Test Retreat

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Archive for the tag “team building”

Book review: Managing the Test People

2011 when I got to be a test manager for the first time, there was one thing what helped me to overcome my beginner insecurity. It was the book by Judy McKay “Managing the Test People“.

Judy calls test team a perfect beast and all book is build around this perfect beast. How to create perfect beast (team building), how to find parts for perfect beast (job descriptions and interviews), how to fit the beast into the herd (test people working for projects), how to feed your beast (all kind of bonuses) and to keep it effective (manager needs to work for the team). I like the chapter about synergy and pride.

I found this book very easy to read. Maybe because I really like to compare a test team to a perfect beast. Over the years many Judy stories became my stories. Have fun to read it!

Katrina Clokie: 3 Blog Posts

Katrina Clokie

As a trainer every week I have another training, another group of people and one of 3 topics: testing, requirements, quality with or without agile. To entertain myself, each time I tell another stories and mention another resources. There are no identical trainings. To keep an overview I decided to do little collection of sources I usually mention and additionally to highlight 3 blog posts.

I start with Katrina, who is one of my role models. Her blog is a real treasure chest, but many post surfers may have a feeling that it is for advanced readers. Please do not get scared, here are 3 blog posts what everyone will find helpful:

  1. Use your stand up to make testing visible

  2. How do you decide what to automate?

  3. Can we remove a tester from our agile team?

Additionally I suggest you to explore her posts labeled with “Pathway“.

Communication Links


Few years ago Gojko Adzic tweeted following:



Even today, several year after the tweet, people do not understand why agile team has to be small. The answer is communication links! Take a look on picture above. The dots are symbol of person in the team, and lines shows communication links in team. Example on the left is for team of five (10 communication links), example on the right for team of nine (36 links). Formula is very simple:

Connection Links=n (n-1) /2n , where n=Number of Team Members

In a team of 15 you will have 105 communication links(15*14/2=105).

Agile is about team, not about isolated knowledge of some individuals.

In trainings I still hear team members complaining about management, who placed timers on each desc, that people time their conversations and do not talk too much. But that is not about communication anymore. It is about company culture. There is a reason why they talk too much, find out what it is, instead of to forbid to talk.

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