Discussion: Identifying and removing blockers to improving testing

17 May 2015
16:00 - 18:00
Thon Hotel

Discussion: Identifying and removing blockers to improving testing

I’m a change manager and tester. Like you, I face increasing demands for quality, cost savings and faster time to market. Let’s discuss:

  • – When is test improvement needed?
  • – How much does the culture of a test organisation affect change?
  • – What causes people to revert to old practices?
  • – How do we know we have improved testing?
  • – How do we overcome blockers to improvement?
  • – What are the factors that help successful improvement?
  • – How can we help each other within organizations but also across the industry?

In the discussion group I want briefly to share some of my own successes and failures, and then listen to other people’s stories.

The group will discuss the difficulties of making and sustaining change, and reflect on the different approaches to improvement that might be useful. I hope that by sharing experiences we can identify many different problems and potential solutions to those issues.

We’ll need to discuss the cultural and organisational context for the proposed improvements, including how the improvements might affect colleagues in development and the business. We also need to consider how much we can do by coaching and how much lead by example, and to understand what behaviours from us promote or inhibit improvement in others. By discussion, participants will help each other to solve their blockers and share their reasons for successful changes.


This is based on my real-world experiences with my test team, developers and product owners as we improve all stages of testing, while still delivering projects. We’ve encountered real problems, but not unusual ones for test managers or improvement leads. The discussion will centre in that reality.

Three key takeaways:

  1. sharing experiences, problems and solutions in the discussion (a problem shared is a problem halved)
  2. identification of success factors for test improvement
  3. how to overcome blockers to test improvement.