Test Management Track (i), SIGiST Israel 2008

1st Session: Yaron Tsubery, Comverse, on “The Psychology Behind Test Management”

Yaron started off the morning with a presentation that can be summed up in three words: “Communication, Communication, Communication“.

Yaron started off with 4 messages that he then elaborated upon during the presentation:

Yaron's messages

After that, he moved on to discuss the need for expectation management between the test manager and all his/her colleagues, and that the test manager has to be proactive in explaining what the test team does to each stakeholder, and getting their feedback.

We were told to view each colleague as a customer, not a new concept, but one that never really took hold in the hi-tech field.

Yaron went on to discuss how easy it is to break trust, as opposed to the effort it takes to build trust.

Transactional Analysis

Next we learnt a bit about Transactional Analysis, a psychoanalytic theory of psychology developed by psychiatrist Eric Berne. Berne postulated three ego states, the Parent, Adult and Child states. Berne considered how individuals interact with one another, and how the ego states affected each set of transactions. This model helps understanding how people function.   Picture of Dr. Eric Berne, author of Games People Play and Originator of Transactional Analysis

Yaron explained Berne’s Interpersonal Conversation Model, where the

Parent (“exteropsychic”) is a state in which people behave, feel and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents, or other parental figures, acted.

Adult (“neopsychic”) is a state in which people behave, feel and think in response to what is going on in the “here and now,” using all of their resources as an adult human being with many years of life experience to guide them. While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.

Child (“archeopsychic”) is a state in which people revert to behaving, feeling and thinking close to how they did in childhood.

There are 2 types of conversational transaction:

  • Reciprocal or Complimentary transactions:  A simple, reciprocal transaction occurs when both partners are addressing the ego-state that the other is in
  • Crossed transactions:  Communication failures are typically caused by a “crossed transaction”, where partners address ego-states other than that which their partner is in

At the end, Yaron gave some tips for prevention, correction, maintenance and some advice for the road, and he closed with his 5th message,

“Remember: It is not enough being a professional to earn your colleagues’ trust, you need also to communicate it in order to earn it!”

More on track day I after I get some sleep …


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