I saw these words of advice from Conrad Fujimoto in an email and thought they were worth passing on. I'm using them with Conrad's permission:

Over the years, I’ve taught many software testing courses. Trainees are appreciative of the ideas, insights, and techniques presented to them.They are convinced that principles and methods taught are useful and effective. Yet, often I hear the phrase “but, that won’t work here.”

Some of the reasons given for such pessimism are resource constraints, organizational politics, lack of testing focus, and little management understanding and support. The trainees knew what adjustments needed to be made but they felt powerless to affect any meaningful change. Fortunately, much can be accomplished by strategic planning and being aware of opportunities.

 

Some ideas:

  1. When no one is taking a leadership role in improving the process, consider assuming that role (people are often happy to see someone take charge).

  2. Seek opportunities to form relationships and work with others who share the same concerns about the existing process.

  3. Establish your authority and credentials for speaking on testing matters by recognizing and promoting the successes of your testing team.

  4. Be proactive and constantly monitor and report the progress of both development and testing against published schedules.

  5. Be ready to implement corrective actions or invoke contingency plans in the event of schedule slippages; where appropriate, suggest process changes that reduce future slippages.

  6. Always perform test closure activities and ensure that lessons learned are recorded and reported.

  7. Get testing representation in requirement review meetings and on the change control board.

  8. Foster an attitude of continuous improvement; build on your successes.

  9. As software testers, we have a professional obligation to do our best in assisting our organizations to build quality software. We may not necessarily have the term “manager” in our job title, but we still have the ability to be leaders. We can guide our organizations to creating better software.

 

Conrad Fujimoto is an expert instructor and consultant. He teaches Software Tester Certification for SQE Training.

George Box, a good friend (and a close colleague to my father), put the problem of getting new ideas adopted this way (from Management Matters by John Hunter):

  1. It won’t work
  2. It won’t work here
  3. I thought of it first

John's book, and blog, discuss the challenges of actually getting improvements put into action in the workplace. Getting past the resistance to new ideas, new ways of working and change is more difficult than it should be. But there are practical steps you can take to get improvements adopted, including those mentioned above.

Sadly, George Box recently passed away. You can see George in this video of him discussing the art of discovery (which is a big part of what software testers do - discovering how the software works).

 

Related: Growing the Application of Management Improvement Ideas in Your Organization - Outcome and In-Process Measures - Improving Software Development with Automated Tests

By: John Hunter and Justin Hunter on May 2, 2013

Categories: Lean, Testing Strategies, Experimenting