Feedback is always welcome and this week we are indebted to Paul Seaman for some very valid comments on the What should be reported from your testing – Part 2. He pointed out that the blog seemed to have a written bias, missed the value of verbal communication and seemed to silo testers.
We were considering mainly final reports using an independent test team and with the potential need for an audit of the testing. So some bias may have crept in and Paul pointed that out. Let’s look at each of these.
Siloed Test Team: The more you silo a test team, the less effective they are. Information does not flow to them or from them. So the opportunities to learn from each other is lost. In addition, any information that does flow back and forth will likely be somewhat distorted by the time it gets to the other party. Testers need to be included throughout the lifecycle embedded in the team.
Verbal Communication: This is an obvious follow on from the previous point. If you are remote, or restricted in communication then the chance to provide and receive feedback is reduced. Non-verbal communication tends to be asynchronous – something is sent and there is a delay before there is a response. Verbal (throughout the project or testing effort) allows instant feedback and may speed up responses and reactions to changing events. The only thing you may lose is an audit trail. Anything crucial needs to be noted and put into a decision log for retention.
Written bias: This comes down to the same thing as the last comment in the previous paragraph. Crucial information that needs to be retained should be documented and stored. If the report is simply a status that is being provided then it may not need to be fully documented. Point taken.