An Example of a Product Ecology for Testers

The theme of the DEWT3 peer conference (april 2013) was systems thinking. At this conference I shared an experience in which I presented the diagram below. This diagram is a visual representation of a lighting system for car parkings and its ecosystem.


At Let’s Test 2013 (may 2013), I showed Michael Bolton this diagram and I asked him to help me find a name for it. Michael suggested project ecosystem and project ecology to describe this model but I’d like to call it a Product Ecology for Testers because the focus of the diagram is on the products (solution) and the product’s context.

The concept of a Product Ecology for Testers requires a description about what it is and what it is not, including examples. At this moment however, the concept of a Product Ecology for Testers is in an exploratory phase. After having a Skype session with James Bach about the diagram, he suggested to me to write a report for the purpose of explaining to others who might be interested in this way of analyzing a product what this diagram shows.

The report is available here: An Example of a Product Ecology for Testers

3 thoughts on “An Example of a Product Ecology for Testers

  1. I like this!
    Feels like a holistic product analysis, visualizing information you also could get through HTSM activities, that in my experience tends to become lists and mental, invisible models.

    I would have liked to see some more about the green quality labels. I find these quality characteristics very useful for test strategy and test execution, and they give guidance on how to really understand the ecology. They would also be interesting to visualize spatially, as some are general, and some specific.

    It seems like it could take quite some time to create an ecology, so why has it been worthwile to you?

    1. Thanks for your comment Rikard.

      HTSM provides many factors which are part of a product’s context but there are more factors I think. The FEW HICCUPPS consistency heuristic(1) for example provides important factors like Image, Statutes, Comparable Products which can be visualized too. The idea is to add ALL the factors that have a relationship with the product and should be considered when the test strategy is defined.

      The green quality labels are indeed very useful in understanding the ecology. I’d be happy to discuss your idea’s regarding this.

      An ecology was/is worthwhile because it helped me to understand the solution we were building. While doing this, I found bugs AND I identified missing requirements AND it helped to identify risks.

      I started this ecology at the beginning of the project by reading the documentation that was available, this took me a couple of hours. After that I actively studied the product’s ecosystem by reading, talking to the appropriate people etc and update the model with what I’ve learned. The effort of making it visual is only a small part of this iterative process.


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