Relationships are crucial in a highly social activity like software development.
Always fascinating to observe how different project managers perceive testing information or testers .
Some trust testers and the information that we provide to them,some consider us as a hindrance in the project’s release,some consider us as rubber stamps,some consider us as quality gatekeepers and then there are some who just ignore us .
as with all relationships, “it is it because you made it it ” ( not too sure how confused this sentence sounds but i’ll use it anyway)
how a PM views a test team depends not only what his expectations are but also ,how a test team operates .
how relevant,correct and useful is the information that we provide ?
do we do stuff which adds value to the project ?
given the amount of bad news we fling around there needs to be an element of tact in how test information is conveyed and advocated.
e.g. if we ourselves act as a process enforcers rather than service providers,start projecting bugs as spanks on developer’s butts then things start getting bad .
are we playing the role that the project wants ?
there has been a lot of debate on what role a test team plays whether we are/should be controllers,assures,just investigators etc.
I do not agree fully with either of the debating parties and feel there still are fuzzy areas .
I am not entirely comfortable with gurus saying “this is what test teams should never do”. I think it all depends on what the project’s expectations are ( from a test team) . That is another confusing debate.
But what i am clear about is that Test – Project Management relationship can not be ignored .
I have been in projects which have suffered if such mistakes are made, when PMs ignore test information or just sit on the fence.
having said that,onus is also on the test team to understand what the project’s and PM’s test needs are and adapt,improvise accordingly !
ability to adapt and flexibility are the key for test teams who want to add value to the project.
what is your test team’s relationship status ? what role do you play ?