11 Integrating unit testing into the organization


This chapter covers

  • Becoming an agent of change
  • Implementing change from the top down or from the bottom up
  • Preparing to answer the tough questions about unit testing

As a consultant, I’ve helped several companies, big and small, integrate continuous delivery processes and various engineering practices, such as test-driven development and unit testing, into their organizational culture. Sometimes this has failed, but those companies that succeeded had several things in common. In any type of organization, changing people’s habits is more psychological than technical. People don’t like change, and change is usually accompanied with plenty of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to go around. It won’t be a walk in the park for most people, as you’ll see in this chapter.

11.1 Steps to becoming an agent of change

If you’re going to be the agent of change in your organization, you should first accept that role. People will view you as the person responsible (and sometimes accountable) for what’s happening, whether or not you want them to, and there’s no use in hiding. In fact, hiding can cause things to go terribly wrong.

11.1.1 Be prepared for the tough questions

11.1.2 Convince insiders: Champions and blockers

11.1.3 Identify possible starting points

11.2 Ways to succeed

11.2.1 Guerrilla implementation (bottom-up)

11.2.2 Convincing management (top-down)

11.2.3 Experiments as door openers

11.2.4 Get an outside champion

11.2.5 Make progress visible

11.2.6 Aim for specific goals, metrics, and KPIs

11.2.7 Realize that there will be hurdles

11.3 Ways to fail

11.3.1 Lack of a driving force

11.3.2 Lack of political support