SHARE INFORMATION

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Pattern summary

Ask for and give information to managers, developers, other testers and customers.

Category

Process

Context

This pattern is appropriate when you have to communicate with management, testers or developers, and when you have new people coming onto the team.
This pattern is not appropriate when you are working alone on issues that you have already mastered completely.

Description

There are many people who are involved with test automation, and they have different needs for what they need to know. But they won't know about things unless they are told, so you need to share relevant information with them at appropriate times.

Implementation

Some suggestions:

  • Keep management informed about the progress of the test automation project. Find out what metrics they need, explain which can be easily collected and which not, and provide regular overviews in a format that is most appropriate for them
  • To explain technical contents to non-technical persons (managers, users) it can be quite useful to use analogies. Think for example how using the word virus to describe certain types of computer malware lets anybody immediately understand the problem (Suggested by Albert-Jan van Blaaderen at TAD 2019).
  • Have managers tell you what they specifically expect from test automation. In this way you can notice quickly if they have UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS and can inform them accordingly
  • Speak with other people about what you are doing: explaining something often leads to new ideas, yours or the people you are talking with
  • ASK FOR HELP when you have a problem or a question: you should never ponder too long on some issue, other people may have already solved just the same thing
  • Listen to testers or developers. Ask why they do something and why they do it as they do. If you find out what they really need, you can support them even better than you were planning
  • Ask developers to keep you informed when they make changes to the Software Under Test (SUT) that affect test automation
  • After you have obtained some concrete results, CELEBRATE SUCCESS
  • Speak also about your failures: people will be thankful if in that way they can LEARN FROM MISTAKES
  • A good way to share information in the team is to use a WHOLE TEAM APPROACH


Communication also includes reports, demonstrations, Wikis, notice boards etc. Use what is best known in your company.

Potential problems

Communication can easily be mis-interpreted, especially emails.
Communication needs to be at the right level for the recipient and tailored for the audience, or it will be ignored or worse.

Issues addressed by this pattern

CAN'T FIND WHAT I WANT
COMPLEX ENVIRONMENT
FALSE FAIL
HARD-TO-AUTOMATE
HIGH ROI EXPECTATIONS
INADEQUATE COMMUNICATION
INADEQUATE SUPPORT
INCONSISTENT DATA
INSUFFICIENT METRICS
KNOW-HOW LEAKAGE
LOCALISED REGIMES
NO INFO ON CHANGES
NON-TECHNICAL-TESTERS
OBSCURE MANAGEMENT REPORTS
SUT REMAKE
TOO EARLY AUTOMATION
UNAUTOMATABLE TEST CASES
HARD-TO-AUTOMATE RESULTS
UNMOTIVATED TEAM
UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Experiences

If you have used this pattern and would like to contribute your experience to the wiki, please go to Feedback to submit your experience or comment.


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