2010 – 2011 Global Survey – Manager’s Survey

Michael Hackett looks at questions posed to managers in the final installment of our 2010-2011 Global Survey results.

When I created this survey, I expected that the vast majority of respondents would be testers, QA analysts (staff who execute tests), and leads. It surprised me to learn that over a quarter of the respondents were managers – QA managers, test managers, etc. Fortunately, I had anticipated that enough managers would respond that I provided a few survey questions geared specifically toward that group. This is the final installment of our 2010-2011 Global Survey. The full survey results may be downloaded from: https://www.logigear.com/magazine/category/issue/survey/

 

1. What phase or aspect of development do you feel the test team at your company does not understand? (you may select multiple answers)

Response

Percent

Response

Count

Schedule necessities and pressure25%6
That the test team is not uniquely responsible for assuring (guaranteeing) quality58.3%14
How to measure their test effort41.7%10
How to communicate their test effort25%6
How to choose good coverage metrics25%6
How to analyze and assign risk and priority54.2%13

Analysis: The fact that the assertion, “the test team is not uniquely responsible for assuring (guaranteeing) quality”, is deemed by respondents to be the least understood by the test team is not surprising. I hear this very often in my consulting work. This reveals that many people incorrectly think the test team (often the least technically trained, the least paid, and whose work most often occurs at too late a stage to make real change) is responsible for quality. This is compounded by the fact that many people do not know the difference between testing, QC/validation, V&V and QA. There is a long way to go to get the message across that test teams are just one part of releasing a quality product.

It is also important to note risk analysis is the number 2 answer. Risk and risk analysis are being talked about more and more in software projects these days. What is not evident is that “talk of risk” has any meaning to real project change.

 

2. How do you define success in training?

Response

Percent

Response

Count

Generally higher job performance47.8%11
Greater employee satisfaction0%0
Skill development, absorption of new state-of-the-practice34.8%8
More efficient/shorter test cycles17.4%4
New/more task execution for specific learned skill0%0

 

3. How do you and/or your staff normally get trained for the job?

Response

Percent

Response

Count

The company provides classes with outside instructors28%7
The company reimburses for outside classes20%5
The company provides internal staff training40%10
The company provides for no training of testers12%3

 

4. Does your group have a test team training budget?

Response

Percent

Response

Count

Yes64%16
No36%9

Analysis: It is remarkable that such a high number of companies have no test team training budget. Training, especially continuous training, is crucial to every aspect of work, from effective task execution to job satisfaction.

 

5. What types of training have you and/or your group taken within the last two years? (you may select multiple answers)

Response

Percent

Response

Count

Programming language20.8%5
Test productivity/management tool41.7%10
Automation tool54.2%13
Test methodology79.2%19
Test or project process (Agile, RUP, IT governance, etc.)41.7%10

Analysis: It’s encouraging to see the emphasis on methodology and not just on tool training.

 

6. Do you get all the training you need? If no, why not? (Duplicate responses removed)

Response

Percent

Response

Count

Yes32%8
No68%17

Representative sample of responses:

  • “Time, We have a small test team that is always busy!”
  • “Time to train means taking time from doing work.”
  • “Budget”
  • “Low budget”
  • Analysis: That close to 70% of teams do not get the
  • training they need is surprising since there are so many methods of training available!

Also, 15 out of 17 responses to the question, “Why not?”, said they were lacking in time and/or budget. Management needs to realize that the investment of time and money in training increases efficiency, and effectiveness, ultimately saving more time and money down the road.

 

7. Does your group share intelligence with other test groups on testing methods, techniques and the effective use of testing tools?

Response

Percent

Response

Count

Yes75%18
No25%6

Analysis: One of the easiest forms of training is teams sharing methods, tools and practices across their own organization. This response ought to be 100% “Yes”.

 

8. Does your company have a documented career growth plan?

Response

Percent

Response

Count

No, it’s up to the individual41.7%10
Yes, the company has a career growth plan for testers58.3%14

Analysis: It’s troubling that 41% of respondents answered “No”. A lack of career plan hurts morale and retention.

 

9. Do you plan career development for your offshore/outsourcing team?

Response

Percent

Response

Count

We provide more training than for the team at home20%4
We provide the same amount of training as for the team at home25%5
We provide less training than for the team at home10%2
That team’s career development is not our responsibility45%9

Analysis: That almost half the respondents answered #4 is a clear problem for retention, productivity and effectiveness of offshore/outsourcing teams. This is a problem for the home team.

LogiGear Corporation

LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software-testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast and cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with hundreds of companies from the Fortune 500 to early-stage startups, creating unique solutions to exactly meet their needs. With facilities in the US and Vietnam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.

For more information, contact Joe Hughes + 01 650.572.1400

LogiGear Corporation
LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast, cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with Fortune 500 companies to early-stage start-ups in, creating unique solutions to meet their clients’ needs. With facilities in the US and Viet Nam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.

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