Test Management is Wrong

Test Management is wrong. There. I said it.

I can't believe it took me this long to notice the obvious. If you are doing Software Development in any fashion, and are worried about how to manage your testing to develop a "quality" product, stop it.

Let's be clear about what I mean here. If you consider any software development life cycle (SDLC) process, you will find activities like the following arranged in some fashion or other:
  • Requirements gathering, specification
  • Software design
  • Implementation and Integration
  • Testing (or Validation)
  • Deployment
  • Lather, Rinse, Repeat (i.e. Maintain, Enhance, Fix, Mangle, Spin, and so on)

These activities aren't Waterfall or Agile or anything else, they are just activities. HOW you choose to do them will reflect your SDLC. I don't care about that right now. The part I'm picking on is the Testing bit near the middle, regardless of whether you do them in an agile, Waterfall, or some other way.

In particular, I am picking on the fallacy or myth that a good Test Management plan/process is what you need to develop and release a high Quality product.


When I work with teams to help them learn something new, I try to pay attention to a few things. Firstly, I pay attention to how people are learning, and secondly how I am teaching.

When I used to teach Physics and Chemistry in high school, one validation of 'success' often came from how the students left the classroom. Generally, teenagers often came into one of those classes the same way (at least at the start of the year): I don't want to be here, this isn't important to me, I'm not going to learn anything useful.

Okay. Gauntlet down. Let's begin.

The Human Side of Living

As I go through life I keep noticing stories, ideas and insights into humanity and I sometimes wonder if we are meant to discover these lessons slowly or if there isn't a quicker way to learn them.

Take for example, in high school we had a really weird Religion teacher who was very Zen or meta or something, and no one got him. I mean he would use examples like "take an extension cord and plug it into itself and there you go." Huh? None of us got it. And then there would be times when he would repeatedly say things like "attack the point not the person" and that was a phrase I understood.

From him, I learned that sometimes we can meet real jerks that we can learn interesting things from. Learn to separate your feelings about what you hear and understand from the messenger. It's hard sometimes, but you can get good at this.