Testing is a complex process. It requires a collection of tools and services, from various vendors, to work in harmony. It requires organizational changes that impact every level of a management chain. It requires a sometimes-challenging mindset; indeed, a completely new culture. And, even when these elements are aligned, when the test velocity is increasing, when the wins are becoming more frequent, when the program is clearing the obvious hurdles with ease, a new challenge can appear, threatening to derail the entire process.
Imagine, for example, a panicked call from the manager of sales. A new test experience has confused customers, you learn, and the sales team was not aware it had been launched—and are thus unable to help. You’ve probably been in contact with sales—their customer-facing role can be an excellent source for test ideas—but apparently, they haven’t been updated with the ongoing efforts of the testing team.
It’s a huge problem but fortunately, it’s one with a simple, three-step solution.
The first step to preventing such confusion is to ensure there is clear and comprehensive documentation for every test that is launched. Building such a test repository helps other teams across the organization understand what changes they can expect on the site. It also facilitates troubleshooting, enables smart iteration, helps to standardize processes, and provides a resource for reporting program successes.
For documentation to be useful, it must be organized, standard, and easily accessible.
Launching a new test is a great excuse to celebrate the work of a testing team throughout the organization. But perhaps more importantly, it’s an opportunity to communicate important testing-related updated to teams that may not pay close attention otherwise. Whether you send an email or bang a gong, such organization-wide communication is essential to running an effective testing program.
At its best, testing is a collaborative process that begins to influence every branch of a business. Often, one group or team “owns” testing, but the ultimate goal should always be the expansion of the program across an organization—either through the formation of an autonomous testing team, or by embedding optimization experts in every team. Interdepartmental confusion, like that described in the anecdote above, is an opportunity to involve a new group in the testing process.
By ensuring these three simple efforts are made, an entire organization can become more closely aligned with testing, eliminating confusion and ultimately building support for the program.