The COVID-19, or Coronavirus, crisis has made significant impacts on the lives of every one of us, let alone the way organizations operate. Working from home is becoming a norm for companies to ensure their staff’s safety, prevent the spread of the virus, and follow the restrictions of the government.
As the state of infections spread across the globe, from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, to the US, leading tech companies have already had their employees working remotely, namely Amazon, Facebook, and Google. This major change is an effort to prevent spreading the disease as well as ensure productivity while the situation gets even more complicated.
However, when you are no longer working in an office with the team, problems start to pop up. In the tech industry, the transition to work remotely can disrupt some processes that have long been applied and remained functional.
In this article, we have compiled some of the best practices for testers to prepare for working remotely to ensure operation, as well as team collaboration and productivity.
The first and foremost part of the working-from-home plan is to make sure that all staff stays connected. That means they have to be aware of their capabilities and identify their needs for support before changing to working from home, thus ensuring work continuity.
For example, a developer of a tester will need much faster internet access to work with compared to other non-technical roles. Employers need to check their capability of technical support with the IT departments, and then have suitable preparation for the upcoming change.
On the other hand, recent reports have found that the risk of spreading malicious data through news and domains related to the term “Coronavirus” is rising. As a result, employers have to find a secure way for their employees to access the internal systems, ideally via a VPN or other networking solutions.
It would be best for the staff to connect from company-issued laptops, refrain from accessing suspicious sources, or businesses can consider leveraging alternative options like Citrix or Amazon Workspaces to enable teamwork from any device.
When team members are sitting apart from their peers, effective communication can be a problem. To maintain stable outcomes, keeping communication flows in a team is highly important, as critical details can easily be overlooked through text messaging.
There is a wide variety of tools for communication that fit perfectly to the current situation, with features tailored for teams at scale. Slack, Zoom, and Skype are some of the most common choices for seamless online meetings capability.
With Katalon Studio, our tester users can utilize the ready-made plugins to keep the team stays up-to-date with test execution status. Check out the Katalon Store for these essential plugins: Slack Integration, Jira Integration, and Microsoft Teams Integration — made to enable smooth flows for test execution and team collaboration. QA teams can move their test project management one step further with Katalon TestOps — a centralized reporting and analyzing platform for a constant end-to-end feedback loop for teams.
There’s no doubt that one can be easily distracted working at home. When you are used to working in an office, surrounded by colleagues, and everyone is focused on their jobs, then sitting at home in an entirely different setting might involve many other “unrelated” activities.
For instance, you can easily mix work with personal emails and web browsing: To catch up with the news, to take a brief look at your social media accounts, and check out the promotional emails from your favorite brands. Another distraction might be your family or roommates who probably are working from home just like you.
To deal with distractions, we suggest you set up a routine with clear goals and keep tasks flow. Dedicate a corner in your house and make it your “mini working station”, then stay committed to it to avoid getting too comfortable on your bed and bring down your productivity.
As a tester, you can leverage our Katalon Notes plugin to write your “to-test” list every day with specific outcomes so that you have a daily routine and achievements listed out. The Notes plugin also allows you to create a central note database for your team so that knowledge can be transferred easily.
As we mentioned above, communication is highly important when it comes to working remotely. In the case of agile teams, establishing a release process would be necessary to make sure everyone is on the same page as the project gets updated daily.
To keep the quality of deliverables stay equivalent to when you used to work at the office, each team member needs to make sure that others are aware of the product’s state all the time. Doing this ensures that each decision for the project will be fully informed, and releases are done with thorough coordination.
Moreover, as a tester in an agile team, you must keep an eye on the key parameters: new bugs per timeframe, bugs fixed per timeframe, bug density, number of code lines vs. number of unit tests. Without constant tracking of project and process parameters, there is no Scrum. The information and parameters provide details of the sprints and team capacity, thus making the planning for the next sprints a well-informed process.
In this challenging time, having to change your habits and keeping safe from the virus can be stressful for some of us. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your spirit up and stay moving when you start working from home.
Scientifically, exercise naturally boosts endorphins, which increases happiness, enjoyment, and interest levels, all of which are important for your work performance. So, don’t forget to get up and walk around from time to time to get away from work for a few minutes and make sure you stay healthy.
The COVID-19 outbreak is getting complicated, as we all are trying our best to navigate the situation. We hope the 5 tips above are useful for you and your team. It is important to stay balanced between maintaining working relationships and keep up your productivity. Thus, don’t forget to stay connected and do our best to overcome this difficult situation together.
The post 5 Tips for Tester to Work Remotely During the Coronavirus Outbreak appeared first on Katalon Solution.