Ledge Psychology

Sometimes being a tester feels like being a ledge psychologist. You know? The folk who talk would-be jumpers back from the ledges of tall buildings.

I’m sure you’ve been there. Perhaps it was a project manager planning a project with barely any testing. Perhaps it was an executive balking at the cost of even a minimal strategy. Perhaps it was a product manager who wanted to ship IMMEDIATELY and not after those scary bugs got fixed. Maybe it was even a manager demanding metrics that made little sense to you.

You may feel like a ledge psychologist, but you aren’t. It’s not up to you talk the jumper down. You are an information provider, and your role is to help the jumper make an informed decision. How high is the ledge? How fast would a typical body be traveling when it reaches the ground? What are the chances of survival?

Project managers, product managers and executives are grown ups. They get to make their own decisions, are paid to do so, and ultimately will be held accountable for their mistakes

This doesn’t mean you are powerless. Even if your jumper goes over the edge, YOU can always decide not to grab on to their shirt tails and follow them over. There are always other buildings.


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