"You can only improve quality if you go into depth with testing".
In this blog series, we speak with test managers and test coordinators from various industries. At Testersuite , we like to hear the various views on testing and what keeps a test manager or test coordinator busy. Meet Koen Janssen (38), Test Manager at Action.
Heads up: Who is Koen?
My name is Koen Janssen and I live together with my girlfriend Cher in Enkhuizen. Three months ago we were joined by our beautiful daughter Billie.
Did you want to become a test manager in primary school?
Well, that was a close call. When I was at secondary school, I had already decided to study IT.
Ah, a motivated student!
That's true, but I was one of the few people who didn't like programming at the HIO course. I was much more interested in the preliminary stages. In other words, the software design and the interaction with the user(s). I did do the programming and I did manage to get it right, but it was a struggle. My interest lay much more in other subjects. I passed those with flying colours.
"I was one of the few who didn't like programming"
Okay, so you got your HBO Computer Science degree. And then?
The next step was the Master Information Management at Tilburg University. A somewhat broader study with economics and management. This also gave me the opportunity to study for six months at Purdue University in Indiana (USA).
After graduating, I could have gone in various directions, such as Business Consultancy or Enterprise Architect. But my preference went out to the interaction with the business and developer. This is why the choice for testing was quickly made. Being the link between the user and developer.
How did you end up at Action?
I started creating baggage in 2006 by working as a test consultant at LogicaCMG. Before Logica, I worked for UPC, Philips and the NS, among others, for two years. After that, I worked as a test coordinator for AH and Tele2 via Immune IT. In 2011, after 5 years of work experience, it was time for me to stand on my own two feet. As a freelancer I started working for KPN and Ziggo. After a year sabbatical in Australia, I came in contact with PTWEE through a mutual colleague in 2014.
Through PTWEE - a sister company of Testersuite - I did some assignments at Heijmans and PWN. Based on that, PTWEE asked me to join Action in December 2016. They were looking for a test coordinator there. A great challenge within a large SAP landscape with 4 releases per year.
What is your role at Action?
I coordinate the SAP releases. This makes me the spider in the web between the functional administrators, functional consultants, ABAP people, key users, etc. This means that I draw up and monitor various scripts, including regression tests, for example. But also monitoring of defects, test scripts and requirements.
"Without Testersuite , you're at the mercy of Word, Excel and e-mail. That's back to the stone age"
What milestones have you achieved at Action?
In addition to SAP releases, I have been involved as Test Manager in implementations of a Supply Chain Portal and auto replenisment of the Action DCs. I am currently Test Manager for the migration to SAP Successfactors. At Action, they had been working with Testersuite for a while when I got there. With my arrival, we deepened the quality of the test cases. As a result, different phases within the testing process are easier to transfer from one resource to another. Also, regression testing has been expanded. Consideration is now being given to automating certain parts of the testing process.
What is your biggest challenge as a test manager?
Raise awareness of the need for testing and extend the short timeframe for testing. Testing is now often the final piece in the IT budget. This really has to improve! If you want to improve the quality and ease of use of your IT environment, more attention will have to be paid to the testing processes.
How do you deal with this?
By talking to all those involved in the project. This gets everyone on the same page. A test manager must be communicative, proactive and analytical.
"Testing is now often the final piece in the IT budget. This really has to improve!"
What is the biggest problem of the test manager today?
That we are still in an advisory role rather than a decisive one. That is also the challenge of the profession. For example, product risk analysis is important in order to get people on board. Creating insight by clearly outlining the consequences of defects.
What problem does Testersuite solve for you?
Communication to all stakeholders within the IT project. Simplicity of use for key users. Key users can be in control. Without this tool, you are at the mercy of Word, Excel and e-mail, which is back to the Stone Age.
With Testersuite , you are always building your test scripts and test scenarios. It allows for reuse of regression tests. The data you capture in Testersuite allows you to build a foundation for administrators of new systems for upgrades and changes to existing infrastructure/software. Using the master list and writing data back to the master list is ideal. This results in faster implementation of new systems.
The link with Topdesk is absolutely great. The integration runs smoothly and benefits us greatly. Furthermore, Testersuite helps create a basis for acceptance by, among other things, finding defects early on in the test phase. My personal mission is to create depth in testing with the goal of quality improvement. Testersuite helps me tremendously in this regard.
A critical question from the Testersuite team. What could be better?
Testersuite makes the work tremendously easy. Also to explain to key users. By means of test runs, for example. Linking users to a group so that this group can perform tests itself is a functionality that has recently been included in Testersuite and is very handy.
The Excel export is ideal. However, I would like to be able to zoom in via the dashboard within the tool. Up to the level of users and individual date. This would be ideal for the status of the defects per person. Progression over time via the dashboard.
"Hold the hand of the key user, project manager, consultant, integration project manager, etc..."
What does the future look like for the test manager?
I think that automated testing and exploratory testing will stand side by side. Automated testing is particularly interesting for regression tests. Exploratory testing by people remains important. This is much more functionality-based. You really cannot leave that to an automated system.
What is your advice to other test managers?
Get stuck into your project and make sure you add value to it. Hold the hand of the key user, project manager, consultant, integration project manager, etc... And make sure you keep an overview. Know what you are doing.
Do you have interesting experiences in the testing profession that you would like to share? Let's talk!