Productively using a Tester’s Downtime

With the move into a more agile development cycle in most projects, downtimes for a tester are really few and far between. That said it is always good to have a ready checklist of proactive things to take on, if such times were to arise. The list provided below is by no means an exhaustive set, rather a good set to start off with and grow into over the course of time, subject to your own project’s constraints and more importantly the amount of downtime you have
• Test case maintenance
Regression test suite analysis and maintenance
• Compatibility matrix optimization
• Product competitive analysis
• Bug bashes across teams
• Break-out and brainstorming sessions on test, test process, technology etc. within test team
• Productivity tools and framework development
• Monitoring user forums for feedback on your product and other similar products
• Design test cases for valid ad-hoc bugs
• Voluntary code reviews if that is not one of your core existing tasks
• Research on current prevailing test and technology trends relevant to your product and domain
• Any demos or scripts or automation scripts you can prepare to benefit the rest of your team
Such a checklist when established and used at a team level encourages even the junior level tester to think big and out of box helping them understand the role they play towards the overall product quality rather than merely following instructions to test the module assigned to them. When senior management lays down such an open but wide forum to work within, it encourages transparency and creativity promoting respect for the test discipline as a whole while productively using the downtime at hand.

About the Author

QA InfoTech

QA InfoTech

Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.

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