For testers, it can feel impossible to satisfy every stakeholder in an IT organization. AI, the use of robotics and the importance of security introduce new complications to this enduring problem.
Stakeholders, in testing, are a diverse group that includes senior managers, program and project managers, Scrum masters, developers, engineers and architects, operations professionals, product owners and business analysts. However, testers should champion the customer first. Your primary stakeholder in testing is the people who purchase, license or use the organizations' products and services.
Software testers face challenges as they try to deal with these emerging technologies and increase quality and velocity simultaneously, optimize test automation, streamline and improve test processes, and minimize risk. Testers must manage stakeholder expectations -- as well as their own -- to overcome these challenges effectively.
In 2020, the challenge of managing stakeholder expectations will increase in both complexity and importance as new test techniques enhance QA processes and mitigate risk. This software testing trend takes on importance as new technologies take hold and as QA acts as a waypoint between development and release.
As digital transformation becomes critical for all organizations, and the need for speed grows, testers will implement risk-based testing and artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to manage business expectations of finished software products. At the same time, they must work with Agile and DevOps stakeholders to instill the importance of quality as a team-wide responsibility.
Stakeholder expectations can clash, which adds to the complexity of the job on the tester's part. Lead the charge with communication and collaboration skills. Step into the shoes of each stakeholder, especially those with conflicting expectations, to work out the best strategy to meet the highest-priority demands. If they can handle this challenge effectively, testers will lead collaboration and work to find creative answer to a variety of IT problems.
Gerie Owen is a senior test manager at Cubic Transportation Systems.