Communication in Testing and QA – Message, Audience, Transmission Method

With all of the ‘communicating’ we do in today’s world, Communication in Testing and QA may seem like a redundant addition. The methods of communication available are endless, to the point, where the pendulum might start to swing the other way, towards a world that reduces the amount of communication we have in our lives. However, when it comes to software testing, quality assurance and quality control strong COMMUNICATION is the number one skill looked for in for software testers.

We have already discussed WHY, HOW and WHAT to communicate in other blogs within this series and the final components to tackle are Message, Audience and Transmission. When sharing information and data, it is essential that you consider your specific message, who the intended audience is and the way in which you wish to transmit that information based on the previous criteria. Those who carefully consider and plan these components of communication get their views and insights heard and acted upon much more constructively than their counterparts who do not consider these three things.

Start by thinking about the message you are trying to send? Is it advice, a warning, a compliment or technical information that increases the efficiency and success of your department? Whatever the message, clarify it and exactly what you are intending to convey. If you can do this in a few short sentences, you’re off to a good start. Your message should be short, concise and to the point. If there’s no point, there’s no point in wasting your time or the time of your audience.

Speaking of audience, who exactly is your audience? You need to figure that out, because your audience may be the most critical piece to consider. Who are you trying to reach and under what conditions? There are many recipients for every message and specific knowledge of who those recipients and how they react is a determining factor in how successful your message will actually be.  People speak differently to their boss then they do to a peer, subordinate or close work-friend. You speak differently to your neighbour than you would to your spouse, children or relatives. Fully understanding your audience allows to you craft the content of your message in a way in which you think they would best receive the information being shared.

When you have identified the message you are trying to send and the audience in which you are sending to, you can determine exactly how your piece of communication should be transmitted. How is it best to attract the attention of the intended Audience and get the Message we want across. We covered a number of these in an earlier blog.

We also need to keep Marshall McLuhan in mind when considering this. ‘The medium is the message.

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