Thursday, May 30, 2013

Test management for Lean extremists


I get grey hairs with Lean enthusiasts, or better yet extremists. I'm concerned about their obsession to see "waste" everywhere and remove it, "waste" being any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer. Quite often these people target testing activities too. By over-simplifying these activities Lean extremists justify the elimination of them.

Usually they do a half-ass job. So I, or actually Michael Bolton has created a test management process for these poor people.

Everything started from the Twitter discussion between me and Michael a while back:

Michael gave me an elegant answer, which I formed into a flowchart:

So, there are basically three paths to three different conclusions:

  • You have reached a fallible confidence that you know enough about the product. 
  • You understand that you must test more.
  • You are insane.

Simple, elegant and lean as hell. Peace out!



  1. Hi Sami,

    Nice :)

    Although I kind of feel that answering yes to "Are you SURE you know everything you'd prefer to know about the product?" would count for insane as well.. "Do you think that you know ENOUGH about the product to make a decision", might sound a bit more reasonable, or what would you say?

    I read a quote sometime ago somewhere that went approximately "Innovation requires waste" (I think it might have been Matt Wynne or Vasco Duarte, but could not confirm it from google). I don't fully understand it, but kind of like it anyhow.

    1. Thanks for your comments Anssi!

      Answering yes to "Are you SURE you know everything you'd prefer to know about the product?" can lead to many conclusions. Insanity is one. Ignorance is one. But I preferred fallible confidence. Sometimes you have stop and reaching information objective or preferred level of knowledge is one reason for that. Not a perfect one, but will do until better is found. I feel that your option follows these values. ;)

      I like "Innovation requires waste" too, and would very much like to know more about the thinking behind it. I worry that people who are obsessed on removing "waste" will "throw out the baby with the bathwater". They don't seem to grasp the idea that testing involves immense amounts of learning and producing information value.

      Well, good testing does. ;)

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