Reinventing Quality

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10:45 - 11:30 Uhr

Business Awareness of Testers and the Quality of Testing

Karolina Zmitrowicz, Quale magazine


Have you even thought what the core characteristics of an ideal tester are? You may say that of course, you did. Or no, as the answer is obvious. A tester should be skilled in testing techniques and methods, should be familiar with the features of the product under test to be able to verify its compliance with stated requirements and report incidents in case of finding a discrepancy. A tester should be also a good team player, and possess strong communication skills. Some of you would add that it would be valuable to have a tester with negotiation skills. And maybe also with some management competency.

It is all true. All the mentioned characteristics are very important to become a good tester. But it is not enough to be a tester who really contributes to ensuring higher quality of the product being tested. How is it possible? Because having all necessary methodological, technical and soft skills does not imply that a tester will be able to check if the product meets business objectives of the customer. Such tester will be unable to verify if the features under test deliver expected value to the customer. A tester without business background will not be able to prioritize test effort based on value and will be unable to focus on testing areas of the higher potential of providing value. Highly skilled in technical and methodological areas test professional might even not recognize the value and business objectives of the product at all.

The main theme of this lecture is discussion about the benefits and means to acquire business awareness in tester’s profession. The lecture explains how to plan testing taking into account business objectives and how to ensure that when conducting highly technical tasks business is not forgotten. Real-life examples will be used to demonstrate main problems in testing for business and to learn to change the mindset from "technical-oriented" to "business-oriented".  The lecture will also discuss main organizational challenges to be considered when planning improving business awareness of testers – for example, a common problem of lack of time and organizational maturity impacting the ability of coaching test team in business aspects. In the end, the presentation will provide examples of common solutions for improving business knowledge of testers, including coaching, training and learning from the customer.

Karolina Zmitrowicz, Quale magazine

Karolina Zmitrowicz currently works as IT consultant and trainer in requirements engineering and quality management fields helping the customers to improve their software processes and products.
Karolina has a strong experience in the fields of requirements engineering, project management, quality assurance and testing. She has international experience in banking and insurance sector: she worked for leading financial organizations in South Africa, Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Italy and Poland.
Between 2011 and 2013 she was an active member of REQB Board and was one of the main authors of IBAQB certification scheme.
She is a founder and editor in chief of the Quale magazine, a free magazine for IT Experts in the field of software quality.
She is also an author of several publications in software engineering area and two books which will be published in the end of 2014.