Fiona Charles, Quality Intelligence

One-Day Class: Inspiring Testing

Monday, April 15, 2013: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM


A leader sets an example, inspires others to follow, and then to lead in their turn. You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader, but if you’re not a good leader, you can’t be a good manager. Inspiring testing means much more than just getting a team to follow you. It means fostering teamwork that will enhance the effectiveness of your whole project team. It means earning credibility for testing so that managers and fellow team members understand its value and the importance of the information your testing uncovers. You can shine as a test leader even if you are the only tester on your project team. In this class we will examine the key focus areas for test leaders, and work together to interactively identify the skills and personal qualities essential for exceptional test leadership. You will have a full day opportunity to assess your leadership aspirations and potential.

Course Objectives

Join this full day course to learn about your leadership aspirations and potential.

Attendees will learn:

  • The most important skills and qualities for a test leader
  • How they personally cope with a particular leadership challenge
  • How they can grow their test leadership skills

Course Outline

This full-day class consists entirely of experiential exercises and debriefs. Participants will work together on problem-solving exercises and participate in facilitated discussions about what they experienced and learned in the exercises.

Karen Johnson, Software Test Management, inc.

Half-Day Tutorial: Creative Techniques for Discovering Test Ideas

Tuesday, April 16, 2013: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Do you need constructive, practical, new ideas to approach testing? Join this interactive tutorial on discovering test ideas. Karen will explain how to use heuristics to find new ideas. After a brief discussion, you will apply and practice with a variety of heuristics. This tutorial also explores the use of the CIA’s tool, the Phoenix Checklist, a set of context-free questions to help you look at a problem or challenge from a fresh perspective. Karen will also review the use of brainstorming, and variations on brainstorming you can use with your team to approach testing in new ways. Come join a session designed to explore creative ways to strengthen your approach to testing.

  • Learn new techniques to discover test ideas
  • Discover how to use brainstorming to uncover test ideas
  • Practice brainstorming with context-focused questions and context-free questions to solve testing challenges

Richard Bechtold, PhD, Abridge Technology

Half-Day Tutorial: Top 10 Methods for Successful Process Improvement and Organizational Change

Tuesday, April 16, 2013: 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM


Understanding the importance of process improvement is not sufficient for ensuring successful organizational change. We must also overcome a variety of major challenges. This half-day tutorial provides an overview of critical challenges to process improvement and presents 10 key methods for pursuing and achieving successful organizational change. For example, an early and persistent challenge is that others, including many critical stakeholders, often do not see the value and necessity of process improvement. A highly effective method for addressing this challenge is to “choose your battles.” This includes understanding stakeholders, achieving insight into goals, resolving or minimizing goal conflicts, establishing reasonable progress waypoints, ensuring consistent interpretations of waypoint achievement, and effectively managing expectations. During this tutorial, this and other challenges will be presented and associated methods explained that can significantly improve efforts towards organizational change and improved mission and business success. Additional areas examined include: down-selecting improvement options, risk management, decision dynamics, leveraging world-class standards and frameworks, transparency and objectivity, emerging trends, and success-driven opportunity adoption.

  • Understand the critical challenges to process improvement and change management initiatives
  • Explore methods for overcoming those challenges
  • Practice applying new principals to the challenges within your own environment

James Campbell, Tulkita Technologies, Inc.

Presentation: Innovative QA: Remaining Relevant in Tomorrow’s IT

Wednesday, April 17, 2013: 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM


IT is changing drastically and so too must an organization’s test practice in order to remain relevant, up-to-date, and responsive to business needs. Emerging trends such as mobile, software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing and agile practices, to name a few, are transforming the landscape of IT organizations and how they must deliver their products and services. This session is ideal for those wishing to learn how to improve and innovate their testing to meet these challenges. Discover current and emerging trends impacting QA. Learn how companies and test practitioners alike are addressing these challenges and what must be done to make your testing more effective. Identify opportunities within your own organization, synthesize action plans, and equip yourself with the tools necessary to adopt change. Join James and discuss real-world lessons learned and common pitfalls to be avoided to deliver true value to your organization.

