Why testing is like curling!

I was watching the Winter Olympics with curiousity – there are some amazing athletes and some amazing sports.

One among them was curling.

I didn’t get it.

The game reminds me of lawn bowls on ice except that the crowd went nuts!

So with this in mind, the analogy and test management came to mind. I had a discussion in a test management class and we came to similar conclussions.

Curling is a team game with 4 people with 2x team members called “sweepers” clearing the path so that the “stone” has a smooth journey to the “house” ( the bullseye.)

My question then is, how much of testing is like this?

How much time as testers/leads/managers do we spend on smoothing the path for testing?

Author: bjosman

Principal Consultant at OsmanIT brian.osman@osmanit.com

2 thoughts on “Why testing is like curling!”

  1. Not a lot, as it turns out. The stone in curling is driven by momentum from the initial launch and can only be corrected through scraping or buffing the ice in its direct path. So in a way curling is like BUFD projects where plans and artifacts are developed initially and slavishly adhered to until the end point. Under those cases, once you’ve conducted the entrance criteria for your milestone phase all you can do as a team or manager is attempt course corrections up to a point.

    In actual projects we should be able to use a self-correcting stone that determines for itself if it’s going to perform the intended action. In this paradigm there would be no need to speed up or slow down the stone externally or even make small course corrections. The role of management in the new project becomes one of making sure on one from the audience throws cups of beer onto the ice or comes over to grab to stone for their more important project.

    1. Good point however it appears that your comment is from the perspective of the project whereas I was referring to test management and within the context that test managers look to remove impediments as much as possible thereby allowing their team(s) to become more effective.

      What i do like is the analogy of the self correcting stone which to me is synonymous with high performing teams (not just test teams)in which case the role of management is to ensure external interference does not impact (too much) on the team itself.

      Thanks for commenting!

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