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The Lean Startup Method: Its Value for Testers

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A startup is an organization created to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Approximately 40 percent of all startups will cease operation with investors losing everything; 95 percent will fall short of their financial projections. And the number one cause of startup failure? No one wants to buy their product. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, learned that under conditions of extreme uncertainty, classical management methods do not bring success. Based on his and others’ experiences, he formulated the Lean Startup methodology consisting of five important principles: (1) Build-Measure-Learn (BML) loop, (2) Minimum Viable Product (MVP), (3) Validated Learning, (4) Customer Development, and (5) One Metric That Matters. Lee Copeland believes these same Lean Startup ideas have great value for testers. Come and discover how the BML loop is similar to exploratory testing, how the MVP idea suggests a Minimum Viable Set of Tests, how Customer Development suggests developing clients for your testing services, and more. Learn how to apply Lean Startup ideas in your testing organization.

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The Lean Startup Method: Its Value for Testers

  1. 1. W1   Test  Management   10/4/17  11:30   The  Lean  Startup  Method:  Its  Value  for   Testers   Presented  by:   Lee  Copeland    TechWell  Corp.   Brought  to  you  by:   350  Corporate  Way,  Suite  400,  Orange  Park,  FL  32073     888-­‐-­‐-­‐268-­‐-­‐-­‐8770  ·∙·∙  904-­‐-­‐-­‐278-­‐-­‐-­‐0524  -­‐  info@techwell.com  -­‐  http://www.starwest.techwell.com/  
  2. 2.   Lee  Copeland   TechWell  Corp.     With  more  than  forty  years  of  experience  as  an  information  systems  professional   at  commercial  and  nonprofit  organizations,  Lee  Copeland  has  held  technical  and   managerial  positions  in  applications  development,  software  testing,  and  software   process  improvement.  At  TechWell,  Lee  has  developed  and  taught  numerous   training  courses  on  software  development  and  testing  issues,  and  is  a  sought-­‐ after  speaker  at  software  conferences  in  the  United  States  and  abroad.  He  is  the   author  of  the  popular  reference  book,  A  Practitioner’s  Guide  to  Software  Test   Design.    
  3. 3. 2   3   Lee Copeland TechWell lee@techwell.com @grandpacopeland Testing Lessons from Lean Startups 4  4   Topics •  The Dismal Record of Startups •  Eric Ries •  Foundations of Lean Startup •  What Value for Testers?
  4. 4. 3   5  5   The Dismal Record of Startups •  A startup is an organization created to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty 6  6   The Dismal Record of Startups •  Shikhar Ghosh of the Harvard Business School reported these statistics: –  95% of startups will fall short of their financial projections –  80% will fail to meet their projected return on investment –  40% will cease operations with investors losing everything
  5. 5. 4   7  7   The Dismal Record of Startups •  The #1 cause of failure = No Market for their Product •  It’s a great product or service that no one wants to buy 8  8   Eric Ries •  An entrepreneur with an impressive track record –  Product to connect students with … employers –  Product to let people play in a 3D virtual world
  6. 6. 5   9  9   Eric Ries •  Ries discovered that under conditions of extreme uncertainty, classical management methods do not bring success ‒  When we lack knowledge – we gather more information ‒  When we lack alignment – we give more detailed instructions ‒  When outcomes are not what we expected – we impose more detailed controls 10  10   Eric Ries •  He formulated the Lean Startup methodology based on his and others’ experiences
  7. 7. 6   11  11   Foundations of Lean Startup 1.  Customer Development 2.  Build-Measure-Learn (BML) Loop 3.  Minimum Viable Product (MVP) 4.  Validated Learning 5.  One Metric That Matters (OMTM) 12  12   1. Customer Development •  Learning and discovering who a company’s initial customers will be, and what markets they are in, requires a separate, distinct, and parallel process from Product Development ― Steve Blank
  8. 8. 7   13  13   2. Build-Measure-Learn Loop In rapid iterations Persevere or Pivot? •  GOAL: 14  14   3. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  9. 9. 8   •  The MVP is that version of the product that enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time 15  15   3. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) •  The minimum viable product lacks many features that may prove essential later on – and that’s OK 16  16   3. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (Final product)(Minimum viable product)
  10. 10. 9   17  17   4. Validated Learning •  Validated learning is “the process of demonstrating empirically that the team has discovered valuable truths about the present and future business prospects” 18  18   5. One Metric That Matters (OMTM) •  Most metrics gathered by organizations are “vanity metrics.” They make us feel good (or look good), but don’t really show progress toward our goal Number of customers Cost to obtain each new customer Number of customers actually using the product
  11. 11. 10   19  19   5. One Metric That Matters (OMTM) •  The One Metric That Matters measures the one most important thing at the present state of the startup 20  20   The Lean Startup Methodology What Value for Testers?
  12. 12. 11   21  21   What Value for Testers? •  As software testers, we are rarely part of an entrepreneurial startup team •  Are there lessons for us from the Lean Startup methodology? 22  22   1. Customer Development •  Ask: –  Who are our customers? –  What are their problems our testing solves? –  Do our customers perceive these problems as important? –  Are they willing to pay for our testing services?
  13. 13. 12   23  23   1. Customer Development •  Customer Development suggests that we should identify the “customers” of our TESTING SERVICES: –  Developers –  Users –  Management And serve THEM, not our testing process 24  24   1. Customer Development •  Or this could be our future … Largest dot-com flop in history Raised $375 million in first public offering on revenue of $395,000 and net losses of $50 million
  14. 14. 13   25  25   2. Build-Measure-Learn Loop •  BML loop is equivalent to the Exploratory Testing loop This  is   where   we  start   Not  here!   26  26   3. Minimal Viable Product (MVP) •  The idea of an MVP suggests we could start with a Minimal Viable Set of Tests •  Don’t strive for “completeness” from the beginning •  Add additional tests as the need becomes apparent and warranted Learn  what  your   customers  want/ need/value  
  15. 15. 14   27  27   4. Validated Learning “It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so” Will Rogers American Humorist 28  28   4. Validated Learning •  The Lean Startup methodology suggests running frequent experiments to determine customer response •  As testers, we can run frequent tests to determine both system capabilities and customer satisfaction
  16. 16. 15   29  29   5. One Metric That Matters 30  30   5. One Metric That Matters •  Is your metrics program an example of “success theatre”?
  17. 17. 16   31  31   5. One Metric That Matters •  Replace the dozens of vanity metrics … –  Test cases planned –  Test cases implemented –  Test cases executed –  Test cases passed –  Test cases failed –  … 32  32   5. One Metric That Matters •  … with one that is truly indicative of something vital
  18. 18. 17   33  33   5. One Metric That Matters •  Does your metric –  Measure your success at improving quality? –  Directly relate to product success? –  Tie to real customers of your service? –  Help you determine what to do next? Ivory Madison, “Bonfire of the Vanity Metrics” 34  34   In Conclusion •  The Lean Startup methodology has many insights to offer to software testers •  Become familiar with its precepts. Adopt its ideas for your testing
  19. 19. 18   35  35   Thanks Tạm biệt từ Việt NamGood bye from Viet Nam 36  36   One Final Bit of Advice Be Open to Serendipity “Finding something good without looking for it”