Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tester's Musings: Motivation to Test?

Our organization like a lot out there are going through a lot of change. Recession, doing more with less, hiring freeze, no raises, etc are just a few reasons as to why organization cant do better with motivating people. The traditional trends used to be give a bonus, provide, raises, give lots of time off, not ask people to work overtime or pay when people have to work overtime. With this new face of economic pressure there are very few options left.

I feel I am getting caught up in this where I am demotivated from doing my job. To pull myself out of feeling the misery I started looking for things that motivate me. Here is a list of few things that helped me
  • Good Team: Working with a project team that is motivating really helps. I feel that if my project team can support me and have my back that I will do anything to support them. Creating a good team is key to having engaged employees. The trend with spread of agile shows that companies have recognized this.
  • Rewards: yes I just said companies don't have the money to give rewards but then its not always about money. For me getting an unexpected half day off or not having to take personal time off when I need an hour or two to go visit a doctor speaks louder and tells me that my company cares about me. Working from home is another reward that I feel helps with in this economy and motivates me to give my best to my company.
  • Customer voice - we hear a lot from customers when things go bad and we get their issues as defects that we have to fix immediately. Our company asks us to look at why we missed a defect. Recently our product owner shared a letter from a customer who thanked us for the work we do. They said they depend on us to do their job. This letter motivated me to make sure I do everything I can so I will have a few more happy customers. I am glad they shared the positive note from customers. I needed that to get through a few long days that I had to put.
  • Employee Voice - President of our division met with each and every employee. I have been with this company for over 6 years. We had a lot of good years and this past year has been hard with all the financial changes (we are a lending based software company). When our president sat down for half hour with every one of us I felt like someone was there to hear my voice. He sat down and asked me what was working, what was not working and how can he help? Just the fact that he listened to my voice made a difference. I came out of the room feeling like the burden from my shoulders were taken. I don't expect miracles because I vented to the president. But just knowing that someone was there and can be reached if needed makes a big difference.
Every time I feel like giving up because I don't see immediate results or feel the work burden is going to kill me I am going to look back at my motivators. I have this listed printed out and posted in my office cube. I will not let this economy demotivate me. I am looking forward to better days but for now I am happy with what I can get.  


shilpa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shilpa said...

[6:59:02 PM] James Bach: Hi Shilpa,

For me, the motivators are a little different. They might map onto your list, but maybe from a different angle.

My motivators are:

1. The feeling of being needed. (Perhaps this relates to your "good team" category) I don't have much discipline, but I also don't want to let people down.

2. Good reputation earned. Reputation equals money, in the long run, but it also supports my self-respect.

3. The feeling of becoming more powerful as I hone my practice. Every project, every day, teaches me something. I will quickly lose interest in a project if I'm not learning, but that rarely happens because there's so much to learn.

4. Self-respect... This is why I don't lie to my clients. This is why I don't do silly things like count test cases even when my clients ask me to. Without self-respect, nothing else matters much.

Things that are NOT motivators:

1. Conventional behavior. I'm suspicious of doing things that are ordinary and normal unless those things make good sense to me for other reasons.

2. Threats. Well, threats are sort of a motivator: I become motivated to attack the guy threatening me.

3. Money. I wish money were a motivator. I would have a lot more money if it were. However, I've learned that money can only entice me to do something that I already want to do. It's more of a prioritizer than a motivator.

otr said...

Work from home theory is fast gaining popularity because of the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. Since one is not bound by fixed working hours, they can schedule their work at the time when they feel most productive and convenient to them. Women & Men benefit a lot from this concept of work since they can balance their home and work perfectly. People mostly find that in this situation, their productivity is higher and stress levels lower. Those who like isolation and a tranquil work environment also tend to prefer this way of working. Today, with the kind of communication networks available, millions of people worldwide are considering this option.

Women & Men who want to be independent but cannot afford to leave their responsibilities at home aside will benefit a lot from this concept of work. It makes it easier to maintain a healthy balance between home and work. The family doesn't get neglected and you can get your work done too. You can thus effectively juggle home responsibilities with your career. Working from home is definitely a viable option but it also needs a lot of hard work and discipline. You have to make a time schedule for yourself and stick to it. There will be a time frame of course for any job you take up and you have to fulfill that project within that time frame.

There are many things that can be done working from home. A few of them is listed below that will give you a general idea about the benefits of this concept.

This is the most common and highly preferred job that Women & Men like doing. Since in today's competitive world both the parents have to work they need a secure place to leave behind their children who will take care of them and parents can also relax without being worried all the time. In this job you don't require any degree or qualifications. You only have to know how to take care of children. Parents are happy to pay handsome salary and you can also earn a lot without putting too much of an effort.

For those who have a garden or an open space at your disposal and are also interested in gardening can go for this method of earning money. If given proper time and efforts nursery business can flourish very well and you will earn handsomely. But just as all jobs establishing it will be a bit difficult but the end results are outstanding.

Freelance can be in different wings. Either you can be a freelance reporter or a freelance photographer. You can also do designing or be in the advertising field doing project on your own. Being independent and working independently will depend on your field of work and the availability of its worth in the market. If you like doing jewellery designing you can do that at home totally independently. You can also work on freelancing as a marketing executive working from home. Wanna know more, email us on and we will send you information on how you can actually work as a marketing freelancer.

Internet related work
This is a very vast field and here sky is the limit. All you need is a computer and Internet facility. Whatever field you are into work at home is perfect match in the software field. You can match your time according to your convenience and complete whatever projects you get. To learn more about how to work from home, contact us today on and our team will get you started on some excellent work from home projects.

Diet food
Since now a days Women & Men are more conscious of the food that they eat hence they prefer to have homemade low cal food and if you can start supplying low cal food to various offices then it will be a very good source of income and not too much of efforts. You can hire a few ladies who will help you out and this can be a good business.

Thus think over this concept and go ahead.

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