Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How well do your team members know each other ?

Sometime back i wrote on the topic- How well do you know your team..." which had a prime focus on team work and why knowing the team is a prime tasks for any leader. In today's world, no matter how virtual we may become in conducting our work , the team bonding remains one of the foremost task for a leader. It’s not only important for a leader to know his or her team but it is also of great significance for the team members to know each other. This is especially true of a team in which people have been working together for a while, may be 2-3 years and beyond.

One can always argue that more the team members work with each other-the more time they spend together, the more they "know" each other. While this may be true to an extent, it is equally true that more time people spend working with each other, the more they start taking each other's strengths for granted. And they start considering their egos bigger than relationship and think more of shortcomings rather than positives. I don’t write this to say that this is necessarily right or wrong but this aspect is very human for sure.

It does become challenging to appreciate each other's strengths after a while so there is a constant need to remind each other of the value that each one brings in to the organization and to the team. How can one remind other team member of their Strengths ? He or She can openly appreciate the other person but in true sense this may sound as more artificial than anything else. There can be many ways to address this but i have found one exercise when done with the team quite useful to address this aspect.
Here are the details-

• blank sheets of paper (same as no. of team members)
• pens (same as no. of teamm members)
• Around 20-30 min in a team meeting
• Paricipants with Open unbiased mind

1. Participants sitting in a sort of round table setting.
2. Each participant gets one piece of paper and write their name on it.
3. As a next step, each participant passes on the paper (with their name) to the person sitting on right of him/her.
4. Each person now has a paper with someone else’s name on it.
5. As a next step, Each participant thinks for a while (1 minute or less) and writes something positive about the person who name appears on the sheet. The participant need not write his/her name with the comment. “Something positive” can be even some good instance, good experience that he/she would have shared with that person, or some personality trait he/she likes about him/her or even some professional achievement, skill about that person. Preferably write it in sentence form rather than a single word. The bottom line is that it should be something positive. If you need more to write, take it but try and be as honest as possible in the praise.
6. After the participant has completed writing, go to Step# 3 till 5 repeatedly till you get the paper with your name back.
7. After you receive the sheet with your name, each person tells any one interesting Positive thing someone has written about him/her.

• Helps people thinking something positive (beyond their egos) about the team members and reinforcing that belief.
• Help people reinforce the fact that irrespective of the personality differences, there is something positive to cherish about.
• The final sheet is something people can keep with them and refer to it anytime later. This can be referred especially when chips are down and looking at the positives helps one regain the confidence.
• Share some light moments within the team especially when everyone is communicating the Interesting Positive fact in a team setting.

Do you know of any other interesting ways ?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Myths about Globalization Testing

I think i havent contributed to the Myths about Globalization Testing Series in a while. I do intend to write more about this and soon. In the meantime, i thought to just go back in time a little and list all myths that i have worked to uncover in the previous blogs. Here's the list-

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing -1
Myth 1: G11n testing is not technical enough
Myth 2: G11n testing is majorly about testing the UI
Myth 3: G11n Testing can start only after the base product is translated

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing -2
Myth 4: A person who doesn't know French cannot test the French version of the Software
Myth 5: A tester only needs to follow the test cases executed for Base language in order to thoroughly test the internationalized applications
Myth 6: There is no scope of exploratory testing while testing internationalized applications
Myth 7: The language verification of User Interface can be done by comparing the text on screen with translation outputs of any freely available Online translator.

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing -3
Myth 8: If a test case works fine in French language, it will work fine in German language as well
Myth 9: If the Foreign text input in application text fields work fine by using the Soft keys, then it means the data input through respective Foreign language key board would also work fine.
Myth 10: Globalization testing doesn't require the same test setup as is required to do the Base language testing. Globalization testing can be done with a minimum test setup.

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing -4
Myth 11: Localization - means Localized product on a localized Operating System, Internationalization- means Localized product on English Operating System

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing- Demystifying MUI Packs
Myth 12: Testing International applications using "Microsoft's MUI Pack" or "Localized OS installation" means one and the same thing

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing- Input validation testing 2
Myth 13- A tester can perform tests specific to text inputs for Localized applications using the similar approaches as the English language testing

Uncovering Myths...."Security Testing is from Mars and Globalization Testing is from Venus"
Myth 14- Security Testing is from Mars and Globalization testing is from Venus

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing- English version on Localized setup
Myth 15: There is no use testing the English version of a product on Localized Operating systems

Uncovering Myths about Globalization testing- MUI Packs in Win XP and Win Vista
Myth 16: There is no difference between MUI technology being used in Win XP and Win Vista

Uncovering myths about Globalization Testing- Reusing Test Automation
Myth 17: The test scripts meant for English language automated tests cannot be reused for Internationalization testing

Uncovering myths about Globalization testing- Context driven planning
Myth 18: There is one standard way of Test Planning the Globalization testing, which is applicable to all the contexts.

Uncovering Myths about Globalization Testing- Websites with localized addresses
Myth 19: There is no need to include localized web addresses as a part of your test data as Web addresses are always in English

Uncovering Myths about Globalization Testing- Knowledge of Native Language
Myth 20: If i dont know German at all, i can still effectively test a German application

Uncovering myths about Globalization Testing- Finding Localization bugs before actual translation takes place
Myth 21: It is not possible to find the Localization bugs before actual translation takes place

Uncovering myths about Globalization Testing- Testing MUI feature
Myth 22 : A tester testing Globalization features need not pay any special attention towards testing MUI feature.

Uncovering myths about Globalization testing- Approach to generate Localized test data
Myth 23: It is possibly the right strategy to randomly pick the test data specific to the localized language you are testing

Hope you enjoyed going over these again. Would appreciate your comments, suggestions!