Here’s the story behind the testing dashboard tweets

Low-Tech Dashboard in Confluence

I can’t believe just how hungry testers are for the low-tech testing dashboard.  It’s a great illustration of how we are evolving in our desire for tools that do not push us around or deign to tell us how we should be testing.

At my last job, I ditched Quality Center for a test-cycle and decided to use James Bach’s low-tech testing dashboard with my team’s incredibly un-sophisticated dokuwiki.  There was nothing expensive involved and certainly no rules… just enough structure and more creativity in my testing.  I loved it!  By getting rid of Quality Center, I made my testing activities much more visible to the rest of my team not to mention more creative in terms of exploratory testing.

I’ve been tweeting about it because we’re starting to use it for Confluence testing efforts.  The reason why I haven’t blogged it yet it is because I’m putting it in a paper for this year’s CAST. Those of you attending CAST will have the opportunity to see my full presentation.  Because of the overwhelming interest, I thought I’d give y’all a few tidbits and a push in the right direction.  If I get permission, I’ll be post the full paper.  If my arm is gently twisted, I might add a few more tidbits.

This is very easy to put together, can be free (as in beer) and is 115% customizable.

The ingredients:

A whiteboard or a wiki (I like Confluence and I’m not biased AT ALL.)

The low-tech testing dashboard pdf

Some idea of what *you* want to track in *your* testing

The most challenging aspect of using this dashboard is in deciding what you want to track.  My co-worker and I discussed it for a while and are still undecided on a few points.  Although the pdf suggests that putting this online is less than optimal, I think a wiki is a perfect leap.  I link all of my test objective pages to the components I list in the dashboard.  I also link important issues in the comments section. Thus, a wiki is shallow enough but has the ability to give added depth when and where it is necessary.

Mr. Bach’s dashboard is 11 years old, and thus, is a bit weathered but still very good stuff.  It’s ripe for a bit of botox here and there.  Those of you who decide to take this and “make it your own” are welcome to share how you’ve made changes or which areas of the dashboard could use a bit of tweaking in your environment.  I hope to see some dashboard photos on twitter. (There’s a meatloaf joke in there somewhere.)

4 thoughts on “Here’s the story behind the testing dashboard tweets”

  1. Hmmm, just starting a project, did not want to be bothered with ‘where’s testing at?’ questions, thought I’d use a dashboard, but for some reason Confluence didn’t even cross my mind, possibly cause I’m a Confluence newb.
    Bring on the tidbits!

  2. @Chris I looked at this in *Art of Agile Development* there’s definitely a connection. Thanks for the tip.

    When I used Quality Center, I could never get the business team to even log in. We were already using the wiki to post requirements so when I posted the testing dashboard, the business team was really excited about it. Got me out of a meeting, even! You can use a chart like the one I made as your connective tissue between Confluence pages you’ve written about test objectives/tests and issues that you create. Have fun :)

  3. * gently twisting your arm *

    We also have Quality Center available to us, but as you already mentioned, that is strictly a tester’s tool, nobody else ever logs in to that. Quality Center is not really working in our agile project, either.
    We also use Confluence Wiki in our team, and your post inspired me to try out something similar.
    Will modify/refine along the way., and keep you posted.


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