• Author
  • #15926

    In most discussions I have with testers the emphasis is that testing is about reporting on (or even improving) quality. In this I miss an essential point: testing is at least as much about building trust.
    The user has to trust the product works as advertised and the organisation has to trust the product is sufficiently checked to hold no nasty surprises.
    Building that trust is key to a successful testing engagement.
    So I notice I spend more time building relations and trust, sometimes to the extent that I spend less time actually testing.
    I also notice that when there is not sufficient attention to building trust the testing can be done brilliantly – but the results are still not really accepted by the organisation.
    Do you recognise this and how do you go about building trust?


    Absolutely – many testing testing contexts are much more about trust and confidence. Testing can be to the letter and yet still fair to satisfy the customer. I recently had a project that was much more about the ability to be able to test, that the test results.

    One angle is on clear expectatiUons and always building trust (an ABC motto of mine). Frequently I had to refer to the contract, and to written agreements. But as you mention the test management is much more about managing expectations and people. A test coach angle perhaps  https://jlottosen.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/shift-coach/

    A few times I have experienced one “tone” in writing and one tone in person. Perhaps one solution in some contexts are to call them out on it, .. gently. Alternatively escalate.. not that management eskalation in itself is a good tool.


    @michaelbolton reminded me:


    But trust and confidence are not really the same thing, are they?

    trust: to believe that someone is good and honest and will not harm you, or that something is safe and reliable:

    confidence: the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future:
    (source: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english)

    So, although I immediately believe that someone with the standing of Michael Bolton will not have to spend a lot of time building trust, a mere mortal like myself does need to spend time to build trust.

    On the other hand: I am not in the business of giving developers (self)confidence or taking it away for that matter – I am there to assess the quality of software and to be able to do my job I need trust (the good and honest part for me as a person – and the safe and reliable part for the tests, test results and tested software).


    Good one @kasper!

    Going round and challenging people and concepts is tricky indeed. Trust between people is fundamental for challenges to be handled. Trust the people, challnge the solution perhaps 🙂

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.