“Without a decent test management tool I would have had to clone myself …”
In this blog series we speak with test managers and test coordinators from various branches. At Testersuite we like to hear the different views in the field of testing and what concerns a test manager or test coordinator. In this edition, meet Bart Kuunders, project manager at Samsung SDS.
Just a heads up: Who is Bart?
My name is Bart Kuunders. I am 39 years old and live together in Maasbree in Limburg. If I am not busy with my work then I like to travel. See that as my biggest hobby. Oh, and of course I am a passive football supporter.
Traveling, that’s fun! What kind of traveling?
Well especially travel to non-touristy places. Think of Iceland, Greenland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, etc … Nothing organized but just go and explore on your own. Searching for the hidden paths. I have now been to around fifty countries. We try to make a journey every year. For next year we have the plan to travel for 3 months.
“Fleeing from a herd of 40 elephants”
So do you ever experience something?
Hell yes! I was once on La Reunion, an island near Madagascar. There they have the most active volcanoes in the world. Very spectacular to see them spit. Especially if you walk into such a volcano in the dark. One mistake and it goes wrong. There are deaths regularly. But hearing a lion roar 100 meters from your tent in South Africa and standing face to face with a hyena at night is also exciting. Or flee from a herd of 40 elephants approaching you. Then you will be away from your daily routine. That way you restore the balance.
Did you want to become a test manager as a child?
No! Who says yes to that? I never used to think I want to become this or that. Was never busy with that. I ended up in logistics by accident. I did the HBO Business Framework course and graduated in Eindhoven. For my graduation I could choose from commerce, administration and logistics. I chose logistics as the least bad of the three. This turned out to be a bull’s eye afterwards. I have now been working in logistics for 17 years, including 11 as a self-employed person. In particular as a supply chain management consultant. That is quite broad. From operation management to supply chain management. Consider, for example, the implementation of a WMS such as now with Samsung SDS. In short, the entire project management within logistics. Everything from A to Z. And I do that all over the world. And there is also the link with travel.
How did you end up in IT?
Logistics and IT go hand in hand. IT is becoming increasingly important in this. You can think of and / or improve a process, but it must also be implemented. This means that you have a concept that needs to be tested before implementation. The larger and more complex the project becomes, the more intensive you have to start testing. To a certain extent, this is still possible without tooling. I have done that in the past. But when you are testing with 25 people like this, a tool is very important. You must know what you are doing. That is how I came closer to IT. I am also often the link between operation and IT.
“What are we going to test, when and how?”
What are your test challenges as a project manager?
In fact, that means getting and keeping complete control over the test process. Ensure that people work on the right things. Setting priorities and keeping track of shifts therein. What are we going to test, when and how? In what complexity and with what depth? Which devices are used in a system and how do we test that? This is continuously.
Perhaps an open door, but this is not possible without a tool?
True, without a test management tool I will loose 110% of my time in test coordination. Then I would be working with Excel, Word and shared documents. That goes well for a few days until things are overwritten, things disappear in the e-mail and so on. Then you are busy 15 hours a day and running behind.
You benefit greatly from working with a tool because you know in real time where you stand and what people are doing. Everyone ensures that his workflow is empty at the end of the day. That way I have full insight into the defects every day. The follow-up therefore lies directly with the right person and so you test as efficiently as possible. Whether one uses exploratory testing or the UI, everyone is forced to log defects in the same way. Testersuite solves a lot for me in that regard. It gives me the opportunity to stay in control. By customizing Testersuite to our needs, it is the perfect tool for me to achieve the aggressive timelines.
What are the most important milestones that you have achieved with Samsung?
In Q4 of last year, we started at Samsung SDS with the implementation of a new WMS system Cello (Cello is a WMS package developed by Samsung SDS in-house). Sturdy targets were set for this. This project went live on the agreed date. Of course there is always room for improvement but the feedback both internally and externally was excellent. Without a decent test management tool I would have had to clone myself …
“Strangely enough, I still see many ‘old school’ test tracks …”
What does the future look like for the test manager?
Strangely enough, I still see many “old school” test tracks in the logistics industry. Then I mean testing with Excel, Word, email attachments, etc. Tools like Testersuite are the future because you can manage and streamline test processes very well. At many companies where I have worked I do not see that they already use test tooling there. There is still a lot to be gained with a tool.
With a structured testing process you could have prevented nine out of ten production problems by resolving them before going live. This results in considerable savings because solving problems in production is much more expensive. Testersuite forces you to work in a certain way. More complete and efficient. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
And automated testing?
If you want to go from Excel to automated testing then you have no idea what you are doing. That step is too big. You must first grow in test maturity. If, as a company, you take that step, you will get a lot of trouble or you will have found the egg of Columbus. I would like to know that.
First take a look at the test cases within your project. Which steps do you go through and what are the exceptions? People must determine that. That cannot be automated.
Of course there is a future in automated testing. But you first have to make the transition from your improvised Excel test process to a solid test management process. To take this step you need a test management tool. Then you can see which parts you can test automatically. And don’t forget that automated testing also costs maintenance and management.
A critical question from the Testersuite team, what could be better?
In the preliminary phase you can adjust according to your own needs. That’s great. However, the own organization is still insufficiently reflected in the reports. It would be nice if you could also use your own fields in the reports. The standard reports look slick but are just not enough in that respect. It would help me as a test manager if this is adjusted.
(Note from the editors: A completely new dashboard was rolled out at the end of June 2019. The custom fields can also be used there. A new version of the reporting module will be published after the summer in which this is also the case.)
Do you have anything left to say?
I am very happy that we chose Testersuite at Samsung SDS. It brought what we had in mind. It is supported within the organization and all employees see the benefits.
Do you also have interesting experiences in the test section that you want to share? Let’s talk!
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