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Working Practices

Change of Working Practice

At the last SWP meeting a periodic review of the group’s ways of working was undertaken. This review was based upon the feedback that had been received during the year and the impressions of those at the meeting, and drew the following conclusions:

·        Success of the website
Many positive comments have been received in the year about the new website, the depth of content, and the way that work in progress can be shared and reviewed by all.

·        Input and review is from everyone, not just a select group
Anyone that visits the website can read, review and comment upon the latest work in progress. People do not have to belong to the working party to play an active part in their specialist area.

·        Not everyone wants to be a technique author
Experience has shown that not everyone in the working party wants to be a technique author. The majority of members are happy just being reviewers.

·        The group needs a more regular flow of examples
A number of people volunteered to write examples but we have not heard from them lately. If you are writing an example please contact the group via the web site, to let us know the example non functional area and the domain, and an expected date for a first version to be completed for review. We will then add this information to the web site.

This led the meeting onto thinking about how to revise the approach to be more effective; looking to build upon what was successful and improve what was not.

After a lengthy discussion the meeting reached consensus on a revised approach which streamlines the administration, focuses the efforts of authors and still allows a wide contribution  to development and reviewing of the standards and examples:

·        All were in favor of moving away from regular formal meetings to a ‘web based forum’ way of working.
Three factors influenced this decision. The difficulty of many members in actually attending meetings. The feeling that the time spent attending meetings could be better used either reviewing work on the website, or actually authoring techniques. Finally the arrangement for sponsored meeting rooms had ended.

·        The establishment of a core group of technique authors
The meeting came to the conclusion that the most effective way to generate technique examples was to establish a small core group of authors. All authors would make a commitment to generate examples within an agreed timeframe and non-productive authors would be dropped from the group.
(This group may change over time:  If you wish to author a technique then please make a request through the Feedback Form on the website.)

·        Replacing the e-mail distribution list with regular updates to the Latest News section of the website
To reduce unnecessary administration the SWP e-mail distribution list will be replaced by regular updates to the Latest News section of the website. Please develop the habit of visiting the website ( regularly and checking out the Latest News. Everything that was previously communicated to the group by e-mail will now be communicated to all via the website. In effect the website has become the primary point of contact for the group.

·        There is no longer a Standards Working Party e-mail distribution list to join
The Standards Working Party has become a ‘web based forum group’ open to all with an interest in software testing. There will still be periodic meetings at which the direction and approach of the group can be discussed, but all work will be carried out through the web based forum. If you wish to contact the group then please do so via the Feedback Form on the website.

Review Process

As part of the new Working Practices a new Review Process has also been adopted.  For details visit the Review Process page.

Authors Guide

A guide for authors

Reviewers Guide

A guide for reviewers

Examples Template

An Example template for authors and reviewers


We would like to assure everyone that although we have changed the way that we are now working as a group, the principles still remain the same:

bulletThe group is open to all via the website
bulletThere will continue to be free access to all of the group’s material
bulletAll work for the group is ‘not for profit’ voluntary work
bulletThe website is the definitive source for all of the group’s material and records.
bulletThe group continues to be sponsored by the BCS SIGiST, however they are not responsible for any of the group output.

So how can you continue to help the Standards Working Party?

bulletFrequently visit the website
bulletGet in the habit of checking out the Latest News section
bulletReview any technique examples posted to the web
bulletProvide feedback on review material using the Feedback Form
bulletIf you can make the commitment then volunteer as a technique author using the Feedback Form
bulletSpread the word about the useful information already on the site

Thank you for your continued support.