Be able to speak out and prevent Product Failure


When it comes to successful product delivery, I’m always mindful of what I learned from the software testing processes I practiced for over 10 years. The use of Exploratory testing and Heuristics, which I learned from people like James Bach and Michael Bolton, to find where issues are likely to be in a product is a good way of helping prevent project failure or post-release product disasters. It’s also good at helping us to think outside the box like constraints often imposed by functional testing.

Yesterday I wrote a post asking questions about what can happen when everyone is keeping their workplace problems to themselves.

Today in the New York Times, David Pogue touches on a related issue with many recent Product Developments. While on the whole it is an excellent article raising some important questions, in the following two paragraphs he limns some thought provoking reasons on why we all often fail to speak out:

It becomes a sort of mutual group breath-holding. Nobody wants to pull the trigger. Nobody wants to be the messenger — especially not while we’re all getting a paycheck.

Maybe that’s what happens in consumer tech. Everybody knows the product is a dog, but it’s in everybody’s self-interest to keep pretending it’s going to be fine

Released Too Soon – NYTimes.com

You might be resented by those afraid to fail if you release your breath, but I bet your companies executives and shareholders would respect you more than you may ever know if the truth about the dog you are building is told.

It’s easier to pull that trigger if you have some results which prove the product is a dog. Time and time again I’ve seen the 100% reliance on monkey testing and box ticking functional testing misses those items.

The use of exploratory testing associated with heuristics – and knowledge of the product and the customer – can provide with you with those results.

You may ship late, but you’ll ship a golden retriever and not a mongrel.

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