F13-1003: Boom! Snappy Visuals for Test Communication

Track: Leadership Perspectives for Testers

Using the right visual with your stakeholders can dramatically improve your ability to explain test coverage and status and supercharge your test planning sessions. Do you struggle to find the best words to explain your testing coverage and status to your stakeholders? Do numbers and metrics make your stakeholders” eyes glaze over, or worse yet, do you feel dirty giving metrics that you know are going to be abused? Words and numbers are powerful, but good visualizations can amplify their power and communicate to stakeholders who are visually-oriented or have little time. This talk will present a number of simple, effective visualizations that you can create easily and inexpensively even if you have no artistic skills. The appropriate context for each one”s use and the pitfalls of each will be mentioned. You”ll learn visualizations for testing status, product quality, test planning and management, risk, and how to combine them into compound visualizations. The tools will be markers, sticky notes, graph paper, notebooks, pencils and walls — no special software needed. This presentation will use volunteers from the audience to demonstrate creating powerful visualizations in short periods of time.

Session Takeaways:

  • How to simply and easily create 11 visualizations about risk and quality.
  • How to use visualizations to support powerful conversations with your stakeholders and managers.
  • How to use visualizations within your test team to plan more effectively and avoid blind spots in your testing.
  • The drawbacks and pitfalls of each type of visualization.
  • How to identify when a visualization is a better approach than words or numbers.

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Session Speaker:

Thomas VaniotisThomas Vaniotis – Test Lead – Support Systems, Liquidnet
Thomas Vaniotis is a product manager at NYC-based institutional brokerage Liquidnet where he delivers quality tools for the product support team based on nearly a decade of experience in financial software as a tester, developer, and product lead. His career expertise includes customer-driven business analysis, exploratory testing, automated test design and modeling, performance testing, UI design and testing, and Scrum implementation. He has wide exposure to the equities trading field, and an academic background in music and philosophy that gives him a unique liberal arts perspective on the world of finance and technology. He blogs at epistemic-applications.com and tweets @tvaniotis.