W8(PM): Lean Software Testing

Borrowing from lean manufacturing, agile development, and a great deal of personal experience, LST provides methods for participants to improve the flow of software testing and delivery by identifying waste, bottlenecks, and obstacles. Starting with What are we doing now? students learn what to change next, how to design safe experiments, reduce risk, and continually improve.

We introduce the concept of a Kanban - to visualize our flow of work, with some examples, and introduce a simulation, which allows the team to experience software development at an accelerated pace. Participants observe delivery dynamics from a different perspective and then discuss what they have learned.

By the end of the workshop, students understand the challenges of delivery and testing, especially for quick releases. They will have heuristics to find waste in tools, processes, and documentation, and tools to measure and improve the flow of software through tests. We’ll look at the flow of software, from concept to cash, including all of the roles on a project team and the effect of imaging work as an assembly line. We also examine the cost of work in progress, and the definitions of lead time, cycle time, and TAKT time. We will also discuss:

  • Lean manufacturing and how that applies to software delivery.
  • A Lean software testing method that plugs into a Traditional, Agile, or even Continuous Delivery Software Model
  • Tools to measure the performance of delivery
  • How flow impacts throughput
  • How to use Lean to reduce time spent estimating and planning software projects.

Michael Larsen and Matthew Heusser

Michael Larsen is a freelance software testing consultant. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA. Over the past three decades, he has been involved in software testing for a range of products and industries, including network routers & switches, virtual machines, capacitance touch devices, video games, and client/server, distributed databases & web applications. Michael is the co-author of "Software Testing Strategies" (Packt Publishing, 2023) along with Matt Heusser. He is also the producer and co-host of "The Testing Show" (also with Matt Heusser) for Qualitest. Michael writes the TESTHEAD blog. A list of books, articles, papers, and presentations can be seen on his LinkedIn page.

Matthew HeusserMatthew Heusser is the managing director at Excelon Development, and the co-author of Software Testing Strategies: A Guide for the 2020’s. He is also the 2014 recipient of the Most Influential Agile Test Professional Person (MAITPP) award in Potsdam Germany, a 2015 recipient of the Most Popular Online Contributor to Agile at the Agile Awards (Marble Arch, United Kingdom). Over the course his adult career in software, he has served two terms on the Association for Software Testing and delivered keynote speeches on the topic on three continents. Learn about Matt at www.xndev.com.