9.7. Presenting the Results: The Right Message, Delivered Properly

As you run tests, you will find bugs. Moreover, because your test lab is the place where the product hits something like the "real world" for the first time, you will find all sorts of logistical snafus and poorly thought-out processes. This is especially the case when multiple development teams are involved.

Neither situation should take you by surprise. The bugs are actually your quarry, and when you find one, you and your team should feel satisfied. The "Laurel and Hardy" routines that ensue when people fail to think through processes and logistics are less desirable, but they are hardly your fault, either. Nevertheless, you might find yourself received with dismay when the time comes to report your findings.

In ancient times, the messenger who brought bad news was sometimes executed, suggesting a human tendency that remains to this day. When you come to a meeting or approach a developer with news of bugs or unworkable test equipment, the first response might be defensiveness, anger, denial, or attack. I had a client who, in response to all the worrisome findings by a third-party test lab, seized on a few mistakes the lab had made. Every time bugs found by these folks were mentioned, the client would become infuriated at the mention of the lab's name, once sending me an email that said (paraphrased), "Get these [idiots] out of our life."

As dysfunctional as these behaviors are, you will have to deal with them. ...

Get Managing the Testing Process: Practical Tools and Techniques for Managing Hardware and Software Testing now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.