Quality means very different things to different people – and, when it comes to software, all perceptions of quality are valid and all approaches must be tested. So to produce high quality software in today’s networked universe, you either need to test all possible combinations (which isn’t practical), or you need to test differently. When we run our tests, we essentially train the software to respond to a specific set of user actions. Traditional test strategies focus on feature or component level testing through either manual or automated means, but may not account for end-user scenario-based1 testing or usability related aspects of the product as a whole.
On the Lync team, we use productivity games2 specifically designed for our features and signature scenarios as a way to complement traditional workplace testing methodologies, and to expand how we test software. This paper discusses how we used productivity games to enhance the quality of our products by improving team collaboration, employee engagement, and cost savings. We illustrate the use of productivity games in the workplace as a way to involve many faces of quality into the software development lifecycle by including all major stakeholders into the gaming experience and targeting multiple platforms. We also show examples of how structured productivity games improve software quality, ensure a highly productive workforce and transform an often mundane task of software testing into a fun activity.