that if she has come up through the testing ranks, and has been a tester, to not jump in when her people start floundering, what kind of advice could you give to her when she wants to just go in and do it herself?
Johanna: Oh, the first thing is don't do that. The second thing is understand what kind of a problem do you have. There is a problem here if you think you can't get the testing done with the people you have. And, first you need to understand is there a problem. Is this your problem or is it your test group's problem? One of the things that you want to find out is, are people comfortable with their progress? Do they think that they are going to finish the stuff that they have to do on time? All that stuff. Make sure that you really actually do have a problem. If someone comes to you and says, "I don't know how to test this thing," the best thing you can do for them is to coach them through a way for them to figure out how to do it. If you say to them, "Oh, you do this first, that second and this third," they have not learned anything.
Johanna: But if you say to them, let's talk about how you can approach this particularly thing...Say you are testing the performance of a Web site. Say you have a junior tester who comes to you and says, "I don't know how to test performance of a Web site." So, you say--when you are testing performance, there is kind of the fixed performance and then there are all of the variables. Let's talk about what are the things that are fixed that would affect performance, and what are all the variables that would affect performance. You can then go from there and go with the next set of questions and get them to really start thinking through it so they have a chance of being able to do this again without you.
Carol: Right. Excellent advice. And we will be back with more of Johanna Rothman and Test Management 101 after these messages...Welcome back to Quality Plus! E-Talk. I am Carol Dekkers, and my guest this week has been Johanna Rothman. I cannot believe that we are in our final segment before we wrap up. I have a million questions to ask Johanna. The thing that I really like about you, Johanna, is that you make things easy to understand.
Johanna: Thank you very much.
Carol: You're not, kind of bowling me over with these huge words and things. One of the things that I am dying to find out is that you mentioned something about good enough testing right at the very beginning of the show. And that you maybe you would prevent from shipping, that a tester could prevent from shipping. I am just dying to know what is good enough testing and what is good enough quality, and how would anybody ever decide that.
Johanna: That's a big question, so let me break it down into a couple pieces. First of all, good enough quality is really that level of quality appropriate for the product. Ed Yourdon and James Bach have done a lot of writing about good enough quality. The way I have taken that is that I have tried to say that there are a whole bunch of project requirements and project constraints for any given project, especially in the commercial world. There is the ship date, there are the