What testing does your team do that is Lean?

We want to find bugs as early as possible so that the cost of fixing them is as little as possible.

The earlier a bug is found the cheaper it is to fix. If a bug is found and fixed in a specification before any code is written then it costs very little to fix. If a bug is found during development then it costs some development time to fix it. If a bug is found in production and fixed then the cost to fix it includes some development time, some customer service time and its effect on customers. A lean perspective expresses this in another way as lean is about reducing waste and improving the flow of work. Bugs are waste so finding bugs early is lean because it reduces waste, and so improves the flow of work.

The value of testing as early as possible was highlighted by Tom Gilb when I heard him speak about ‘Lean QA’ a few years ago. He spoke about how it is best to find issues as early as possible in development.

The advantages are clear in theory and it is helpful to be able to give examples. Tom Gilb spoke about inspecting specifications for software before code is written as an example of early testing and showed how many issues can be identified by inspecting the specifications. One way for testers to help with inspecting specifications is to review requirements with a developer before they start work as this may identify issues. It can also be useful to inspect any test assets, such as automated tests or test plans, as this may find dependencies on requirements that have issues.
 
Further viewing: https://www.gilb.com/Real-Quality-Assurance-from-an-Agile-and-Lean-Viewpoint

Published by Mike Harris

Mike has been working in testing for 20 years and is currently the lone tester for Geckoboard. He has been a Test Lead and has also worked as a part of waterfall, lean and agile teams. He is also Programme Secretary of BCS SIGiST. Mike has a B.Sc.(HONS) from Middlesex University and is an Associate of the University of Hertfordshire. He has set up and led a Testing Community of Practice and been part of a successful agile transition. He is Co-Programme Chair of the British Computer Society’s Specialist Interest Group in Software Testing. He also contributed to the e-book Testing Stories and has had articles published by the Ministry of Testing. Follow Mike on Twitter: @TestAndAnalysis

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