Clients, career hoping and identity crisis
I’ve been working with four different clients this year. As many of you already know IKEA has been my main client during 2018. During the first six months my role was focused on challenging existing patterns and driving change related to software testing. I had the opportunity to work with some fantastic perseverant people driving changes in software development from waterfall methodologies towards an agile mindset.
A few of the things I accomplished was:
- Enabling moving testers from separate testing teams to be part of the development teams
- Enabling the development teams to take responsibility for quality and testing by removing sign-offs and handovers which provided no value
- Removing (or perhaps minimizing) the focus on test reporting based on test case counting
- Introducing, creating awareness and running workshops on exploratory testing and session based test management
- Influenced the change from war room to collaboration room ( this might seem like a funny accomplishment but I am proud of it – I believe words can both mirror and affect behavior )
These might seem as small steps but in the context this was quite a challenge to get to. And it was just a start towards the right direction.
In June an opportunity emerged within IKEA. A position as Scrum Master became available. It would also mean that I could change two hours of commuting per day to only twenty minutes per day. You might think it was an easy choice but it was a pretty difficult one. In the process I realized that my identity is tightly connected to software testing. This is where my passion lies and where I have my expertise. On the other hand I have always enjoyed working with teams and individuals to help them bring out the best in themselves and their work.
I took on the role as a Scrum Master with the hope of also being able to coach the team in software testing. For many reasons this did not happen. I had other challenges to focus on and new things to learn.
As I mentioned I had four clients this year. In between driving change at IKEA I did some consulting which involved recruitment of testers. I also advised a client on their testing process and helping them to shift their focus from testing to a holistic focus on quality engineering. The latter client had a very open mindset and I provided them a different way of visualizing their development process. Rather than writing a word document with diagrams I used sketchnote techniques to visualize the organic process that a development process actually is.
The variety of work these two assignments provided was something i enjoyed very much. Getting to work with new people and new contexts is very enriching and brings me new insights and learnings.
In the beginning of the year I had the opportunity to run a one-day training in exploratory testing for a client. This was a lot of fun and is something that I would like to do a lot more of in 2019.
My takeaways from this episode:
Driving change is never easy. Though this is what I really enjoy doing I realized that I too have a limit. I spent an enormous amount of energy in 2017 and 2018 on changes in software testing. Having the opportunity to do something different from time to time for other clients helped bring me new energy and perspective.
But my greatest learning came from being a Scrum Master. It was during this period I learned that I needed a pause from software testing. I realized this when I did not have the energy left to get involved in testing related topics anymore. From someone who passionately discussed testing with everyone who wanted to join I haven’t even spoken to my team about testing during my last 6 months at IKEA.
I am now ready to get back into the game and I am looking forward to my new assignment next year in Denmark.
Stay tuned for my next post…