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Showing posts from September, 2019

Of What? To Who? When?

Fiona Charles ran a workshop on business risk analysis for my team at Linguamatics last week. Across the day we covered risk-based testing , how it can help with prioritisation, and how it is often overlooked as a factor in test design. We also looked at how the presentation of risks and their potential impact to someone who matters can be a way to engage stakeholders in the testing effort. Hopefully, this would in turn encourage contribution to activities such as test idea generation, triage, and attempts to mitigate risk elsewhere during design and development. Stakeholders often expect a level of testing we can't deliver. (Fiona Charles) The approach to risk assessment that Fiona outlined has some similarity to a pre-mortem . Essentially: assume the system has been implemented then look for ways in which it could go wrong. It's important to understand who the relevant stakeholders are — they are more than just your users — and to solicit diverse perspectives in you

Listening with Jerry

The other week, I tweeted this: I want to make a list of @JerryWeinberg recordings. I've found around 35 so far, mostly interviews from podcasts and youtube. If you know of any, or any existing lists, can you send me links? I'll share the whole list when I've curated and tidied it. The response was bigger than I expected so I put a very quick and dirty list on this page initially. I've now replaced it with a Google spreadsheet: Jerry Weinberg Recordings If you know of other recordings, please tell me via Twitter or in the comments here. Thanks! Image: Agile.FM via Pinterest

Don't No

We've all been there: frustrated by a request from a stakeholder for what we take to be significant new work without regard for the scale of it, the time it would take, or the current backlog. Recently, a colleague in that situation and ready to scream "NOOOOO!!!!" asked for my advice. What I said boiled down to this: Step back and think of at least three ways that the request could be interpreted. Sketch rough ideas for how you could do each of them, at what cost, with what compromises.  Share them with your stakeholder to clarify their desires and help them to guide the next steps. This is essentially Jerry Weinberg's  rule of three  and orange juice test  so I claim no great novelty here. What I do claim is that I feel a lot better when I follow these steps than when I instinctively reject some request based on poor assumptions and no conversation, landing myself in a needlessly defensive position. P.S. just to make this harder, don't forg

You Can Tidy the Data

This week Sime suggested  Tidy Data by Hadley Wickham  for the Test team book club: A huge amount of effort is spent cleaning data to get it ready for analysis, but there has been little research on how to make data cleaning as easy and effective as possible. This paper tackles a small, but important, component of data cleaning: data tidying. Tidy datasets are easy to manipulate, model and visualize, and have a specific structure: each variable is a column, each observation is a row, and each type of observational unit is a table.  Messy data needn't be bad data, but it might not be in a format that makes it easy to process. Many tables used for data presentation will contain implicit variables, such as person or result in the table here: If you've ever generated, aggregated, or inherited data of any scale for analysis you're almost certainly already familiar with the basic ideas. You've probably also done informally, with much cursing, copy-pasting, and

Lego My Ego

The Line. As a model there's not much simpler than a single horizontal line but, for Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Klemp, it's sufficient in any quest to become a more conscious leader: at any given moment, a person is either above the line and conscious , or below it and unconscious .  In their book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership , they elaborate. Being above the line means being open, curious, and committed to learning while being below it means being closed, defensive, and committed to being right. To operate above the line is to have a By Me state of mind (to take responsibility for being in any situation, to let go of blame) while below it is To Me (to believe that external factors caused the situation, to have a "victim consciousness"). Above the line leads to healthy and trusting relationships while below the line leads to toxic and fear-based relationships. Shane Parrish, interviewing Dethmer on the Knowledge Project podcast , sug