How have approaches to quality changed over the past 20 years?

We can all learn a great deal from people who have influenced our industry. BCS SIGiST recently hosted a discussion with Mary and Tom Poppendieck about “How have approaches to quality changed over the past 20 years?”. Mary Poppendieck wrote books with her husband Tom about Lean Software Development based on her experience of applying …

State transition diagrams help to define tests

Identifying what states exist in functionality and how changes in state take place enables testers to identify tests that should be executed. State transition diagrams provide simple notation for summarising states and how changes in states take place. I recently used a state transition diagram on a project and it helped me identify the tests …

I have changed my mind about…Test Plans and Test Documentation

When I started as a tester I learned that test documentation, such as test plans, needed to gain approval from the Director and could be regarded as a project deliverable. I have learned that this is not helpful and that test documentation should support testing and the development. I remember that, before testing started, we …

How Can I Test This? an app with microservices

“How Can I Test This?” is a book that contains examples of how to test different sites and apps along with test heuristics applied, the reasoning as well as ideas for which tools will help testing. The book aims to be useful both to new testers and to more experienced testers, and has just been …

Four insights from “a reference book for all who all who are involved with quality”

Joseph Juran wrote in the 5th Edition that Juran’s Quality Handbook ”is a reference book for all who are involved with quality of products, services, and processes”. I find it a useful book to refer to if I am thinking about a problem. There are eight editions of the Juran’s Quality Control Handbook. They are …

Are metrics always helpful? an example of a success and a failure

Engineering teams often keep metrics on their work, but are these metrics always helpful?.  Metrics could be something that the manager or director has asked for or metrics something that the team has created to help the team. I have found that creating metrics on quality is something testers often do. Creating useful metrics is …

Use Low Code as a springboard for learning

I have been using Ghost Inspector to automate tests that run through the UI for a few years. It is an automation tool which says “No coding required”. If you are not a programmer you can use Ghost Inspector to automate tests. You can also use Ghost Inspector to learn about development practices and coding. …

A quality costs scorecard

Juran’s Quality Control Handbook is a reference book for people who “are involved with” quality. The 4th Edition of the handbook includes an article by Frank M. Gryna about Quality Costs. Gryna says that as companies began to extend the concept of identifying costs to quality they found that costs relating to quality were much …

One cycle to inspire them all

I have worked in lean or agile teams for a number of years and developing my knowledge of lean and agile has helped me. The Deming Cycle is something I have found helpful to understand because it is a part of agile and lean and it is also about continuous improvement of quality. Engineering teams …

Learning JavaScript is helping me to test

I am learning JavaScript because it helps me in so many ways when I am testing.  Many apps have JavaScript sandboxes that enable you to write some JavaScript that adds to the testing you are doing. Examples of where you can write JavaScript are the Tests tab in Postman, and browser dev tools which enable …

API Testing can enhance automated testing strategy

An automated test strategy will normally include tests that are automated through the UI, and unit tests. It is an advantage if an automated testing strategy also includes testing that is automated via the API. Automated tests need to run quickly so that developers get fast feedback on their work. Tests that are automated via …

Improving quality creates a chain reaction

W. Edwards Deming wrote that improving quality results in a chain reaction “lower costs, better competitive position, happier people…and more jobs”. Deming worked in Japan after World War Two where he helped rebuild the Japanese economy. He received honours from the Emperor of Japan and the President of the USA. His work underpins agile, lean …

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. …

Three short stories about the Definition of Done

What does it mean when a card is put into the Done column? Done can mean that the coding  is completed, it can also include that the code has been reviewed, that it includes unit tests and many other things. Teams sometimes create a “Definition of Done” to state exactly what “done” means and this …

How can you work with your team to identify risks?

Identifying risks to their work helps development teams.  Recently I spoke to a team who had talked through the ways in which their work could fail, and built on this to identify risks to their work. The team adapted Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA) to suit their needs. FMEA is a technique that is used …

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