Communication in Testing and QA – How to Communicate

Communication in Testing and QA may seem pointless in today’s over-communicated world. We can use so many methods of communication that the point may seem more like how to stop sending or receiving so much information rather than the reverse. That is missing the point of this particular topic. Communication is listed as the number one skill required in testers.

The second question in our series is how to communicate. Again, this may seem like an unimportant question when there are so many methods of communication. Actually it is more important than ever. With so many methods of communication how do we make sure our message stands out to the final recipient. Clearly marketers spend a lot of their time thinking about this question and experimenting with various methods to get the attention of their target audience. Equally obviously, some Quality Assurance or Quality Control communication is mandated by the tool that exists in the organisation or the process that has been determined. For example, defects (or whatever they are called in your organisation) are often put into a tool and communicated via a workflow. There is ‘little scope for the imagination‘ in that process. However, for every other piece of communication the question of How it is communicated is critical.

For example:

  1. We want to convince a large group of people to follow a certain path and also solicit their feedback – personal presentations to small groups may be the most effective even if it is time consuming
  2. We want to demonstrate the superiority of one methodology over another – graphs and charts may be the most effective even though we may think the answer is obvious
  3. We want to tell everyone some good news – a newsletter or announcement via electronic communication may be best even if we want to tell people in person

We have only really scratched the surface of types and possibilities here. There are thousands more.

Final Blog of the Series: Communication in Testing – Message; Audience; and Transmission Method

Next Blog Series: Testing Centre of Excellence

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