Mike Lyles, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Presentation: Building a Successful Test Center of Excellence

Wednesday, April 17, 2013: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


In this session, Mike will review a case study outlining the creation of a Test Center of Excellence within an IT organization. The study is informative for companies of various sizes and quality assurance maturity. He will describe how to form an initial testing center, steps taken to build a team, baselining the process, and methodology documentation. He will also cover initial metrics planned for reporting, the process involved in selecting the pilot business areas, and how to prepare the organization for the changes. Finally, you will be introduced to the many changes that an evolving testing team typically takes, the steps toward maturity, the processes used to build an onboarding roadmap, and socializing the benefits and value of the organization to other IT and business groups. Join Mike for a thorough overview of building a Test Center of Excellence.

Elizabeth Glaser, PhD, The Boeing CompanyJoyce Sattovia, The Boeing Company

Workshop: Virtually There: Being Heard When Not Seen in Teams

Wednesday, April 17, 2013: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Workshop Leader: ;

Technological advances allow individuals to work across time, space, and organizational boundaries in virtual teams, yet even with these advanced tools, communication can be our most challenging work. Being heard is of utmost importance to members of a virtual team, but just speaking does not assure the message is received. Teams that effectively bridge the distance gap have a clear competitive advantage with each new cost pressure a company experiences. This highly interactive session explores the challenges and barriers that current and future virtual team members encounter including how to keep virtual team members engaged and what to do to get team members to re-engage. Experiential activities will be conducted that bring concepts into clear focus through simulations that mirror the work environment. Participants will come to understand the impact their behavior and communication efforts can have on other virtual team members, and how they can help virtual teams to reach higher levels of productivity. Understanding and overcoming the roadblocks in effective communication in virtual teams increases productivity, effectiveness, motivation, and engagement.

  • Learn how to make the most of listening
  • Increase awareness of the difference between how virtual and face-to-face teams operate.
  • Find out how to deal more effectively with hybrid teams

Keith Klain, Barclays

Presentation: Creating Dissonance: Overcoming Organizational Bias toward Software Testing

Wednesday, April 17, 2013: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Overcoming organizational bias toward software testing can be a key factor in the success of your testing effort. A structured approach to identifying, understanding, and overcoming bias is not only possible, but integral to any successful enterprise testing strategy. In this session, Keith will describe the origins of organizational bias and what it means for your testing effort, including what the test team and the industry does, and doesn’t do, to support those perceptions. Keith will also explore what you can do to identify your particular organization’s bias toward testing, how it has evolved, evidence of those attitudes, and what you can do to change perceptions. Finally, Keith will share his successes and failures in navigating and running change programs focused on software testing and the obstacles he has encountered through those case studies.

Gretchen Henrich, LexisNexis

Bonus Session: Outsourced Test Skills: What Are You Doing to Stay Current?

Thursday, April 18, 2013: 7:45 AM - 8:15 AM


Have some or even most of your technical skills been outsourced? Do you feel like you are losing the skills that you have learned? How do you maintain those skills and even add to them when you aren’t practicing them regularly? Attend this presentation and you will leave with ideas on how to maintain or increase your skills by a variety of different methods. Try reading, for instance. This does not necessarily mean reading technical literature, which is always good, but also looking at other genre. For example, have you ever considered how reading a mystery is like testing software? How about working puzzles? A variety of puzzles and brain activities will be presented that will challenge you and get your brain moving. Finally, there will be a discussion among participants of ideas to maintain or increase skills. Is anyone researching tools? Has anyone signed up for a 30-day trial lately? What about crowd-sourcing – are you a member yet? Join Gretchen as she gives back by sharing the knowledge and experience that she has gathered over 30 years in the testing community.

