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This chapter is from the book

Challenging the Quadrants

Over the years, many people have challenged the validity of the Quadrants or adjusted them slightly to be more meaningful to them. We decided to share a couple of these stories because we think it is valuable to continuously challenge what we “know” to be true. That is how we learn and evolve to improve and meet changing demands.

Elisabeth Hendrickson also presented an alternative to the existing Quadrants in her talk about “The Thinking Tester” (Hendrickson, 2012). It is similar to Gojko’s version but has a different look. You can see in Figure 8-4 that she relabeled the vertical columns to “confirm” and “investigate,” while the horizontal rows still represent business and technology.

Figure 8-4

Figure 8-4 Elisabeth Hendrickson’s version of the agile testing quadrants

The top left quadrant represents the expectations of the business, which could be in the form of executable (automated) specifications. Others might be represented by paper prototypes or wireframes. At the top right are tests that help investigate risks concerning the external quality of the product. It is very much like the original quadrant’s idea of exploratory testing, scenarios, or usability testing. Like Gojko’s model, the bottom right quadrant highlights the risks of the internal working of the system.


Both of these alternative models provide value. We think there is room for multiple variations to accommodate a spectrum of needs. For example, organizations that are able to adopt continuous delivery are able to think in this space, but many organizations are years from accomplishing that. Check the bibliography for Part III for links to additional testing quadrant models. Use them to help make sure your team covers all the different types of tests you need in order to deliver the right value for your customers.

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