2019 Meetings

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Assurance Leadership Forum - 24 April 2019

The 61st Assurance Leadership Forum took take place on Wednesday 24 April 2019 at the conference centre at Balls's Brothers, Minster Court

Sponsored by

Programme Chair: Mike Jarred




The Vision and Direction for the ALF (ALF Leadership Team)


Lunch for Morning Delegates, Teas/Coffees @13.30pm




Session 1

Jack Cole - Method Resourcing

Recruitment in the digital age

Jack's Slides are here

Session 2

Simon Hayhurst - Coleman Parkes

Capgemini 2018 World Quality Report
Global Findings: What do the UK Testing community think?

The World Quality Report can be downloaded here

Session 3

Nick Powell

How to unlock your hidden energy and operate at Peak Performance

Nick's slides can be found here


Teas/Coffees and Networking


Session 4

Jen & Phil Wheeler - Testing Professionals

Successful Interviews

Session 5

Daniel Dorval, Test Manager, KPMG

Testing population readiness (The system is ready but are you?)

Session 6

Stevan Zivanovic - Independent

Lessons Learnt in Implementing DevOps


Drinks Reception


Abstracts and Bios

The Vision and Direction for the ALF

The ALF leadership team comprises Mike Jarred, Alison Kuy, Scott Summers, Harry Vazanias and Paul Gerrard. Together, we have been formulating a vision for the future of the Assurance Leadership Forum. This session sets out a little history of the Test Management, now Assurance Leadership Forum, introduces the five members of the team, and presents our vision and proposed future direction for the Forum.

We'll discuss our thinking and reasons behind what you might think is a radical re-think of the purpose of the Forum whilst retaining its essential characteristics and ethos. Please join us to hear our proposal, challenge and discuss. If you come to this special session, please select the "All Day" ticket type. We'll provide a subsidised lunch for you.


Lessons Learnt in Implementing DevOps

This will be an open forum session looking at DevOps implementation approaches, particularly focusing on the skills, capabilities, “patterns” and culture needed to achieve change. I will initiate the discussion based on my experience of implementing DevOps in an established Insurance company, just around the corner from the ALF venue.

I will look at the infrastructure (I just found some code written in 1985), the structure of the organisation and the ambitions of the leadership team and quickly look at where we are on the DevOps journey. I want to then open the discussion to look at your experiences, expectations and advice on how to transition to DevOps

Stevan Zivanovic - Independent

Testing is a passion for Stevan. In the past 25 years that he has been actively involved in testing, he has worked in a wide variety of businesses, from aircraft safety critical systems to financial “start-ups”. Since 2005 he has been presenting at various conferences and particularly at the TMF and now ALF on adapting approaches to meet the changing and accelerating needs of the “real” world.

Testing population readiness (The system is ready but are you?)

We know the models for system testing but how do we test the readiness of the recipients?

  • Are current communication channels enough to deal with the coming change?
  • Phased approach versus big bang – which is best?
  • How do we test roll back or changes after we flick the switch without hitting the panic button?
  • Does the statement ready for go live mean the same to everybody?

Daniel Dorval, Test Manager, KPMG

With 16 years of experience Daniel is a highly skilled, proficient Testing Manager who has enjoyed an accomplished and successful career with a Large Global Banks’ Technical Services in Europe. He possesses a strong technical background in implementing large, complex change programmes in Banking and Blue Chip corporations to improve operational efficiency and risk management.

Daniel has extensive experience across the software testing lifecycle, and is very familiar with the V-Model test stages including System Testing, System Integration Testing, UAT as well as Regulatory Testing. He has driven great client satisfaction through defining, owning and delivering solutions and strategies across complex and heavily regulated business areas.


How to unlock your hidden energy and operate at Peak Performance

We live in unprecedented times, in a world where our energy, time and attention are under constant demand. We are all struggling to find the right balance between work, spending quality time with their family, staying healthy, socialising with friends and contributing to our community.

