July Test Management Forum

The 34th Test Management Forum took place on Wednesday 25 July 2012 at the conference centre at Balls's Brothers, Minster Pavement.
The meeting is sponsored by SQS UK, Tricentis and
Quotium and was, as usual, FREE to attend.


13.30pm Tea/Coffee
14.00pm Introductions
14.15pm Agile Testing MUST DOs – Best practice methods for optimal results, Alan Bunker, Tricentis

10 Great But Now Overlooked Tools, Graham Thomas, Independent

Application Security – Should QA be more involved? Could QA be more involved?

, Adam Brown, Quotium

15.30pm Tea/Coffee
16.00pm The Quality Initiative – Application Across The SDLC,
Ben Fry, SQS
Bridges with the Business (and) Analysts

Paul Gerrard, Gerrard Consulting

Test Automation Goldfish Bowl, Susan Windsor, Gerrard

17.15pm Drinks Reception

Session Abstracts

Test Automation Goldfish Bowl, Susan Windsor, Gerrard Consulting

We'll use the questions below to seed ideas for discussion in a goldfish bowl format. Five chairs, four panellists. If you want speak, take a spare seat. Panellists who have had their say, leave the panel (or are dragged off with large hook) to leave a spare seat. It's as simple as that. Susan will ask the group what burning issues are on your mind to get things started.

  • What is the value of automation?
  • Which tools are the best value for money?
  • Can you make automation work on a global basis?
  • How do I stop my scripts becoming out of date?
  • Do I really need specialist automation testers?
  • How are new technology and new techniques going to affect the way I test over the next 2 years or so?
  • How can stories help to automate tests?
  • What tools have you built to help with testing?
  • What do developers think of automation?
  • How many times does an automated test need to be executed in order to pay back the cost of set up and maintenance?
  • How does automation fit in to large scale enterprise integration projects?
  • Are the results from a testing tool predictable?
  • What is difficult for an automation testing tool?
  • How to generate corrections to faulty programs?
  • How to infer specifications automatically?
  • Which considerations should I have if I want to introduce automation in an agile environment?
  • Which activities are involved during automation?

Building Bridges with the Business (and) Analysts

, Paul Gerrard, Gerrard Consulting

All testers know that having the business view helps immeasurably to understand what the real business need is and how to test against it. Of course, having the business on your side means that the issues you raise will get proper consideration, even through it's not always comfortable seeing your pesky incidents waived for a go live decision. But there's a more fundamental but complex relationship possible between business management, users, business analysts and test testers and teams.

'Business, analysts and testers working together' sounds like a nice idea, but there has to be a clear understanding of the goal of this way of working. What are the goals and benefits of a closer working relationship? Certainly,
there are areas of potential conflict. Will business analysts feel threatened by greater tester involvement in user discussions? Are analysts doing it for themselves and not need the testers?

This session will explore some of the opportunities and challenges of new ways of working. Bring your experience and your business analyst too perhaps.

Application Security – Should QA be more involved? Could QA be more involved?

, Adam Brown, Quotium

Application security testing is something that is too often overlooked.
How do we know? Because of the huge breaches seen over the last few years that come through the applications themselves.

Security is seen as a subject purely for the domain of the security department, the security department see application security as the responsibility of development. Less than 1 in 100 developers has ever had any security training so what can be done? Security testing is often outsourced and too late in the process. Often findings are dealt with in a ‘fire fighting’ manner, and hence patches are produced rather than secure software in the 1st place.

In this session I aim to discuss application security, show some figures, talk about some development processes and technology approaches for application security verification while discussing experiences that the audience have faced. Finally, unless there are any objections, for the last 10 minutes and for those interested I’d like to show some new technology.

Agile Testing MUST DOs – Best practice methods for optimal results, Alan Bunker, Tricentis

Especially for software testing, the dynamics of agile projects is a very special challenge. Traditional test approaches alone are no longer sufficient. Only effective and efficient testing and the use of appropriate tools can provide improved quality of an agile project.

The top five MUST DOs for agile testing:

  1. Risk-Based Approach → Test the important things
  2. Test Case Design →Test the right things

  3. Early Test Automation → prerequisite for
    short development and testing sprints

  4. High Test Automation Level→ controllable
    automation maintenance, low cycle time

  5. Highly Efficient Analysis &
    Forecast→Transparent reporting from a business perspective

We will look at the challenges of test automation in agile development processes. After business needs, testing is the next most important pillar of agile delivery. However it is arguably the only part of agile delivery that has an increasing workload as the project progresses.

So how does testing avoid becoming the part that slows down delivery?

10 Great But Now Overlooked Tools, Graham Thomas, Independent

The idea for this presentation comes directly from EuroSTAR 2011, sitting on the bus back to the conference centre after attending the Gala Dinner, a discussion started about the industry luminaries who turn up at conferences and give presentations which roughly say “Don’t do all the stuff that I told you to do 5 years ago! Do this stuff now.” But, but, but . . . .

As we got talking I realised how many simple effective tools I no longer used, because they have either become overlooked, forgotten and thus fallen into disuse, or because modern methods claim not to need them they are now redundant. I wondered if any of these tools were worth looking at again - starting with my flowcharting template; I realised it is a great tool which I have overlooked for too long!

Here is my list of 10 great but now overlooked tools:

  • Flowcharts
  • Prototypes
  • Project Plans
  • Mind Maps
  • Tools we already have at our disposal like .... (I will suggest some)
  • Aptitude Tests
  • Hexadecimal Calculators
  • Desk Checking
  • Data Dictionaries and Workbenches

This is my list of really useful tools that I think are overlooked. In the presentation I will briefly outline each tool, why I think it was great, and what we are missing out by not using it.

Of course the audience will have a different view of what great tools have been overlooked, so we will capture those tools as well, using a Mind Map that we can quickly share with other attendees after the session, using Twitter, or other Social Networking tools.

And it naturally follows that if there are some tools we have overlooked then there are also some tools that we continue using but should get rid of! I will present my own list, hoping that the debate isn’t too heated, and also update the Mind Map with the collective view of tools that we should dispense with!

The Quality Initiative – Application Across The SDLC,
Ben Fry, SQS

Following on from the high-level discussion of The Quality Initiative at previous Forum and Summit sessions, this session will discuss the application of a more holistic approach to Quality across all phases of the SDLC. During this session we will discuss the role of Quality and Testing in each phase (focusing not only on “to the right of development” but also “to the left of testing”), practical ways to improve the current state of play, and the role Test Management can play in influencing an organisation’s approach to adopting a more cohesive approach to removing defects as early in the lifecycle as possible, not only saving time, effort and money, but also enabling organisations to reach extremely high levels of customer satisfaction, engineering efficiency, and quality.

For a copy of The Quality Initiative whitepaper, please email me at

Testing Tags: 


sir i would like to know that any tool is available for evaluating the design patterns in software architecture.

The last testing event I attended was the Selenium Conference back in April 2012 so looking forward to some stimulating discussions in a couple of days time and a couple of drinks!

Viresh Doshi
Time2test Limited