‘Test Smarter’ and Other Work Clichés

I hate clichés, especially at work. The first time I ever heard the phrase “It is what it is” was over 20 years ago, used by my boss to explain why I was not getting a raise that year. Whenever I hear it now, in any context, I get a little angry inside.

Among my least favorite work-related terms are words like “synergy”, “paradigm” and “holistic”. They never fail to trigger my cynicism and disdain for both the speaker who uses them and the topic they are discussing.

But the all-time worst work cliché, in my opinion, is the classic line, “Work smarter, not harder.”  What does that even mean?

As a professional, I find it insulting. It clearly indicates that the employee it’s addressed to is not using – or does not possess – the requisite intelligence to achieve better results. And as an engineer, I find the use of the phrase to be quite self-contradictory. After all, how can anybody take steps to work “smarter” without better processes or training? In effect, if the person using this phrase is a manager, then they’re actually implying that they are bad at their own job. They just haven’t armed their employees with the knowledge or tools needed to improve job performance.

Now isn’t that a “paradigm shift”!

Let’s morph that infamous phrase a bit to “test smarter, not harder” and turn it inward. Is it still as aggravating and frustrating as the original?  I don’t think so, as there are platforms on the market that can indeed make your testing smarter and easier. They mitigate complexity for the end-user and allow them to test more effectively in less time.

Panaya has been evolving its Enterprise Test & Defect Management platform for over 15 years. It’s one of the only testing platforms with new features introduced monthly. The platform was purposely built for ease of use and its powerful accelerators truly enable smarter testing.

For example:

  • Panaya Test Recorder auto-generates audit-quality test evidence while a tester is running through their script. There is no need to document, copy, paste, or take a screenshot. Panaya does it all behind the scenes. Similarly, logged defects automatically include the steps that the tester took to generate the issue, so IT can hit the ground running when it comes to remediation.
  • Panaya Automated Rules ensure data consistency and alert key stakeholders in real-time when something does not look right. Event-driven conditions can be trapped so that operations can run smoothly. For example, if a new defect is logged as “Critical” and the due date is less than 3 days away, a rule can be set to flag the defect and immediately notify Defect Management.
  • Tests throughout the system are correlated to defects, in order to avoid repeatedly testing something with a known issue. The impacted test will simply not appear as “Ready to Test” until all those issues are resolved.
  • In a multi-step business process test involving different stakeholders, Panaya automatically emails the next tester when it’s their turn. The baton is seamlessly passed between testers, with no need to log into a website or monitor any queue. Just grab a coffee, do your regular job, and check your inbox.
  • Every metric in every Panaya dashboard, report, and status summary is real-time and actionable. If there are 10 tests in a cycle that are falling behind, for example, you can click the metric and send a notification to all 10 test owners in less than 15 seconds.

So, where can “testing smarter” come into play?

Well, over the past few years, we have been witnessing significant disruption to business processes due to what I call transformational initiatives. SAP and Oracle introduced new versions of their flagship on-premises ERP platforms and are also offering pure cloud versions. Edge applications like HR systems have also been replaced with superior cloud alternatives. These new platforms introduce many operational efficiencies, but many standard processes have been impacted as well.

As a result, stakeholders are forced to run things much differently and changes to business processes need to be validated by manual testing. And we all know that the introduction of a new ERP platform requires a lot of manual testing.

If business stakeholders achieve testing efficiencies of 50% or more, then they can validate those new processes faster and get back to their regular jobs in no time. Employee morale will remain high throughout the risky project, and there will be more successful delivery outcomes and fewer nasty surprises after go-live.

That is just one example of how Panaya Test Dynamix can enable you to “work smarter, not harder”.

And believe it or not, I did not even cringe when I wrote that.