Keeping it personal

People can be messy can't they? They can be unpredictable and can disagree with you and your opinions. Because of this, it's  easy to shy away from communicating directly with others and resort to email and documents to present information, especially if the news is bad. A scenario we testers are often faced with!

But communicating directly with someone either face to face or by phone is a great time saver. I will give you an example.

My current client has a very 'organic' way of developing software. Having no experience in IT development, a lot of the typical methods of communication just don't work. Status reports are left unread on desks, emails and bug reports are ignored. I was finding it hard to get him to understand that the quality of the software was just not there. Until I resorted to 'the face-to-face'.

I called him down to the showroom and showed him all the bugs I had found that morning. He was stunned and amazed to see what issues I was finding.  It helped him understand how far there was to go on the project.

This simple face to face event saved me a lot of time and him a lot of money.

You may not work in such a 'flexible' environment, but its still possible to incorporate verbal communication into your testing tasks.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Talk to your developer before writing up important bugs

  • Show your stakeholder bugs to clarify what type of testing is required (Is this bug important to you?)

  • Show your stakeholder the application status instead of writing up a status report

  • Hold a workshop and discuss the application with developers and shareholders before testing

I'm sure there are lots of other ways. If you can't communicate face to face, phone and even IM are good alternatives.