Patricia A. Eglin, David Consulting Group

Presentation: Rescuing Troubled Projects

Thursday, April 18, 2013: 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM


Troubled projects have been part of the IT environment since the beginning. When a project is big enough to require a formal project turnaround rather than just jumping in to fix things, it is critical to recognize that the work to recover the troubled project is itself a project. Transparency is required to understand what is wrong and decisions must be made based on the certain knowledge of what has been completed. Once the project has been re-defined, re-estimated and re-planned, the project must then be focused on the newly agreed upon work to ensure that the new expectations are met. Combining agile management and testing techniques have proven to be a powerful method for addressing troubled projects by providing the intimacy and transparency that siloed techniques generally cannot. In this presentation, Patricia will lead you through the steps required to rescue a failing project.

Allyson Rippon, UBSKiruba Vijayaraghavan, Infosys

Presentation: The Standardization Journey: How to Centralize Your Testing Standards

Thursday, April 18, 2013: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Speakers: ;

In regulated environments, such as financial services, QA teams must be compliant to internal controls that are imposed to achieve external compliance rules. At the same time, stakeholders are expecting QA teams to deliver to a consistent standard irrespective of delivery process or technology. How can an organization consisting of globally distributed QA teams operating in a federated structure establish a standard that is compliant to internal regulatory controls? How can these same QA teams adopt a standard that provides consistency in stakeholder confidence despite of the variety of software delivery lifecycles, technologies, tools, and level of team autonomy? In this session, QA experts from UBS and Infosys share their experiences establishing a standard for testing activities across the organization. This included executing an independent assessment to internally baseline the adherence of QA teams to the testing standard. This presentation will show you how Allyson and Kiruba improved the brand image of testing across the organization

Elizabeth Glaser, PhD, The Boeing CompanyJoyce Sattovia, The Boeing Company

Workshop: The Key to Employee Engagement: Take Your Work, Not Yourself, Seriously

Thursday, April 18, 2013: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Workshop Leaders: ;

Our economy has been turned upside down, the employer-employee relationship has been turned on its head, and technology has significantly altered how we work together and communicate. Still we are expected to be highly productive, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase profitability. We all know that increased employee engagement is highly likely to contribute positively to all of these, but how many of us really feel engaged? This highly interactive session will look at employee engagement in an engaging way. Participants in this experiential session will look at what employee engagement is and what it is not, the impact of employee engagement on our business and personal lives, and practical ideas that can be used to increase employee engagement in organizations. Beware! When you put some of these ideas to work, you might become emotionally attached to your job, generate enthusiasm, and enable others to really care about their work too!

  • Learn what employee engagement is and is not
  • Understand why employee engagement is important
  • Explore practical ideas to increase employee engagement in your organization

Richard Lay, Infosys

Presentation: Testing Outsourcing Challenges: Views from Both Sides

Thursday, April 18, 2013: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Organizations today tend to jump into outsourcing the testing function with expectations of significant cost savings, reduced cycle times, and higher quality. In this presentation, Richard will assist in preparing you to address these expectations by providing outsourcing observations and recommendations from both the client and outsourcing partner perspectives. This session will provide lessons learned and help you to avoid, or at least be better prepared for, the testing outsourcing challenges. Richard will begin with things to consider and do before you begin the RFP process. Once your organization has committed to proceeding, what are some things to prepare for during the RFP process? Then, finally, what happens after you have signed the contract? This final section will take you from the transition to steady state and then, into continuous improvement. The goal of any sourcing engagement is for both parties to have a mutually beneficial and long lasting arrangement. This presentation will improve your odds of making this happen.

Jim Mondi, CognizantSripriya Kalyanasundaram, Cognizant

General Session: QA Analytics to Power Quality Intelligence

Thursday, April 18, 2013: 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM

Speakers: ;

The science of analytics is applied extensively to predict challenges that arise in operations and product quality. This intelligence can be simulated for IT and Quality Assurance functions to achieve higher efficiencies and product quality. QA teams have established exhaustive ways and implemented tools to capture and report metrics pertaining to efforts, data and testing results. However intelligence around quality and operational aspects requires human intervention for decision making. Statistical techniques and analytical procedures can be applied across QA activities to strengthen this intelligence. For instance, in statistical models such as OATS, MCDC are being deployed in the QA planning and operations stage for accurate estimation and effort optimization. Analytical techniques including regression analysis, clustering and factor analysis are helping teams build defect prediction models. Using analytical techniques, organizations can build models for data and code visualization. These have enabled IT organizations to monitor and maintain defect-free software whilst making the code fix easier and more efficient. QA analytics is getting extended to self-healing systems and robotics for QA. It’s important that QA teams start building expertise around these analytical models as they are likely to transform the way testing is performed and consumed today.

