So, click the link below and read the post... no seriously, it's required reading for what I have to say. (Ok, if you want you can start at the line prior to the 2 bullet points about half-way down the screen -- the backstory is optional reading)
Metrics, Ethics, & Context-Driven Testing (Part 2)
Did you read it? No? I mean it. Go. Read. I'll wait.
Ok, back now? Good.
Selected quotes (yes, out of context, which is why I made a big deal about you reading the post for yourself first):
- Testing is an important activity, but it is a small piece of a much larger network of activities.
- Testers don’t manage the broader network. We provide information for use by other stakeholders in that network. Those stakeholders have the responsibility and the right to determine what information they will find most useful.
- Executives are Entitled and Empowered to Choose their Metrics
- The fact that there is no collection of metrics that will do this perfectly (or even terribly well) doesn’t eliminate the need. Without a better alternative, managers will do the best they can with what they’ve got.
This is nothing short of solid gold. Couldn't have said it better myself (and in fact wish I had said it myself!)
- ...when it comes to testers or consultants offering a “better alternative”, every executive has both the right and the responsibility to decide which alternative is the better one for her or his situation.
Ah, but there is something I'd like to "say myself," and that is:
- represent "the Business"
- and thus Executives decide what does and does not provide "Business Value"
- more or less -- Boards of Directors, Shareholders, Investors may be involved, but the entire reason that there *are* Executives in those cases is so that those folks don't *have* to be involved in the day-to-day affairs... you get the idea
- have the RIGHT to choose their Metrics
- have the (professional and ethical) RESPONSIBILITY to use those Metrics with integrity
- serve the Executives
- at least during their term of employment
- accept that Executives decide what does and does not provide "Business Value"
- whether or not they know what that value is or agree that "it" is valuable
- and thus are reasonably expected to provide the data and/or metrics requested by Executives
- presuming the data/metric comes from actual "stuff"... I am *not* suggesting fabricating data/metrics is ok
- have the RIGHT to propose alternative data/metrics
- have the (professional and ethical) RESPONSIBILITY to provide the relevant context related to requested data/metrics
- TRUST that Executives will use the data/metrics with integrity
- else, I personally recommend that you commence looking for a new job immediately, if not sooner
Failing to trust "the Business" (without a *good* reason -- like catching an Executive "cooking the books") does NOT add Business Value...
... but that is a topic for another time.
This is one of a series of posts related to various aspects of delivering Business Value throughout the entire product lifecycle for products that are, contain, and/or utilize software. Many posts specifically relate to software testing. To date, other posts in this series include:
Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus, Inc.
Director, Computer Measurement Group
Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications
Author, Web Load Testing for Dummies
Contributing Author, Beautiful Testing, and How To Reduce the Cost of Testing
"If you can see it in your mind...
you will find it in your life."