The Agile Manifesto reached the Hall of Fame but similar resources about “Modern” Testing are more complicated to find. One can read the “bibles” from Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory (“Agile Testing” and “More Agile Testing”), to come up with its own set of guidelines. But recently we stumbled upon a couple of Testing Manifesto that we feel give a good picture of where the testing industry is going. So here are some links and excerpts.

The Testing Manifesto

The manifesto was written by Growing Agile team and can be found at their website.
They even came up with a nice poster and a French translation!
Here is a transcript of the principles:

  • Testing throughout over testing at the end;
  • Preventing bugs over finding bugs;
  • Testing understanding over checking functionality;
  • Building the best system over breaking the system;
  • Team responsibility for quality over tester responsibility.

Modern Testing Principles

Modern Testing Principles were created by Alan Page and Brent Jensen. It can be found on the website of their podcast. If you want to know more about those principles and the thought process behind them, follow the A/B Testing Podcast where they discuss all those principles in details. Some points are quite bold (“customer is the only one capable to judge and evaluate the quality”, “reduce (or eliminate) the need for a dedicated testing specialist” etc.) so it’s interesting to listen to them explain how they came up with them.
Here are those principles:

  • Our priority is improving the business.
  • We accelerate the team, and use models like Lean Thinking and the Theory of Constraints to help identify, prioritize and mitigate bottlenecks from the system.
  • We are a force for continuous improvement, helping the team adapt and optimize in order to succeed, rather than providing a safety net to catch failures.
  • We care deeply about the quality culture of our team, and we coach, lead, and nurture the team towards a more mature quality culture.
  • We believe that the customer is the only one capable to judge and evaluate the quality of our product
  • We use data extensively to deeply understand customer usage and then close the gaps between product hypotheses and business impact.
  • We expand testing abilities and knowhow across the team; understanding that this may reduce (or eliminate) the need for a dedicated testing specialist.


modern testing principles

Testing Principles

Final one is fome Huib Schoots and Alex Schladebeck who came up with a nice list of Testing Principles in their article Let’s stop talking about testing, let’s start thinking about value. It’s a long and insightful article that is full of nuggets for testers looking for tips and advices and how their group should fit in the whole engineering team. Here is a transcript of their principles:

  • Deliver insight into status of the product
  • Practice (and enact) critical thinking
  • Enable testing: lead, coach, teach, support
  • Discuss testability
  • Explore & experiment
  • Promote waste removal / avoidance
  • Help to accelerate the team
  • Advocate continuous improvement
  • Foster quality culture
  • Keep critical distance and close social distance

testing principles

Get Inspired!

As an engineering organization, it’s also worth coming back to those lists regularly to perform a check of your testing methods against what others are doing. All those manifestos and principles are a good source of inspiration for us. And you, do you have testing principles?