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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


STARWEST 2005 was brilliant.

About 900 people attended. Some for the whole week (like us) and some just for the main conference days. Everyone I met was interested in testing, open to learning and open to sharing experience, knowledge and ideas. BRILLIANT!

At this conference I was privileged to be asked to speak, and my topic was 'Aligning Test Strategies with Corporate Goals'. It was a topic close to my heart. An area I am very passionate about and it was incredibly exciting to get the opportunity to share my ideas with such a large group. I presented on first day of the main conference (Wednesday) on track W6. If you take a look at you can get some details on the presentation. If you want a copy of the presentation then send me an email and I'll see what I can do.

The primary message from the presentaiton is that Organisations seeking long term success need to create good strong team working. Team working itslef is contingent on achieving shared goals between the organisation and the people involved (in the team) and to do this is difficult. In taking responsibility for our position in the organisation as testers, we can look to the company Vision, Values and Goals to shape our testing effort and gateway criteria. This helps to join up the thinking around new products and services, generates the shared goal approach and also delivers targetted strategic value to the organisation in a way that senior managers, Executives and Board members can understand.

It was my first presentation at a STAR, and there are a number of lessons learnt from the experience - not least around the logistics and set up of such a large room. There were also lessons to be learnt around the idea that to present to a STAR conference, and particularly to large audiences (like at the Key Note speaches) you need to be part entertainer as well as a subject matter expert.

You also need to be open to debate and constructive criticism about your ideas. Only by accepting all of these can you hope to achieve what I regard as success: That someone comes up to you afterwards and says 'I feel inspired by what you have said and am going to give these ideas a try'. I was lucky enough to get this response from a number of people at this, my first presentation. But dont get me wrong, I would have loved it if everyone who attended had said it.

So, what else could I do? If you were there at the conference I would be interested to hear from you on the presentation content and style. Good? Bad? Constructive feedback all warmly welcomed.

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