Blog Feed Post

Top 10 Tips for Improving Software Testing Communication

Do you spend too much time sitting in meetings providing or receiving status updates? Does your testing team receive a ton of emails and calls and meeting invites? Does your team provide a ton of detail to stakeholders, but they still don’t seem to be on the same page? Here are ten tips for improving software testing communication.

10 tips for improving software testing communication

1. Deliver More Context

You need to increase the amount of context you deliver. Shared understanding comes from context. Whether you are speaking or writing, you need to provide more context in the form of:

  • Supporting visuals
  • Important details
  • Relevant history
  • Communication/meeting purpose
  • Requested action

In the context of software testing, these would be things such as:

  • Reports
  • Up-to-date requirements
  • Environment details
  • Screen captures
  • Steps to reproduce the defect

Studies show that only 7% of information communicated comes from the actual words we say. The other 93% of communicated information comes through how we say the words. For example, non-verbal cues, tone of voice, context, and feedback.

These findings of are somewhat controversial. The one thing we can all agree on is that whether we are speaking or writing, we often misunderstand one another. This ineffective communication results in more meetings, calls, and emails. Context reduces the number of calls, meetings, and emails required.

2. Broadcast changes

You need to create a process for broadcasting changes to all stakeholders. A lot of misunderstanding stems from the fast-paced nature of our work environment.

In software testing, these would be things such as:

  • Requirement changes
  • Test Case changes
  • Deployment checklists

3. Standardized note-taking

Some people are great note-takers; but, most people are bad note-takers. The bottom line is you cannot count on people to store notes in written form or in memory. You need to create a process for capturing the details of each communication. The process should include storing them in a central location.

4. Simplify project onboarding

Team members and stakeholders often change during the testing lifecycle. A repository of communication helps new members get up to speed. Luckily, this shouldn’t be too difficult if you have a process in place for tip number three!

5. Communicate where people live

If you want people to hear your message, find a way to deliver it via the tools people use every day. Expecting people to log in to your tool or a new tool is not a good plan. Have your communication reach the tools that individual stakeholders use.

The same is true for your testing team. Have messages that come from other teams delivered via the testing tools your team uses. Your team will spend a lot less time looking for information.

6. Ensure there is an open channel of communication

Your testers should make updates about their findings and progress. That way stakeholders remain aware of what they need to be doing. Your testing team will be better informed and able to spend more time testing.

7. Stop emailing

I know I’m preaching to the choir, but stop emailing your team and stakeholders about projects. Email is a horrible way to communicate. Only a little more than half of people were able to learn the correct context and meaning of email.

Studies found that humans overestimate an email receiver’s ability to determine context. When we lack this context, we often fill in the gaps with stereotypes and faulty guesses.

Research has found that only half of your employees open internal communication emails. If you want your message understood, you should find another channel than email.

8. Create a Working Meeting Policy

Your meetings tend to have a lot of very smart and capable people in them. Start using meeting time for progressing your projects. Make status updates before the meeting in a channel that is more effective.

9. Give Your Bosses What They Want

In general bosses and high-level stakeholders don’t like surprises. Create a process for supplying the context they need so you don’t have to rely on meetings. Reports tracking capacity, dependencies, and progress against plan will ensure high-level stakeholders are comfortable.

10. Reinforce Important Items

Reinforce your important messages often if you want to keep keep them top of mind. For a person to commit a message to memory, they must hear it often. This goes for important details like changing requirements and higher-level messages.

Research has found that as teams grow beyond twenty members, collaboration decreases. Teams that are in different departments, regions, and roles further decrease collaboration. Enterprise software teams have people in different departments, regions, and roles.

That same research found that reinforcing the goal of working together improved large global team communication. It is critical that you do reinforce important items for large projects with multiple teams.


I hope this article has inspired you to take a closer look at how your team communicates. Communication is the springboard for improving enterprise software testing, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out this webinar to learn how to improve software testing.

The post Top 10 Tips for Improving Software Testing Communication appeared first on Plutora.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Plutora Blog

Plutora provides Enterprise Release and Test Environment Management SaaS solutions aligning process, technology, and information to solve release orchestration challenges for the enterprise.

Plutora’s SaaS solution enables organizations to model release management and test environment management activities as a bridge between agile project teams and an enterprise’s ITSM initiatives. Using Plutora, you can orchestrate parallel releases from several independent DevOps groups all while giving your executives as well as change management specialists insight into overall risk.

Supporting the largest releases for the largest organizations throughout North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, Plutora provides proof that large companies can adopt DevOps while managing the risks that come with wider adoption of self-service and agile software development in the enterprise. Aligning process, technology, and information to solve increasingly complex release orchestration challenges, this Gartner “Cool Vendor in IT DevOps” upgrades the enterprise release management from spreadsheets, meetings, and email to an integrated dashboard giving release managers insight and control over large software releases.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...