Developers are trying to meet the needs of requirements they don't always understand
  • And QA is just trying to make sure that you get out good, usable, products that have been checked out and meet certain criteria.

Believe it or not, by understanding the motivation of the different involved parties, you can better address their needs.

Lets all just get along


testing politics qa

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