Archive for December, 2012

I did like Michael Bolton did…

After talking to Micheal Bolton over a really nice dinner together with some of my closes test colleagues and reading his blog post ( I did the same thing as him, for lets call her “Maria”.

Maria is frustrated over the frequent deliveries that they do. The test team have to do the same things over and over again for every release; prepare for test run, update environments, run a set up of automated test suits and manual suits as regression test. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for Exploratory testing, good bug investigation or deep testing to find new bugs. It’s also kind of boring with such a repetitive way of working. To get a good overview, a grid like the one Michael Bolton wrote about was used and then another one showing what it could look like if the cycles were every second week instead of every day.

   M = Meetings
   Div = Misc
   P = Preparation
   S = Set up test environment 
   T = Execute scripted tests, incl bug investigation
   ET = Exploratory testing
   R = Test report


What a typical month looks like today, with daily deliveries (1 square = 1 hour):

Over one week is spent every month to just update environments!

And almost 2 weeks are spent to test the same things over and over again… and we all know that regression test isn’t the best way of catching bugs.


This is what it could look like with delivery every second week:

This sure looks like a more fun way of working for a tester.

I’m not saying the daily deliveries are wrong. There are reasons for why organizations do that. I’m also not saying the testing is bad. The testing is done risk based and the most critical issues are caught. My point is that by making it more visual it can be easier to understand the price for doing frequent deliveries. One may reconsider this decision when it’s so obvious what the cost is. I would also like to add that the best solution might not be to stop doing frequent deliveries but to automate the whole testing process (including update test environment).


This is a very easy way of visualizing what you spend your time on. It only takes a couple of minutes to do and it only takes a couple of seconds for your stakeholders to understand.