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The Silo Effect In Software Testing

December 26, 2016

People may not know what the silo effect actually means. But everything is simple. The silo is the situation when somebody’s opinion, idea and plan are limited by the existing prejudices and experience of other people.

The employees of software testing company, as well as the specialists of other companies not connected with IT sphere, perform their duties in silos. This is rather complicated notion, and it should be regarded more precisely.

What Are the Silo Types?

  • A formal silo. In every company, there are the groups of specialists which perform particular tasks and solve the defined problems. There are developers, testers, product managers, sales managers, administrators, etc.
  • An informal silo. This type concerns the same ideas, standards and concepts shared by the particular groups or schools. Moreover, the silo effect may also be regarded in terms of applying of definite testing principles and approaches, for example, the session approach or the automation principle.

The silo effect has both advantages and disadvantages. Hereafter, the benefits of the silo effect in software testing field will be regarded.

What Are the Advantages of Silos?

  • It is the basis of building the team of specialists which share the common view. It is easier to form the team of like-minded specialists.
  • Silos provide the consolidation of efforts of every member of the test team.
  • The support networks are established with the help of silos.
  • Silos encourage the effective communication within the test group.
  • The credibility for every member of the group is established due to silos.

All mentioned aspects of silos have the positive influence on the testing process and the team spirit. Unfortunately, despite regarded pluses, the silo effect has some minuses. It is very important to prevent the negative effects of silos.

What Are the Disadvantages of the Silo?

  • The silo may limit the expert’s imagination. The tunnel vision of the checking process does not provide the effective functional testing or performance testing.
  • The silo causes the tribalism. The enmity to developers or another test team prevents the well-timed production of the bug free application or system.
  • Miscommunication, misconceptions, troubles and difficulties may be arisen by the silo.
  • The rejection of every idea or conception which differs from your own thoughts leads to less productive automated testing or any other checking type. The valid propositions should be reviewed and taken into account.
  • The specialists may become blind to risks because of the silo effect.

There is a fine line between the silos benefits and disadvantages. One should always control the degree of silo influence on every team member and the whole test group.

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