Often, as a tester we can be too focused on the technology, the business requirements, the design, the data, the use cases, the user workflows/stories and the like.
When a new product is about to be built, we should ask ourselves “What ‘claims’ and ‘value adds’ are we are making about this new product?”
Does this not seem like the number one thing we should be concerned about testing? Should this not drive your testing efforts? I believe it should.
Whenever a new product or service goes to market, there are always the big marketing splashes:
- “Faster than any other product on the market”
- “Increases productivity of users by 50%”
- “Allows collaboration of various entities for ease of operation”
- “Integrates seamlessly with various other tools”
Yadda, Yadda, Yadda
Marketing messages and sales claims should be the major drivers for testing. These messages can also lead to other ‘value adds’ as well that aren’t explicitly stated or even implied. How can these claims be made without testing them explicitly?
Before testing commences, there should be consultations with senior level management, product managers, marketing and sales about how we are going to validate these statements and claims and prove the value add statements! Also, what do they really mean? What are specific metrics?
Think of it as a pyramid or a flowchart of some sort. Each ‘value add’ statement should be at the top. As you work your way down, you can get more involved and detailed about specifics like business requirements, technology/tools, use cases, etc. But they should all lead back to each of the value adds defined for the feature.
These should drive your test efforts and be your main focus. Should we be focused on finding bugs? Yes. Should you validate business requirements? Yes. Should you validate the design, write up various tests and test cases, Yes, Yes, Yes. But all of those are secondary, if it is not as fast as we said it would be, does not increase productivity like we said it would, does not integrate seamlessly, or does not help users collaborate with each other easier.
Thinking of these, will help keep you focused on what matters, and not simply how many testcases are passing/failing.