Testing and Multitasking
A tester will often be in a situation when he/she faces a tsunami of things to handle at the same time. Multi-tasking efficiently is never a child’s-play for any role, especially for tester where the slightest laxity or negligence can cause cost in terms of quality.
Although it looks like tester only does Testing, testing itself relates to a wide variety of tasks. Ability to Multi-task comes in handy on those days when a tester juggles between any of the following possible tasks:
* Test Planning, Writing Test Cases.
* Test Case Execution
* Bug reporting
* Supporting Devs to reproduce an issue.
* Mentoring team members/ responding to queries from various teams.
* Supporting customer during UAT
* Risk Management
* Working on multiple Projects
One can avoid ending up in an ugly mess of things if multi-tasking is done in an astute manner.
Few things have proven to be helpful to accomplish this without much fuss:
1. First golden rule is to never leave anything in a state from where it is difficult to pick up again or require lot of efforts to do so. Like writing test case steps without corresponding expected result and jumping onto something else. No-wonder, you will have to read and re-read things to finish it.
2. If you really have to leave things in between, note down important points ( I love sticky notes for this). For example, you may want to scribble some test data to continue your test case execution when a bug from Production has to be investigated.
3. If you are interrupted from writing test cases (or anything!!) when your mind is really bubbling with test ideas/scenarios, jot them down in form of flow diagrams/bullet points on a piece of paper. You will thank yourself when you return to it after couple of hours.
4. If you are asked to do something which holds less priority than what you are currently doing, offer politely and skillfully to wait for sometime (Do at YOUR OWN RISK :D). At the same time, respect others’ priority when you are the cause of interruption for someone else.
5. Manage your work properly to minimise overlapping tasks. For example don’t start testing a workflow which you know would take 45 minutes if you have a scheduled meeting in 30 minutes.
6. Delegate and Ask for help wherever you can. Its astonishing you don’t realise help is only a call away when the tasks look monstrous.
In addition to all above, talk and share with your colleague/friend/manager…anyone. Talking and discussing reveal new ideas and keeps you calm.