Communication in Testing and QA

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 and only yesterday employers were lamenting an inability to find personnel with the following three characteristics:

  1. Experience
  2. Soft Skills (including communication)
  3. Technical skills

We cannot necessarily do much directly about items 1 and 3 above but we can certainly look at the second one in a general context.

Obviously we are trying to convey information and that information is intended to allow people to make decisions as a result of that information. In the case of testers:

  1. It may be a Go/No Go decision on whether to promote a release to production
  2. It may be a priority decision on fixing a defect
  3. It may be a decision on continuing testing a particular release or set of code
  4. It may be a decision on whether to include or exclude a certain feature
  • We need to communicate.
  • We need to make sure the message reaches the right person or people.
  • We need to make sure the message is provided in the correct format.
  • We need to make sure that the message leads to the correct decision.

Of those four points, the last one is the most important.

Regardless of decision being made as a result of the information, there are several important questions that are even more critical in today’s over-communicated world and these will be the discussions for the next few weeks.

Next Week: Communication in Testing – What
Following 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

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