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 first question is what to communicate. Again, this may seem like an unimportant question when everyone has the ability to know everything. Actually it is more important than ever. With the rise in volume of communication (although not the quality) the need to filter out extraneous information and provide the relevant information and only the relevant information is more critical. It is trivially easy to incorporate lots of material into each communication and hit Reply All. The net end result is lots of information but little content.

So the initial question that needs to be addressed is ‘What is the content of the message’. While many people know the content of their message, few take the time to think it through in detail. It is assumed that whatever content has been placed in the message (frequently without thought) is correct, sufficient and not too much.

The content of the message is one of the three most important items:

  1. What does the person, with whom you are communicating, need to know?
  2. How should that information be presented?
  3. What will help them make a decision or act as we want them to based on what we send them?

These are all pieces of the content that need to be considered just before hitting that Send button.

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

Next Blog Series: Testing Centre of Excellence