Wednesday, December 14, 2016

All people are decision makers

I was testing a new implementation to an old feature, and as a new person, figuring out what of the old is intentional and what is new. On many of the questions I would ask I got told "it has always been this way, and it's ok". I chose not to fight - I made an active decision not to care.

The reason I could decide not to care is that I know there will be more chances of addressing that particular detail. I knew that soon, I will rally together a group of "real users" to learn with on if things I think are relevant are indeed relevant. And changing it then and changing it now are really not that big of a difference. The users seeing a problem (and feeling they got heard) may just be more valuable than users never seeing that problem.

I make decisions all the time. I decide on what I test and what I don't test. I decide on what I learn in detail, and where gut feeling or plain ignorance is sufficient. I decide what information to fight for and when. I decide how hard I will fight.

There's an expression in the testing community that really ticks me off but I most often just try to dismiss it:
Testers are not decision-makers but information providers.
All people are decision-makers. But very few of us make big decisions alone. The big decisions (like a release after a two-year project) depend on the small decisions prior done well enough.

I'm a tester and I regularly and habitually make decisions on releases. Those decisions tends to be small in scale, because since agile, the world has changed. Should the testing community reassess more of the shared learnings from time before agile?