Being highly productive and performing quality testing is more self-management than time management. Managing your time efficiently can simplify the life of testers by 10X.
Testers are often overloaded with deadlines, which does more harm than good and leads to a constant pile of work. Although testers can’t change the functioning of their organizations, they can tweak their way of working, which can minimize the efforts and maximize productivity.
Here are 10 tips that can help you become a testing rockstar:
Planning is everything. There is a phrase called ‘eating the frog,’ which means to do the toughest job. The key is to eat the frog first thing in the morning, which means doing necessary but boring jobs such as clearing emails, sorting out the tasks, and blocking your calendar to complete each task.
When you do this, the hardest part of your day is already over. All you need to do is stick to your plan and cruise through the day. Each tester has a way of planning their day. Make sure you find yours and plan it the best way you can that buffers time for your tasks and breaks with equal weightage.
2. Are you a multitasker?
Knowing when to multi-task is important. As a tester, you have a wide scope of things to do. Often, this will tempt you to multi-task and switch between tasks constantly just to finish the job earlier. As fancy as it might seem, multi-tasking is known to affect the quality of the work, and believe it or not, it also increases the time taken.
Cal Newport, the author of the book ‘Deep Work’ has proven that humans are at their best when they are immersed deeply in a challenging task. Multi-tasking doesn’t let you be fully involved in a job, and somehow, this will not bring out the expert in you.
3. S.M.A.R.T Goals
Before you skip this point, assuming it is a managerial concept, pause for a bit and try to apply it to your everyday life. When your targets and goals are on point, so is your work. Ask yourself before setting any target – Is this S.M.A.R.T?
Let’s dig deeper into what S.M.A.R.T is.
- Specific: Make sure your goals are specific and not open-ended. Having a clear scope of work is more beneficial than you know. It will help you load off half of the unnecessary responsibilities.
- Measurable: Metrics are everything to help you succeed in achieving your targets time after time. Humans play better when they keep score. Find a way to measure your goals and keep score with yourself.
- Attainable: What good is a goal if you can’t achieve it? It is neither motivating nor productive. Make sure your goals are within your reach.
- Relevant: If your goals are not relevant, chances are that they won’t help you or your organization. Make sure your goals align with the organization’s.
- Timeline: Set a deadline. This will help you keep track of how much work is pending with how much time you have.
There are always a set of tasks that require more than one brain. Ironically this is also the concept of QA testing. Coding and developing leave scope for human error, which is why QA testing was introduced.
Similarly, within QA, teamwork will help you achieve your goal faster and better with multiple hands and brains on deck – offering a different perspective and reducing workload.
Communication between departments (especially testers and developers) is highly essential. This will reduce the frequency of back-and-forth rounds and clarify the issue within one go.
The Scrum method is highly efficient regarding communication within the department. It enhances the understanding of the project and helps the team come up with innovative techniques for working.
6. Create a Traceability Matrix
Traceability is originally a supply chain concept that helps all the stakeholders trace where the product has originated from, right from the manufacturer to the distributor and then to the end user. It holds all the stakeholders accountable for the product and its condition.
Now, where does the traceability matrix occur in testing? Having a traceability matrix in the software development life cycle helps the stakeholders understand who is responsible for the test case coverage, testability, and product completeness. This helps ease the process of communication and correction before deploying the application and saves you hours.
7. Know your forte
Knowing your forte’ refers to understanding your skills to know what you’re good at. Being aware of your strong areas will help you understand what kind of work you can contribute to the project. This will also help the organization understand which type of projects suit your resource.
Know that this doesn’t mean you only do what you’re good at and ignore other responsibilities. The idea behind knowing your forte’ is to prioritize work and churn out the best possible result.
8. Scope of work
“A problem well stated is a problem half solved” – Charles Kettering.
Having a clear idea about your exact task, how many hours it would take, and who is involved. Having an end-to-end idea about these requirements alone will help you plan your task much more efficiently. How? It will help you understand the gap and gather the necessary resources to finish the task instead of last-minute searching. It’s that simple.
9. Avoid Grunt Work
Repetitive tasks kill your time and energy. They won’t let you focus your efforts on productive tasks where your actual inputs are necessary. In today’s work, where everything is automated through artificial intelligence, testing is also slowly moving towards automation.
Invest your resources in productive jobs instead of repetitive ones. Testing automation is the new update in the software industry. Various companies offer testing automation solutions which aren’t very expensive either.
10. Sharpen your swords
As we said earlier, new technology is born every day. Testers need to hone their skills in a way that they are always up to date and in the loop with everyday testing trends.
One of the most efficient habits of high-quality testers is that they are constantly hungry for knowledge and look for ways to increase their efficiency. You would be surprised to know how much time the same testers spend on recharging their batteries through recreational activities just because they are much faster than others.
Testing is a highly significant aspect of every software application. Therefore, learning to manage time correctly is crucial. These useful points ought to help you get a grasp of what you can do to save time and utilize it optimally in any project.
TestGrid is one of the most preferred automated software testing platforms. It empowers testers to speed up and automate the process of web and mobile app testing, thus saving their precious time. It automates and simplifies tedious tasks requiring manual intervention and prevents a lot of frustration for testers.