Skills Assessment Case Study

RBCS helped a large, international mobile phone company, T-Mobile, enhance its back-office testing capabilities. This extensive engagement included an effort to assess the skills for the entire test team, develop a new organizational structure for the test team, and put a training plan in place for the testers. 

T-Mobile had built its testing organization using user support personnel. These testers had a great deal of business domain expertise, but little or no technical or testing expertise.  So, RBCS worked with T-Mobile in a three step process to understand the current skills of the test team:

  1. Identify critical skills based on a task analysis.
  2. Assess the level of skills of each tester based on these critical skills
  3. Develop a plan to bring the entire team to the appropriate level of skill

We employed a senior associate for this process, one with extensive experience in growing skilled test teams and identifying problematic aspects of test teams. 

We presented our plan to T-Mobile’s CIO after performing our test team assessment. Based on our recommendations, they began to develop the skills of their testers. As part of this effort, they ran RBCS’ Foundation course as a pilot in one of its many offices in the US.  The week after the course, a tester applied a technique he’d learned to reduce the regression test set from 800 test cases to 300. That resulted in a 60% reduction in regression test effort, which accounts for most of their testing. T-Mobile now requires all new testers to hold the Foundation certificate, and is gradually training its entire staff of testers.

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