7 Values of Test Workshop
Building Team Test Strategy Beyond Pass/Fail
Managing a test team is an intricate balancing act. You need to mitigate constant changes throughout the development lifecycle and deliver precise measurements to ensure product safety and performance. You also must manage these targets while fostering the growth trajectory and goals for your team. All the while, budgets and timelines are tighter than ever before. When was the last time your manager recommended an increase of budget without being asked multiple times? We’re willing to bet it’s been a while.
Though you know—and we know—the immense value your team brings to the organization, it can be a challenge to demonstrate everything you bring to the table to leadership. This is where being able to clearly define your test strategy becomes essential.
Best-in-class teams don’t just build test stations. Instead of being seen as a cost center, they flip that perception and optimize towards being a value center worth investing in. Everyone working together understands the strategy and what they’re building towards. Can you say that about your team? If you’re struggling to come up with an answer—don’t worry. While clearly explaining your test strategy may seem like a tall order, it can be as easy as starting a candid conversation.
This guided workshop will get your team discussing goals to optimize towards and best practices to get there.
The ability to articulate the business value that a test organization could deliver was critical. In this case, we could forecast the exponential development and sustaining costs in line with increased product complexity. A vision of breaking the relationship between product complexity and test-system cost provided executive buy-in.
Neil Evans Senior Manager, Philips
- Introduction: 5 minutes
- 7 Values Origami: 35 minutes
- Prioritizing Values: 15 minutes
- Test Profile Quiz: 10 minutes
- Discuss Initiatives: 10 minutes
- Closing Statements: 5 minutes
Total: 90 Minute Workshop
- Meeting space large enough to allow your entire test team to break out into small groups
- Origami paper
- A copy of NI’s Test Strategy Workshop Guide for every participant
- Laptops/mobile devices
The goal for the next hour and a half is to facilitate open conversations about your team’s strengths and weaknesses. There are no wrong answers, only learning opportunities. We’ll look at the pressures you face, what you’re best at, what success means, and the best way to measure it. And we’ll do all of that while making some origami projects!
Let’s get started.
The 7 Values of Test
In your workshop packet, you’ll see seven easy origami projects. Each is associated with a different test strategy value.
Take five minutes for each value/origami, and as you’re folding, discuss the following questions for each value with your team:
- If this value increases, how does it put pressure on the team? What processes would it impact?
- If your team was really good at this value, would the rest of the organization see that? Would they care?
- How do you measure this value?
Categorizing Your Values
Now that you’ve created and discussed the values, it’s time to categorize them. On the table/workspace in front of you, have each team member drop their origami shapes into these three buckets:
Do this without looking at your peers. After you’ve placed your values within the three categories, glance around the room.
- Did you place them in similar buckets to your peers?
- What stands out to you?
Discuss the similarities and differences in how the team sees the seven values.
Take Our Test Profile Quiz
Once you know what your team sees as priorities, distinctions, and distractions, see how your results compare to others in your industry. Take our online test profile quiz and see what best practices for your industry might be a priority, distinction, and distraction. Does your team have similar results?
Concentrate on Your Distinctions
In the final minutes of your time together, focus on distinctions. Each value you have set as a possible distinction for the organization is an opportunity to rise above your competitors. Break into small groups surrounding each value you’ve set as a distinction and talk about how you could be optimizing your strategy toward excelling at delivering it. Use the information provided in the test profile quiz to assist your teams, along with your own ideas. This is where your innovative team of experts can shine.
As you wrap up today’s conversations, it’s important to keep the momentum beyond this hour and a half. Make sure to document the ideas the groups came up with to optimize the values set as distinctions. Being able to demonstrate your team’s ability to prioritize what makes your product the best in the field will not only give your team members a boosted sense of purpose but also make a strong case for leadership to invest in additional resources.
Check out our Designed to Perform report, which reveals how companies across multiple industries are leveraging advanced data strategies to reach new heights and build better products.
Just for Fun!
A mechanical engineer, electronics engineer, and software engineer were testing a new car…
And going down a hill, the brakes start to fail. They careened down the street, screeching around the corners, narrowly missing cliff faces and sheer drops until they finally came to a grassy bank.
“That was close!” the electrical engineer said. “I’ve got a little tester in my pocket; I’ll go and check that it’s not the ABS sensors sending false signals.”
“Good idea,” the mechanical engineer said. “I’ve got a Swiss Army knife. I’ll try bleeding the brakes a bit to see if there’s any air in them.”
“Hey, wait a minute,” the software engineer said. “Before we do anything, I think we should try going back up the hill to see if we can recreate the problem.”
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