……come together, right now…….

Having decided to carry out a test mob on a new product at work; I blogged about the plan last month; last week we finally held our inaugural test mob.

This is our experience of mobbing.


The room was set-up thus:

  • Testers
  • Tester fuel (healthy and sugary)
  • Test environment
  • Test note taking ‘tools’ (digital – Plumbago/paperful/post-its)
  • Test ideas board

As there were five of us (from four different teams), we had five different job roles:

capture

  • The driver would be at the laptop, driving the test environment
  • The navigator would guide the driver as they tested, taking their lead from the ideas on the ideas board
  • The note taker took the digital notes
  • The ideas board person took the ideas from the team and added them to the ideas board via post-it, rearranging by priority, or as tested
  • The time keeper would keep track of the time boxed sessions and keep the whole thing rolling.

NB: Each role should not be exclusive from each other, but to enable all key areas to have a person responsible for them.


We had three hours in total, after the room was setup, testers adequately fuelled and an initial intro to the new product, we started with a 15 minute sessions in each role responsibility before cycling through.

At the halfway point, we took stock, ideas for test areas and a quick recap of the notes made.

Then we started the cycle again.


So, how did we find it?

Well, we ran a retrospective the very next day as part of our monthly test team meetings with some good points made:

Good:

  • Team bonding
    • Learning how we all test differently, how we all have different experiences with the product.
  • Learning a new product
  • Learning new features of the existing product
  • Fun
  • Lots of bugs found

Bad:

  • Some people deviated from their role of responsibility (I may have been guilty of that myself once or twice)
  • The time keeper was bored
  • Post-mob process undefined
    • Bugs found were only recorded in notes
    • Bugs found did not necessarily have steps of reproduction recorded
    • The responsibility of entering the bugs was not outlined in the mob session

Improvements:

  • Addition of extra laptop(s), so that bug entering, tracking and research can take place then and there
  • More flexibility in the roles, there’s always something we can do
  • Longer time in each role rather than repeating

It was a very productive retrospective session and we all agreed that we would want to run another test mob in the future, when we next have a new feature or product to test.

In hindsight, we went in rather unprepared to the unexpected. But, we all bought into the concept, and have started to shape it in a way that can work for us as a team of testers across different teams, but also to increase eyes on an unreleased product with new ways, thoughts, heuristics preferred and (human) testers’ intuition.

 

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