23 August 2010

Lisa Crispin's test quadrants

On Wednesday’s our team checks into a meeting room and holds a tech talk.  Recently we have been watching videos from the NDC.

Lisa Crispin presented a video on testing approaches and put up a slide (p19) with a four box quadrant to help think about testing.  The quadrant axes are Business v Technical and Support the team v Test the product.

The developers on our team really liked the model.  It gave them a mental model on how it all hangs together.  I wasn't so much a fan so I challenged them on it.  I like my axes to be opposites and I felt that the support the team v test the product axes were not quite right.  I get the idea but wasn’t really sold on it as a useful model.  I thought the model Lisa presents is really a stack.  Take a look and see what you think.

Anyway, the devs talked and I listened and they explained that from the perspective it made a lot of sense. I had another look at it and decided to elaborate some of the ideas and try to make it my own.

The main goals for me are to make the axes the right ones without varying from Lisa's model to far.  I want the essence to stay the same but to get a better sense f the why, rather than simply the what and who of testing.

This is my attempt.  What do you think? Can this help you with your project’s test strategy?


  1. I'm pretty sure Brian Marick came up with that test quadrants. http://www.exampler.com/old-blog/2003/08/21/#agile-testing-project-1

  2. Yes, Brian came up with the Agile Test Matrix in 2003. Janet and I immediately put it to use on our various agile teams, to wonderful effect. So we asked Brian if we could write a big section of our book around it and he gave his blessing. I'm so glad to hear you found it relevant as well. It's such a great testing taxonomy and tool to get the team thinking about all the testing we need to do, and whether we have the resources to do it.

  3. Well thanks for Brian @Marick as well as Lisa.

    The model is good as evidenced by a 100% endorsement by my team.

    I wonder if another axis could be things you specifically build versus things you do on the way to delivering a PBI?