Saturday, March 15, 2008

Test as an instrument

My friend Pradeep Srajan made a comment few days back "The test doesn't find the bug. A human finds the bug, and the test plays a role in helping the human find it."

A pretty thought that I agree with .........As I believe that a test only becomes an instrument in hands of a human.

Some points to ponder .......

  1. The first set of tests are created by humans on their interpretation of the requirements
  2. The tests generated will be towards both positive as well as negetive testing
  3. The first set of goof ups can start from here itself .......if the tester has not understood the requirements clearly and cannot identify the positive and negetive test sets
  4. The test set maynot always be exhaustive in nature

These are just the start points for testing.

But what is important to think is that can we accept the fact "to err is human" in the testing community ?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crisis Management

Crisis Management in projects :
Some questions ........

  1. What is crisis ?
  2. How does that arise ?
  3. Why does it happen ?
  4. How do you do crisis management ?
  5. What are things to be careful about when you are doing project management during crisis in a project.

There can be many forms of project crisis .....

let me start with one ......."dis-satisfied customer"

The biggest point of dissatisfaction comes to a customer when he finds that his requirements / expectations have not been met.

Mitigation action to expectation is little easy to handle. Ensure that SOW (statement of work)/ TO (task order) is very clear and all the do's and dont's are mentioned there in with clear information on procedure for that additional requirement handling.

But still to keep your CSAT high, you need to always know what are the free-bee's that can be provided to the client and how to harp about them.

Problem area : missing on client requirement

Some things that can be done as a PM to ensure no client escalations arise

  1. Ensure that the complete end to end process is in place
  2. All checklists are created
  3. Verify all client requirements personally
  4. Conduct regular quality and technical audits
  5. Keep taking a regular feedback from the customer

Problem area : Dynamic and unclear client requirement

The client is unsure of what he needs and what he can achieve in his set up. Their inexperience with the IT set ups are usually the reason for it.

If you encounter a dynamic client, try to figure out who will be the key communicators on their side and the stakeholders. It is very important that at any point of time you and the stakeholders have a good dialogue in operation with no scope left for communication gap of any kind.

It is also important to be honest to the client along with generating revenue for your own company. Try to give the best possible solution to the client that will optimize his requirements and their closures. The confidence that you enjoy as the face of your company from your clients is what will help solve many hidden and unpercieved risks of any project execution.