Principle 2: Purpose — Why are we building this product and who are we building it for?

Melissa Fisher
2 min readJun 4, 2023

This is the second in the series of my 6 themed testing principles. To recap the themes are— risk, purpose, empathy, role, visibility and learning.

A mindmap of my Testing Principles

No mention of project goals

I often notice that Test strategies or Test plans that other people write have no mention of what the project goals are or who we are building for. If we are to be relevant in our projects we need to ensure we refer back to our project goals and who we are building for. We are there to help the project achieve those goals and point out any risks associated to those. See the first in the series > principle-1-looking-at-the-bigger-picture-with-risk.

Feedback from the customer — This is not what we wanted.

Once I was working as a test manager across several teams. There was a particular team that worked on a feature for three or more months. What was interesting was when they shipped it to the customer the customer said “this is not what we wanted".

I believe this happens more than we know and is why there is an urgency to get quick feedback from our users to assess if we are building the right thing for them.

In my experience, I have noticed we waste too much time working in the wrong direction. This would simply be solved by getting feedback earlier.

How we can help

We can help by being there at the start of projects. Either as a test manager or a test engineer and ask two simple questions:

  1. Why are we building this?
  2. Who are we building this for?

This not only gets team members thinking about the answers to these questions, but it also allows you to gain greater understanding earlier, so you don’t have to play catch up later on.

Overall, I would recommend referring back to the project goals often and review them as a team.

Are you doing what you set out to do?

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading the second in the series. The next one will be about empathy and how we need to demonstrate empathy with our customers, colleagues and stakeholders.



Melissa Fisher

Thinking outside the box and disrupting people's thinking.