Testing Principles 2.0

Melissa Fisher
2 min readNov 19, 2022

A while ago I wrote some testing principles and routinely, I want to review and adjust them. I read a very interesting post by Keith Klain that mentioned on the lines of relating our testing back to business risk and another point about understanding the commercial implications of testing. The LinkedIn post is here.

It dawned on me that neither of these things are in my testing principles, which I had to start to rectify as they are both important points. So as it’s a major change to one of the principles, I am upgrading it to 2.0

I need a principle on the lines of risk.

One of our goals is to find risks that impact the business, operations, project, product and quality attributes.

Examples of each

Business — As a company you breach the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and as a result the company has to pay about £18 million or 4% annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

Operations — The project did not include testing professionals early enough, so lots of bugs were found late in the project that required lots of rework to be done. This pushed the schedule back and more funding was needed to continue.

Project — Lots of changing requirements or schedule problems (lack of people with the right skills or wrong time estimation).

Product — Dependencies between areas of the product were not known, so lots of bugs are introduced to production.

Quality attributes — The product is not accessible, usable, performant, secure or capable…(more here you could add).

Testing Principles 101

So the update to the Testing Principles to help guide our testing, include the following:

1. One of our goals is to find risks that impact the business, operations, project, product and quality attributes.

2. We understand why we are building a product, what we are building and who we are building for.

3. Testing is built upon empathy for our customers, stakeholders and colleagues.

4. We believe testing is an activity of cognitive thought and experience and cannot be replaced by tools even though it can be helped by them.

5. Making our testing visible to others is an objective of ours.

6. We continuously learn from what is happening in our production environments, so that we can make informed decisions on how to improve.

Note: These principles are ever evolving. I will continue to mould them as I go along.

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Melissa Fisher

Thinking outside the box and disrupting people's thinking.