Communicating the Value of Testing to Management

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    Ronan Healy

    I have come across a few posts recently about how to communicate the value of testing to management that are not aware of how testing can add to the company.

    In a blog post Katrina Clokie pointed out a survey of executive management who said that protecting the corporate image was the most important testing priority.

    In one way I’m not surprised by this. But it got me thinking; has anyone ever had to make a presentation like this on the value of testing to management. If so, how did you go about it?

    Speaking from experience, what would you suggest should be included in any presentation and what should now.


    TestBash 3: How to Talk to a CIO About Software Testing (If You Really Have to…) – Keith Klain


    Very good question I think.

    To me, to communicate the value of testing to management *effectively* we should first to understand what is management’s assumption about value of testing. If they are having a set of value of testing mind, they may just want to hear what they want to hear. Now if we just want to please them, just find out what type of information they want to know and we provide them what they want.

    However, the harder part is to communicate the value of testing in the way you want them to understand. I think this is more about communication skill not just testing skill.

    Ronan Healy

    @rocky Yes it is a hard one. How do you communicate effectively with management in their language. I guess you have to look at what their bottom lines are and what they are focused on and work from there.

    It is easier said than done though. I’d be interested to hear any success stories anyone has had with this.

    Mark Kiernan

    Companies worry about cost, and unfortunately many companies change management a lot and this means that long term goals are sacrificed in order to achieve short term profits. This means that testing can be ignored. I think a good way to pitch the value of testing to companies is by examples. Show that dissatisfied customers are that many not return, this is a huge cost for the company, one that is caused by a faulty product or service. Testing provides a 99% insurance policy against this risk, as you will remove problems before they happen on the customer side.


    Hi Ronan,

    When communicating the value of testing to management I think the risks vs. costs are most important. Managers that are not aware of what testing means must be informed about the impact regarding the product delivery. Cost reduction is always a challenge for any project but it must be also taken into consideration the customer side. Testers must always communicate the value of testing for specific cases. E.g. investing money in one day of testing may find some bugs before a release and it avoids that cases when customers find the problems. The costs for this time (plus time needed for fixing the issue) will be smaller than money lost when the problem affects the users because affected customers may stop use the product.


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