Friday 24 September 2010

DO NOT DISTURB, I'm testing

At my work, I’ve recently introduced Session Based Test Management (created by James Bach). It has been piloted in an Agile project. I could be biased, but I think the pilot is working extremely well. There are lots of positives from it, which I hope one day to share, but there’s one thing we’re struggling with so I thought I would come up with some ideas and then open it to the rest of you for your suggestions and comments.
The problem is that when a tester is in the middle a testing session, it’s best if they are not interrupted. But with all the talk on being collaborative, the testers are getting interrupted all time. I need a solution where testers remain part of the team but are left to do testing when required without appearing rude. Please let me know your ideas :o)

test SBTM qa session testing


  1. I find that headphones work for me. I even bought bigger headphones to make it more obvious!

  2. What are the programmers doing when they need to code for a bit and need some peace and quiet?

    Apart from that, why not raise it in the next meeting as an issue and ask the team for ideas? You just identified a problem, that doesn't mean that you have to solve it alone. If it's "a" problem it's a team problem as well.

    A simple do not disturb sign is probably best if the testers take it down immediately after the session. It becomes a matter of trust.

  3. I am quite fortunate in that I apparently have a forbidding appearance when I am concentrating deeply on something.

    I have thought of a traffic-light system though just behind my monitor (my office is open plan and I face out into the room).

  4. One of my managers stuck a wing mirror to her monitor so she could watch who is doing the real work and who is surfing the web. If I had put DO NOT DISTURB sign on your desk, guess what, It would have distracted her from her job of keeping an eye on us. Would she allow it, hard to say? The day she left, the wing mirror disappeared overnight never to be found.


  5. Cool comments. Thanks all. Keep them coming.
    Moh, your old manager, where ever she may be, should read this blog from Alan Page about trust and testing:

  6. Headphones don't always work . People always come by!

    I guess its better that you actually say I'm busy and please can you come back later. :o)

  7. Suggestion, print this comic and display it clearly.

  8. My recipe is to shift working day. I come at work at 8 a.m. and the rest of the team come at 10-11 a.m., so I have several hours to work alone. And of course, I wear headphones with hard rock music the rest of the day)

  9. Thats Cool. I love Testing in the night. Probably after 10 or 11pm.. Till that i spend my time on writing cases and attending defect calls...