The Hidden Art in Test
Last Updated: 4th November, 2009
© 2009 AppLabs
This paper aims to explore managing expectations in
test consulting. One of the greatest challenges in test
consulting is engaging the client; establishing a shared
vision, understanding their requirements and meeting
their expectations. How often have you heard a client say
“That’s not quite what I had in mind…”, or how often have
you delivered what a client wanted, but they were still
not satisfied? Sometimes it isn’t what you deliver, but the
process and manner in which you deliver it (i.e. the ability
to match their expectations).
For test professionals, the focus is often steered entirely
towards technical competence and expertise, when, in
reality, more attention should be focused on consulting
skills. The ability to establish trust and rapport with a
client from day one is crucial in establishing successful
test projects and longer term client/supplier relationships.
Managing expectations is one of the core components
in establishing this relationship and must be performed
effectively to maximise the business and IT benefits for the
client and the test consultancy.
Expectations in Testing
Expectations are the belief of a future state of what will most
likely happen. In consulting, expectations are the success
criteria through which a client will measure your work
regarding a future target or goal. They are inherent in all of
us from our own personal expectations to the expectations
of an organisation. They can never be switched off, should
not be ignored or dismissed, but more importantly should
never be underestimated.
With an increasing focus on quality assurance and
continuous process improvement, testing is becoming
more and more important to companies worldwide.
However, some common challenges faced today start with
a client’s understanding of what testing is, what purpose it