We are bombarded with productivity tips and tricks that don't make a step change difference in our performance and we've forgotten that energy management trumps time management every time. The health advice provided by 'the experts' is heavily influenced by big industry, much of which is making us weaker and depleting our energy. The truth is, most people think that they are highly energised but how they feel is their new norm and they no longer know what 'good' feels like.

This workshop will show you how to massively increase your energy levels through hacking your own biology, by putting yourself first and focusing on your physical, emotional and mental health. The tools and techniques that I will share are practical and you'll be able to implement them immediately. However, I’m going to break conventional wisdom, so you’ll need to come with an open mind, be prepared to experiment and discover what is going to work for you. Some of the topics I will cover are:

  • Developing a morning routine to set yourself up for success every day
  • How to never again have a hangover by taking two simple supplements
  • Avoiding the mid-afternoon energy slump
  • Supplements and smart drugs that provide amazing energy and focus
  • The secret to a great night’s sleep
  • How to tame your monkey mind
  • How to be productive and avoid distraction
  • Technology to increase your performance
  • How to find the food that increases/depletes your energy

Nick Powell

Nick is a peak performance coach, business consultant and charity trustee, and has been transforming organisations and individuals for the past 20 years. Nick is a certified coach by one of the world's leading human performance organisations, Bulletproof 360.


Capgemini 2018 World Quality Report. Global Findings: What do the UK Testing community think?

For a decade, Capgemini have been researching trends in quality assurance amongst the broader global IT community. Simon Hayhurst from B2B research agency Coleman Parkes (who conduct the underlying research) takes us through Capgemini’s global findings and ask the question “To what extent do these international results chime with your own experience?”

For 10 years Capgemini have been producing World Quality Report

  • Latest edition – 72 pages
  • 1700 interviews
  • 32 countries
  • 299 respondents in Western Europe, 125 in UK
  • Respondents in public & private sector
  • All respondents from businesses with 1,000+ employees (though 40% had 10,000+ employees)
  • 20% of respondents were QA/Testing managers

The The intention of talk is to explain key global trends the report has identified and drive debate around comparing broader findings with what ALF members’ UK experiences are – spark debate around specific trends in UK.


  • Security
  • CEX
  • Improve software quality
  • Improve responsiveness to business demands
  • Cost optimisation
  • Cloud transformation

With regards to QA/testing, specific impacts of these developments are:


  • Using AI in testing to develop self-generative / self-adapting / self-running testing
  • New approaches needed to validate and verifiy AI solutions

AGILE – DEVOPS – TCOEs (Testing Centres of Excellence)

  • Challenge of “Quality at Speed”
  • Fragmentation of QA & Testing departments


  • Low level of adoption of automation in testing regimes


  • 31% tests in permanent environments
  • 58% rely on manually generated test data


  • Lower costs where automation / outsourcing utilised
  • Higher costs where agile / devops / analytics (even automation needs test infrastructure investment)

Do you agree with the findings? How do they chime with your experiences?

Simon Hayhurst - Coleman Parkes

Recruitment in the digital age

With LinkedIn recruiter becoming one of the UK’s most popular and powerful recruitment tools, it won't be long before the conventional CV becomes a thing of the past. Get an insight into how recruiters effectively use LinkedIn to attract talent and how to boost your LinkedIn profile to attract recruiters and perspective future employers.
Jack Cole, Method Resourcing
Part 1
Lifting the hood and allowing insight into the different processes and methodologies taken by independent recruiters.
Understanding the importance of LinkedIn and how recruiter’s use it to attract talent.
How to sound proof your career in a digital era by remaining visible to recruiters, clients, employers and internal talent teams.
Part 2
How to prevent candidates losing interest through the recruitment lifecycle.
As hiring managers how do you ensure you are attracting the right candidates, diversifying the work place and retaining your top talent?
Format: Open room discussion, including interactive exercises and brain storming sessions.


