Improving the Test Process: Implementing Improvement and Change - A Study Guide for the ISTQB Expert Level Module (2014)
Appendix F: Answers
The following table shows the correct answers to the questions for each chapter. Notes for some of these questions (underlined) are provided on the next page.
When creating the exercises, we made notes about why certain answers were right or wrong in cases where a short explanation may be of help. The following list shows the notes we made (in italics) for selected questions.
3-1: Which of the following is not a desirable characteristic of models?
C: Gather test process metrics. (This is not a desirable model characteristic. Metrics gathering can be supported by approaches like GQM, but models are not used for metrics gathering.)
3-2: Which of the following is a benefit of using models?
A: Ability to capture project best practices (No. Models are generally based on industry best practices.)
B: Provide an industry benchmark (No. This may arise if results from many projects are gathered by particular organizations, but it’s not a benefit of using the model.)
C: Show solutions to testing problems (No. An analytical approach would be better for specific problems.)
D: Compare the maturity status between projects (Yes.)
3-8: Which statement is true regarding the process dimension in ISO/IEC 15504 ?
A: The process dimension enables us to measure how well processes are being performed. (No. That’s the capability dimension.)
B: The process dimension defines generic practices for each process. (No. It defines base practices. Generic practices are in the capability dimension.)
C: The process dimension identifies, describes, and organizes the individual processes within the overall software life cycle. (Yes.)
D: The process dimension provides indicators of process capability. (No. Mix-up of capability and process dimensions.)
7-1: What would you expect to find in the organization of a Test Process Group?
B: Lead Assessor Group (not explicitly mentioned as part of a TPG.)
C: Offshore Steering Group (Not for offshore; Management Steering Group, yes.)
D: Test Engineering Process Group (Synonym for TPG, not a part of it.)
7-4 Which of the following is a task typically performed by a lead assessor?
A: Set the business goals. (No. They are set by the organization.)
B: Check the assessment report written by the co-assessor. (No. The co-assessor does not write the report.)
7-5 Which of the following statements indicates bad interviewing skills?
A: Asking open questions at the start of an interview (Perfectly okay to do this.)
B: Asking “effective inner people” factual questions (This is okay; you can expect to have difficulty in getting factual information from ineffective inner people.)
C: Ensuring that a codependent bond is established between interviewer and interviewee (Yes, this is definitely something to avoid.)
D: Making notes (This is a useful skill.)
7-7 What is important for the assessor when practicing active listening during an interview?
A: Give regular feedback to the interviewee on how well they are performing. (Yes, give feedback, but not regarding their performance.)
B: Manage time to ensure that the discussion fits into the allocated time period (Okay, but not part of active listening.)
D: Ask open questions (Okay, but not part of active listening.)
8-3 Which of the following principles does not apply to the Tipping Point theory?
C: Changes should be introduced gradually in a controlled stepwise process. (No. Tipping points are all about allowing change to spread like a virus.)
8-5 Which of the following can be effective in making change happen?
A: Avoiding any form of chaos by good management practices (No. Chaos is going to happen. You can reduce its impact, but you can’t avoid it completely.)
B: Handling resistance by setting milestones for specific changes (Milestones may be a good thing, but they are not a good instrument for managing resistance.)
D: Ensuring that fast adopters of change are rewarded (No. This could be demotivating for those having trouble adapting to changes.)
8-6 What can the test improver do to reduce the effects of chaos?
A. Don’t talk about it too much; it may make people nervous. (More communication is needed, not less.)
B. Plan a short period of resistance into the test improvement plan. (The period needs to be realistic, not short.)
C. Convince people that they will have no difficulty taking on changes. (Again, denial that chaos will have an impact.)
8-7 Which of the following best describes how the test process improver should behave when resistance is experienced?
B. If resistance is high, then the test process improver should focus on convincing them that the changes will be beneficial. (No. Provide support.)
C. If only a few people are showing resistance before the change is introduced, then the test process improver should negotiate with them. (No. The test process improver may avoid them and focus efforts on the majority.)
D. If very few people are still resisting change after the rest have adopted the changes, the test process improver should simply ignore them. (No. Measures should be taken to compel them to implement the change.)
8-9 What factors contribute to a culture of improvement?
A. Clear identification of roles and responsibilities so that mistakes can be more easily tracked (No. Ability to discuss problems in a blame-free environment is required.)
B. Strong leadership by the leader of the test improvement initiative so that too many conflicting ideas can be avoided (No. Encouraging all stakeholders to suggest improvements is good.)
C. Performing assessments on a regular basis (No. The conduct of project retrospectives is good, but regular assessments will not build improvement culture.)
8-10 What are the qualities of a pragamatist according to the Honey and Mumford learning styles?
A. Develops sound theories for reuse (Theorist)
B. Is observant and good at collecting metrics (Reflector)
D. Learns by doing (Activist)
9-2 Which activity can help to ensure that people involved in an improvement program have sufficient time scheduled for participation?
A: Discuss within the team and allocate time to those who are not 100 percent scheduled to project work. (No. This might be occasionally be okay for short-term planning or minor improvements, but management must approve resources available, not the project.)
C: Split scheduled work into regular, small chunks of time to ensure that other tasks can run in parallel. (No. This will result in too many “context changes”and result in inefficiency.)
D: Ask for volunteers to work extra time. (No. This will not work for anything other than minor improvements.)
9-3 Why is it recommended to use existing practices if already available?
A: The team members may be offended. (No. This can be managed, but it is not a reason to keep existing practices; they may be the cause of problems.)
9-5 Which of the following statements is true regarding the impact of external consultants on an improvement project?
B: They can make important decisions on the working procedures. (No. They can only give advice.)
C: Consultants who are “indispensible” to the project can provide long-term benefits to their customers. (No. The primary people must be internal to the organization.)
D: They must return to the project regularly to ensure that the momentum of improvements is maintained. (No. Improvements must be anchored in the organization so the effort and momentum continues after the consultant leaves.)