Currently have a managment dillema. I am in charge of the organisations regression testing team. The goal of the team used to be to consult with the Test Manager and make a project plan to organise regression development. In this meeting the Test Manager would list areas of the system, in his opinion, should be added to regression inlight of priorities and resources available. We would then devise a six month plan to add these to regression.
Recently, the IT Manager has approached me and questioned the effectiveness of this approach. It was suggested that the regression team should be more proactive. Such that, we would need to liase with the business directly to determine what areas of the system they thought were most important and begin adding them to regression first. Further, it was suggested that, for every release and patch (usually 2 weeks apart), we should analyse what new functionality has been added to these releases and assess their candidacy for regression.
Was wondering how to approach this as to satisfy everybodys requirements and not overload my team. If this is the wrong forum for this type of stuff can you please suggest the appropriate one or how to approach this problem.
Getting the advice of the business units is an excellent idea because they know which features are used the most. It does make a difference when the software is an internal product and when it is something sold on the open market. That said, I would suggest some sort of priority system because as you fear, regression testing can eat up all of your resources quickly.
It's important for all stakeholders on any team to be proactive. In these times, no business or manager wants IT staff that sits around waiting for work to come to them. Instead, they want to see IT that adds value. There is no better way than to be the expert and be proactive.
Being the Expert... Your team does the regression testing so no one really should know the application better than your team nor should anyone know the ins and outs of testing better than your team. Therefore, you can step in and be the expert.
Be Proactive... You add value by seeing things like issues, problems, risks and opportunities faster than anyone else and by being able to have and implement solutions to address such things before others can. Have a vision and the ability to create clear plans and show that you can manage your teams effectively.
On the issue of overloading your team... Your team should "always" be overloaded. If it's not, it's not giving the business that pays for it its money's worth. It is only when the legitimate demand for what you and your team does outweighs the legitimate supply (or your ability to meet all demand) that you have leverage to grow your team or get budget for new solutions that help your team be effective.
I hope this helps.
The International Foundation of Information Technology (IF4IT)
Been very busy with work, I forgot to check this thread.
I am now glad that I did check it. Your responses have been great and I thank you all for going out of your way to share them with me, much appreciated.
I agree with all your suggestions:
Prioritisation of tasks must happen.
Being proactive with regression and be seen as the goto people. We may have been getting complacent and need to get back into innovative mode.