Because i have a few goals of my own, where one is to enhance my blog writing skills, i decided to write my reaction to the recently introduced “Thread-Based Test Management” blog posts on my own weblog (instead of commenting on Twitter). During the writing of this post, i also discovered something new. The translation part of my brain doesn’t seem to keep up with the story telling part of my brain, resulting in having difficulties writing down in English what i want to say. So i tried a heuristic which i’m going to name “simplifying before clarifying“. Basically it’s: write down what you have to say in your native language, which should give you enough time to think everything through, discussing with yourself and statements by others, and translate them afterwards. Very basic, but it seems highly effective for me!
Jon and James…As a reply to the introduction of T(B)TM, i posted the following comment on Twitter:
“@jbtestpilot @jamesmarcusbach Hmm, I’m having a bit of a “huh?-really?-so?” feeling about T(B)TM. Can’t put my finger on it, yet. Pondering…“
A little while Jon responded. I even discussed it a bit with Jon. A very useful discussion, but it deviated a bit from the issue i was pondering about. Yes, a new thread 😉
James, you answered:
“@MichelKraaij I tried to answer the huh/really/so questions in my entry. What did I miss?“
Because a good response takes time to work up, i didn’t immediately respond on Twitter, but write it down in this blog post.
About TBTM. Maybe I’m missing one or two points, or maybe I’m off totally. I’m hoping you guys can help me out a bit. When I’m analyzing your blog post, i read the following. I see a mocked-up example:
- Power meter calibration method
- Backup test jig validation
- Create standard test images
- Accuracy Testing
- Sampling strategy
- Log file analysis program
What i see here is a to-do list. A list with topics hierarchical arranged. Yes, a list like this does look like a thread. Defining threads in a to-do list does have benefits over a list with no hierarchy. You are able to keep a clear overview of the tasks that belong together. I personally even add “estimated-times-required” per item. For me, creating such a list gives advantage during some chaotic running periods (like when I’m testing in two or three project simultaneously). But the concept itself is nothing new. I do it almost every day… And as i read, so do you…
Next, pick up these issues and work them off, preferably in their hierarchical order, through use of time boxes. In some cases you first need to pick up an item from a different thread, because they depend on each other. But nevertheless, you work through the list in a hierarchical order, until you finish a complete task. By setting time boxes you are able to predefine a daily schedule. At the end of the day you have the honorable job of checking off several accomplished items and leave home with a smile on your face.
For me, TBTM seems actually nothing more than a hierarchical to-do list which is finished point by point, through time-boxing. Of course you can nominate this as a methodical approach and give it a name, but I see nothing more than two subjects that I already do in my daily work:
- Creating a hierarchical drawn, checklist-like, to-do list;
- Carrying out items from this to-do list, by use of time boxes;
To address James’s initial question: “What did i miss“. Maybe he didn’t miss anything. In fact, I even think that James and Jon thought it through very well. The story is clear and complete. But to me it isn’t new. Or did i miss something myself?