Jack Cole is the Co-founder and Sales Director of Method Resourcing, and has worked in the industry since 2011. Having worked in global and high growth recruitment companies for some time Jack has a huge interest for all things tech and a passion for changing the way recruiters are perceived in the industry. Having witnessed the dark arts in his early years, and been continually surrounded by recruiters with limited tech knowledge our mission at Method is to be as actively involved within our tech communities and really understand the tech verticals that we operate in. Jack continues to be active within the tech community attending multiple events and talks across the UK.

In June of 2018 Jack co-founded Method and have since partnered with some of the UK's largest names across the Bristol and London markets, including companies such as Just East, ASOS, Sogeti, Publicis.Sapient to name a few. Jack has for the last 7 years focused on testing and assurance recruitment, though Method have to date helped scale businesses within DevOps, Software Engineering, BA’s, Scrum Masters, Delivery, Data and BI Analytics and software engineering leadership.

Thomas Hurley is the Founder and Managing Director of Method Resourcing. Having been in tech recruitment since 2006, he moved to London where he developed a business from 2 people to 30 within 7 years. He's been a top biller throughout his career and has opened offices across Europe whilst continuing to supply top talent. As his career within the recruitment industry developed his real passion moved into the hiring, training and the development of staff, helping to attract some of the hottest talent within the industry. In 2018 Tom took the decision to open Method Resourcing with a view to offering both clients and candidates all that he's learnt over the years with the ethos around keeping things simple and applying a proven 'method' to businesses across the UK & Europe

Successful Interviews

In this session we will cover the following topics

  • Creating successful interviews as a candidate
  • Conducting successful interviews as an interviewer
  • Behaviors and body language – creating a positive impression


Really practical ways to ensure attending and conducting interviews is as successful as possible, this includes

  • How to plan and prepare effectively
  • Building self-awareness
  • Tips on building rapport
  • Honing communication skills across all channels (visual, vocal and verbal) – types of body language
  • If attendees would like ongoing support, we can offer help and/or coaching

You can greatly influence the impression you give others. Winging it at interview is like playing Russian Roulette. Self-awareness and great planning are key. Developing effective communication skills across all channels is very worthwhile.

Techniques used

  • Group discussion
  • White boarding
  • Reviewing case studies
  • Role playing
  • Fun quiz

Jennifer Wheeler

Passionate about people and software testing, Jennifer started working in the industry in 1998 with a software testing consultancy, since then she has worked with hundreds of companies supplying candidates to join their teams. In addition to helping to engage appropriate talent Jennifer shares her knowledge of skills availability, market rates and staff retention.

Jennifer, who is certified ISEB Foundation in Software Testing and BDD qualified, is active in the testing community; she has been a committee member of the SIGiST Specialist Interest Group in Software Testing (BCS – Chartered Institute for IT) and plays a part in other technical events like https://swanseacon.co.uk/. Helping to deliver conferences focussed on enabling the technical community to keep up to date with evolving practices and listen to thought leaders from across the globe is very important to her. Jennifer produces content for Tester Magazine. linkedinuk.linkedin.com/in/jenniferwheeler5

Philip Wheeler MBA

Philip is an experienced IT Programme Manager who has delivered complex business transformation programmes into businesses for over 15 years working with budgets up to £60million. He is very commercially aware and has the technical knowledge which adds great value when assessing candidates potential and ability to work in diverse business environments, whilst keeping a focus on client business needs. He has led high quality teams and is a qualified Programme Manager and Scrum Master. He brings great experience and insight into recruiting. linkedin.com/in/philipwheeleruk/

About TestingProfessionals - http://testingprofessionals.com/


TestingProfessionals.com is a UK based software testing careers company. The team has spent over 17 years working with the software testing community. We work in partnership with clients helping them recruit the best technical talent to join their businesses, and assisting candidates secure new opportunities. Our focus is to help people working in tech to grow and meet changing business goals, both on a permanent basis and for specific project needs.

Please note that we are reducing our dependency on electronic mail shots to stay in touch. We will start to use LinkedIn to publicise these events soon. To receive notifications through Linkedin, we ask you to make sure you are a member of the LinkedIn Assurance Leadership Forum group.

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