When it comes to software testing, improvement comes in one of three fields: people, process, and tools. But while you might think processes and tools are the smarter categories to consider first, did you know the bulk of your improvement comes solely from having the right people, with the right skills, in the right roles?
When it comes to software testing, we like to focus on three areas of improvement: people, process, and tools—in that very order.
Over the years, we’ve generated a ton of content about the value of software testing. From white papers centered on avoiding the 3 Perils of Software Development (Defects, Delays, and Dollars) to articles on how test automaton can dramatically improve your coverage, accuracy, and speed, we’ve covered a lot of ground.
But you know what we haven’t covered as much? How you can do it yourself.
If you’re looking to bring your software testing organization back to True North, you need to break things down to their core components. That’s why, when it comes to software testing, we like to focus on three areas of improvement: people, process, and tools—in that very order.
Read that last sentence again. That’s not a typo. If you want to be better at software testing, you need to focus on your people first. In fact, that’s where a whopping 65% of your improvement comes from!
Without the right people, the most state-of-the-art processes and tools are completely worthless. That’s why it’s so important to resist their siren call when you’re getting started. Processes and tools might seem like magic bullets—but they can be nothing more than a costly boondoggle if you don’t have the right personnel with the right skills in the right roles.
But how do you know if you already have the right people? Here’s a hint: if you’re already using dedicated software testers (and not business analysts or developers), then you’re on the right track. If not, you’ll likely need to consider recruiting and developing a team of detail-oriented, professional testers.
Regardless of who’s testing your software, though, an objective assessment should always be your first step towards improvement. It’s often the only way to truly know if you have the right people or not—and is, in our opinion, an essential component of the improvement process. In fact, our very own True North Testing Assessment includes an attitude/aptitude assessment and in-depth skills testing to determine whether your existing personnel have the right mindset, intangibles, and skillset to consistently deliver high-quality results on time and on schedule.
Once you know you have the right people in place, then you can start looking into the processes and tools that will equip and empower them to do their jobs better. Putting those “sexy” things second isn’t always going to be a popular opinion in the boardroom, either. Everyone wants the magic bullet—even if it doesn’t exist.
Just remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day—it was built over time by hard-working, well-trained people. A high-quality testing department couldn’t be any more similar.
Just steer clear of any CIOs named Nero…