Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Processes, Best Practises and Open Ended Questions...


Recently I had attended one automation test conference in Pune...Of Course it was sponsored by my employer...;-)
This conference talked a lot about test automation frameworks and associated best practises. It has also one session on test process maturity and test process review measurements.

Initial Thought Process
I was very happy to listen to all these best practises and talks on how test organization can review and improve on its test management processes. But when I started to draw an analogy with the current processes and automation work I was doing...I surprised to see that we are not following any standard guidelines, best practises of automation and still all of our projects are successful to this date. This started triggering lots of questions like why there is an hype in using Best Practises in IT, why there's so much emphasize on test process improvements even though its not being followed nor even suited to most of the projects context...

Discussion and Findings

I started looking out for answers and so talked to different people in the test field just to get an idea of how they have/are implementing/following the standard test guidelines for given automation or implementing test process. Did they really find it useful or they found its outdated and no longer applicable to current testing requirements/projects? I looked for the answers for "why are they using these guidelines?" and got a loud answer saying "These are being standard practises based upon experience of other projects". Few of them followed these blindly even though they were not knowing why should they follow it. Few of them said its compliance for effective test project management so they followed the suite. That was a poor answer!
Few of the folks has not followed the same path. They tweaked the processes as per their requirements and needs and completed the delivery on time. That's smart approach they used. Those are the people who believes in project context and application of processes as per its needs. I am trying to get more details how to do this and will have a post on this soon.

Open Questions:

  • How do I know what is best suited practise for my current assignment?
  • Whats definition of Best Practises? Does it help me in long run?
  • Which process/skills will make my project successful?

Final Thought[Still looking for inputs to complete it...]

Change is the constant keyword which applies to Life and so is to software development and testing. I am not sure how these so called best practises will help us to do better software development as ways to build software's development and testing are changing frequently.

Do you have any better input?