How Testers Can Create a Change in Mindset
Stay hungry, stay foolish is a popular adage and is applicable to every industry—even more so for software testers, whose role is always evolving and has become extremely collaborative and creative. With all of the changes happening in the tester’s job profile and what is expected in order to succeed, one of the things that is needed is a change in mindset. This may be easier said than done, as the mind is very complex. A change in mindset may often times be triggered by an external entity, but the extent to which it is effectively employed is in the hands of the tester.
Today’s testers need to be able to think outside traditional system requirements and instead focus on end user expectations and market acceptance. It is important to bring in a multi-dimensional thought process instead of the standard horseshoe one-dimensional flow. Most organizations recognize the need for mindset change, but they encounter stumbling blocks about how to accomplish it.
One of the ways to change your mindset is through the use of thinking caps. This model has worked well for us both at team and individual levels, including creating studies to show outcomes from the model. While this may be a very subjective topic, here is a flow I recommend for organizations to implement mindset change—whether taking on a new task, collaborating with a new team, starting a new test technique, or doing something that is not part of the traditional process.
- Accept that change is inevitable.
Embrace an open and adaptive mindset that changes and challenges are part of the game—the organization’s culture should embrace mindset change at all levels.
Work together as a team and as an individual in embracing the change.
Explore what’s the best technique for mindset change that will then result in a change in action. For example, it could be a strategy such as thinking caps as proposed above. Even exploratory testing can help bring mindset change among testers.
Explore how to evaluate the success of the mindset change—ongoing discussions, measuring results of activities that were triggered by mindset changes, comparing what would have happened had the change been imposed on the team without recognition for a mind-set change, etc.
The goal here is not to glorify mindset change but to recognize the need for it in today’s landscape—calling for dynamism and agility at various levels and to make mindset change as subjective as possible. At Google, 20 percent of every engineer’s time is set aside for R&D work.
Such actions are an outcome of recognizing the need for mindset change and to further foster creativity, but this is not the only way to bring about mindset change. Recognizing the need and customizing a strategy on how to achieve change and align with your organization’s needs and culture is the key.