the reluctant tester

Perpetual learner of the craft of Software Testing,Servant Leadership and creating better Teams

Fostering blameless communication of Quality

Blame follows the incline of organisational hierarchy and in poor work cultures it flows down unfiltered & unmanaged.

Effective mid-level Engineering Managers are like lightning conductors, absorbing that blame when it comes down the incline and ensuring that the Team’s productivity is impervious to it (but not at the cost of the Team continuously reflecting & self improving.)

To achieve this, it if crucial how Managers narrate the impacts of poor quality within their Team and with their peers.

How does a blameless communication around Quality feel like, and how could Managers frame it better to encourage safer discussions around the frustrations associated with poor quality practices ?

A few examples that I can share from my experience contrasting

blameful narratives coming down the organisation incline unfiltered


how could Team Managers refine and turn the message into blameless, to encourage psychological safety, reflection and continuous improvement when things go wrong

Blameful messaging Blameless messaging
Your Team has been missing release dates again & again, this is a pattern now , I will make structural changes Let’s understand why your Team is not able to implement action points from previous retros and unable to release in time?
Our top customer is complaining that you have not met their user requirements We need to introduce these new processes to improve the Team’s ability in capturing user requirements accurately .
Your Team always makes platform changes that breaks my Team’s APIsOur Teams are synchronising poorly, here is what I propose to make communication better when it comes to pull requests and upcoming changes
Your code is not testable, in fact you dont care about testability or quality Testability is a shared responsibility, co-owning testability is a non-negotiable aspect of culture in our Team
What is the point of all these tests if you still let bugs escape ?There is misalignment in our expectations on Test Coverage from our current test suites
Product’s test code is flaky and it shows no sign of improvement,I am pausing my other work and planning to rewrite the whole test suite myselfI am keen to take out time and peer review how we measure flakiness of our tests and what actions do we need to take to improve flaky tests?
I have come to know that the Mob Testing sessions that you facilitate are a time drain and affecting the productivity of the Team Based on our current financial context, I am skeptical that Mob Testing sessions are adding the business value that they intended to, what are our reasons to continue them?

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About Me

I’m Sunjeet Khokhar

An experienced People Leader,Practice Lead  and Test Manager .

I am driven by the success of people around me, am a keen student of organisational behaviour and firmly believe that we can be better craftspeople by being better humans first.

CoNNECT with Me

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