"Shit man, they did not get what I wanted to mean through the mail", is what my colleague uttered recently. He had found some bugs by taking a lot of care when testing a product and had prepared a test report and sent it to - Developers, Managers, Test team members.
Now, why did he say ..."they did not get what I wanted to mean.." ?
No, I am not interested in focusing communication skill of a tester but instead a skill that you must posses to ensure that people do get to know you have worked hard and a skill that you must possess to ensure people get to know the importance of your words.
_ Test your e-mail _
Now let us assume you are sending a test report to your dev guys, managers and other test team members in loop and let us take two examples of how someone without the skills I mentioned would draft the e-mail and in comparison how could the skilled tester draft the same.
Unskilled Tester -
I finished testing for release xx.xx.xx and found some bugs which I have documented in the report. Please find the report as an attachment to this mail.
Disadvantages of the above draft -
- The tester failed to convey the importance of the critical bugs he might have found in the mail. You might ask : "If a tester has put the details in the test report, why should he repeat it in mail?". Interesting question, but you must be aware that you should make the reader of your e-mail realize the importance of looking through the report through the e-mail.
- The tester failed to make the managers and developers realize that he had put in a lot of effort and if either of them asks him to repeat the tests, they are aware the time it would take to complete the tests.
- The tester failed to make the developers realize the urgency of fixing certain bugs. Developers would have seen "Critical" , "Major" status for a long time and there should be something else to make them work towards it.
- The tester failed to give details that are available in the report he has attached with the e-mail he is sending.
- The tester failed to realize that he is putting himself into trouble by not mentioning the limitation of his testing.
- The tester failed to mention the impact of the bugs on the quality of the product and the customer.
Skilled Tester -
It was interesting to have found certain critical bugs that affect the basic functionality of the product through testing release xx.xx.xx for product GFD. Although the time taken to test is 5 hours, which exceeded one hour of the planned time I am happy to have found a couple of critical issues even in the extra one hour I took.
I kindly request you all to peruse the Test Report for release xx.xx.xx and to help you in navigating the test report in an easier way, I have split the critical, major and minor issues in a separate worksheet.
My testing is limited to the environment with which I executed the test cases which is not a real time environment and an emulated lab in our office premises and hence the results could vary if executed on a real time network.
File Name : Test_Report_GFD_xx.xls
File Size: 326 kilo bytes
Please feel free to get in touch with me just in case you need any logs or if you would want to see how I reproduced the issues, I have mentioned in the report.
Manager, please check with the customer if this release could be delayed by a day or two to ensure developers have enough time to fix the critical issues.
Thanks and Regards,
Now you judge how good is the above one?
_ end of Test your e-mail _
"If a tester does not test his mail, developers would find bugs in it then"
Thanks and Regards,