Every time, we meet customers, we do hear that every stakeholder in the project conveys the message "there are gaps in our process", "we do not follow processes seriously", etc. etc. What surprises me is that, their senior management listens to that with a smile! If there is a process problem in crediting their salary, will they tell the same reason?
Here are some simple steps to improve testing process, if you feel that you are not happy with your current process.
1. Foremost complaint is "We do not get proper requirements specs from any teams!". In this case, let the testers go one extra mile. Someone has to bell the cat. Let the testing team simply write use cases or features list after dev team gives demo or build; let the testing team ask for green signal on the piece of specs that they wrote. Put the blame on the business analyst and project manager. Someone will review and get back to you. Take it from me. If you do this a few times, you can see a positive attitude change in your dev team. As a good side effect, a few of your testers can easily grow as business analyst.
2. If your testing team members do assume a lot on specs and write bad tests or write unwanted tests, do this. For every change request or build release instructions, ask every tester to come up with just 1 clarification needed. Reward a good one. This will motivate the team. If testers stop asking clarifications, there is something wrong, for sure. Give a target, every requirement or CR must have at least 1 clarification needed.
3. Testers do not write test cases. They try only adhoc tests. If this is your problem, try this medicine. Ask every tester to first write "what to test" - kind of test conditions or test scenarios. For 1 week or 2 weeks, do not ask them to write test cases. Make them to write only test conditions. This must not take much time. You review the same and point out where they make mistakes. This will give a jump start for testers who do not write test documentation. Once they get to the normalcy of writing test conditions, load them with test cases as well.
4. Bug reports do not have proper information. If this is the problem, here is a simple solution. Ask every tester to talk about the bugs they found, the next day and not on the same day. They might have forgotten many details about the bug; then you ask logical questions and make them understand what they miss in bug reports. They will realize and change.
5. Because of so many problems, test leads do not present proper status. In this case, spreadsheets and emails will not solve the problem. Use a test management tool. Some of the tools are HP's Quality Center, Rational IBM Test Manager or Softsmith's QAMonitor.
Imagine, you send good status to your management with charts like this?
For more information on this tool, QAMonitor, please visit www.freeqamonitor.com.