In this session you’ll learn about:

  • Statistical models applicable for QA functions across the software lifecycle;
  • Mechanisms to effectively capture and analyze data for Quality intelligence;
  • Current tools and emerging frameworks that complement QA analytics;
  • Analytics and a prologue to self-healing codes and QA robotics.

Pradeep Chennavajhula, QAI Global Institute

Bonus Session: Being Mature About Quality

Friday, April 19, 2013: 7:45 AM - 8:15 AM

You can’t force maturity, but you can learn it. Organizational Maturity involves creation of a totally different mindset. While organizations are growing and increasing in size and complexity, they may not yet be fully developed enough to cope with maturity and continuous improvement of quality. There will be moments of brilliance and clear thinking, but for the most part, quality is what happens accidentally, and not by design.

Given this context, the presentation focuses on the principles of “good change” that we must imbibe and learn from to create quality by design. Building on the principles of “continual improvement”, the presentation suggests a multi-dimensional approach focusing on the aspects of people, engineering, infrastructure, technology, management, tools and automation, for building organizational maturity. The talk also focuses on providing a “business view” to maturity, and provides a road map for building organizational maturity.

Joseph Ours, Cohesion

Presentation: Redefining the Purpose of Software Testing

Friday, April 19, 2013: 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM


Throughout the history of software testing, the profession has evolved from expectations of validating that the software meets the requirements to ensuring fitness of use. Along the way, testers have been tasked with added expectations of ensuring overall quality, often creating conflict between the amount of work to be done and the time and resources necessary to complete that work. Additionally, with the increased use of agile methodologies, testers are finding this conflict growing. In this presentation Joseph will discuss the challenges our stakeholders have in understanding our craft, as well as some of the negative perceptions of value. Joseph will discuss embracing a newly defined purpose of software testing, where the emphasis is placed on providing information, not just raw data, to stakeholders. This new intent will transform testing into a service minded group whose value is transparent and ultimately empowered by their stakeholders, instead of just tolerated by them.

Bryan Sebring,

Presentation: Total Quality Assurance: It’s Not Just Testing

Friday, April 19, 2013: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


In the QA and testing world we tend to focus on improving quality by focusing our activities on the software application being produced. In doing this we miss additional quality opportunities that exist outside of the project scope. In this presentation, Bryan will discuss four specific areas of focus to reach even higher levels of quality—your processes and procedures, your assets, your customers, and, ultimately, yourself. Learn to identify relationships among these areas and how they can positively or negatively impact quality. You will explore how a decision in one area impacts the other three. You will also look at opportunities for improving quality in all four areas to increase your product and business’ total quality. Join Bryan as he proves that quality assurance is not just testing.

Basivi Junna, Scalar USA, Inc.

Workshop: Test Assessment: A Systematic Approach to Find and Close Testing Gaps

Friday, April 19, 2013: 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Workshop Leader:

Software testing as a profession has grown tremendously over past two decades but, as a discipline, it is still evolving. There are many organizations that conduct only ad hoc testing on their applications, counting on the ability of their developers to produce clean code. While others, though serious, are not very systematic in their approach to testing due to lack of expertise. We have seen companies that go into fire drill mode to fix defects in production after every release. In this workshop, Basivi will explain the symptoms that call for test assessment, a systematic approach to conduct test assessments, and how to identify opportunities for improvement. Join Basivi to understand the procedure for calculating opportunities for improvement and how to close the gaps in testing in your organization. You will leave with a test assessment process and a template that will allow you to begin improvements immediately

  • Recognize the symptoms that call for a test assessment
  • Learn a systematic approach to conducting test assessments
  • Identify opportunities for improvement