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Testimony TVH - Accenture – Passwerk: Bram proves that the stereotype isn’t all that stereotypical

An interview with

  • Wouter: functional analyst and our SPOC (Single Point of Contact) at TVH

  • Lies and Steven: Managers at Accenture

  • Bram: test Engineer at Passwerk

How did you come to Passwerk?

Lies and Steven: TVH had the ambition to outsource the testing activities to a Managed Service Model and for this purpose worked out the global vision and structure of their Managed Service Test Factory together with Accenture. Prior to this, Accenture had already entered into a successful partnership with Passwerk and during the search for additional support, we soon ended up with Passwerk again and also reached a cooperation agreement with Bram fairly quickly.

Which project is Bram currently working on?

Wouter: Actually, Bram doesn't work on just one project. At TVH, we work with an ERP, Link. We work with different teams on this ERP of which Bram and I are part of the sales team. Within the sales team, we are responsible for all processes related to the sale of spare parts of TVH Parts. Bram is currently working on the start-up of TVH Iberica, a Spanish company that was recently acquired. Several adjustments are currently needed there, for which Bram provides the necessary testing.

What are your specific tasks in this project?

Bram: After the analysis, several test ideas are written. Based on these ideas, I check the requirements which I then use to create and execute test scenarios. In addition, I also extend test scenarios from colleagues if necessary. If the scenarios are successful, they are explained at the end of the week to the people performing the UAT testing. Here I explain what the different tickets are about, how they are tested, etc. Since recently on the Back-log Tosca tickets are created on which the colleagues from Accenture in India perform the automation testing. At the end of a sprint, I sometimes give demos to the UAT to provide additional clarification where necessary and act as a point of contact for UAT if they have certain questions.

Why is there a match between Bram and TVH?

Wouter: Bram is a very sociable person who fits perfectly into the good team atmosphere that was already present and it clicks very well. There is a fixed structure in our work, and I assume that this also benefits Bram. For example, we work in four-week sprints with a stand-up every day. Here we discuss who is working on what. This provides the necessary freedom in which Bram looks for the things that suit him.

Half of our team works remotely from India, Romania, the Netherlands and the U.S. which creates an extra challenge to communicate well with each other. We can see that Bram manages this very well and communicates smoothly with everyone. You can also see that Bram does his work with a lot of passion. It typifies him that he is only satisfied when something is finished and also good. For TVH it is of course a great added value to have such passionate people.

What is the most challenging part of your assignment?

Bram: The first thing is: Link contains a huge number of different programs that each have their own settings and databases. For each test, you obviously must try to determine as much as possible of all that I can test without having to check every mini scenario, and that is not always easy.

Wouter: Fortunately, there are not that many examples where the test scenarios could have been better chosen, and Bram does this quite well.

Bram: The second thing is: if something is newly developed and it has to be rendered more performant, which requires regression testing, then sometimes I don't know everything. Then I try to lean on my colleagues' knowledge. The most challenging thing then is: if I ask something of my colleagues and they don't know it themselves, it's not always easy. I then try to find someone who simply does know. Of course, I try to work as independently as possible but at a certain point you have to choose between stubbornly continuing to work and asking for help, and then I do ask for help because otherwise I'm wasting my own time and TVH's time.

Does the collaboration meet the predetermined expectations?

Lies and Steven: Absolutely. Bram definitely contributes to the team, he is an enthusiastic colleague and a full-fledged team member. He certainly meets any expectations we had and even exceeds them with his enthusiasm and his attention to detail.

Why is it so much fun to work at TVH and would you recommend it to other colleagues?

Bram: Of course, I have not worked everywhere at TVH, for example as a warehouse worker and can only speak about the sales quad, but there are three points that make it fun to work for TVH. The first is that the team plans different activities, such as a team lunch, where you can get to know each other better, and in about two weeks there will be a team building with the squad. I'm really looking forward to that. Secondly, when there is a test ticket, there is always support from the analyst or developer that I can go to with my questions. You really feel that they are listening, and they always give positive feedback. Thirdly, there is a good structure where there is stand-up every day and every Wednesday there is a retrospective where all testers come together to help each other and see how we can do things better. I find that very valuable. If the rest of TVH is like the sales squad, I would say to my fellow Passwerk employees, definitely join us!

What added value does Bram bring to the Team and in what way has Bram pleasantly surprised you?

Wouter: The first thing that really surprised me was Bram’s communication skills. They do not fit into the stereotypical image you sometimes have of autism. I personally thought this would be a difficult issue, but nothing could be further from the truth. He comfortably talks to everyone and that contributes to his major added value, namely the fact that he can work independently. He doesn’t come to you with the simplest of questions and always looks for a solution or an answer himself first. In addition, Bram is really persistent, which is a very important quality for a tester. Thanks to Bram’s work and persistence our quality has certainly improved.

Is that nice to hear, Bram, all these compliments?

Bram: I honestly have to say that I often ask Wouter the question: are you still satisfied? So now I certainly feel like he is still happy with my results, and it feels good to hear that. I was raised to be a hard worker. If something goes wrong, then I want to find a solution.

Wouter: That is certainly true. It has happened more than once that I’ve had to say: “Bram, just stop what you’re doing now and go home, you’ve done enough for today and tomorrow we will sit down together and see if we can find a solution”.

Are there any tips from the job coach that have contributed to a better functioning of the team in general?

Wouter: First of all, before the effective start of the project, the job coach gave a short presentation on autism. I found this very helpful because I only had an image of autism with different stereotypes. I don't see those at all with Bram. So I found that very valuable. In addition, there were tips to ensure clear communication.

How does Accenture as an organisation view Passwerk?

Lies and Steven: For the Managed Service Test Factory, we were looking for people who like and test well. Here it is important to find people who can be deployed for the long term, deliver quality and have an eye for detail. Even if repetitive testing is required, for example. Passwerk specializes in this and also ensures that people on the autism spectrum, who are potentially out of touch with the general job market, can fulfill their potential. At Passwerk, the individual is placed at the center, and this fits perfectly with Accenture's overall diversity and inclusion strategy, making for a successful partnership. If we are looking for similar profiles in the future, we will definitely contact Passwerk.

What would you like to do at TVH in the near future?

Bram: I'm mostly doing a lot of sales testing right now. But I assume testing runs the same in the other teams. When I look at the automation testers in India, they seem more concerned with executing and writing them out. They are less concerned with the analysis of the automated tests, which is just what I like to do.

Wouter: It is more challenging to test functionally than to translate the functional tests into code, and I think Bram needs that extra challenge.

What would you like to improve in yourself, or see improved?

Bram: I certainly can’t say that I’m happy with myself, even if I somewhat am (laughs), but that wouldn’t be totally correct. But if I have to choose something, it would be to not forget the knowledge I’ve acquired. To do this, I have recently developed a Google document: ‘Bram’s useful document’ in which I put certain steps and used tools for specific flows. I should expand that documentation, so I can save even more time.

What would you tell companies or decisionmakers who are uncertain about working with Passwerk?

Lies and Steven: Absolutely do not hesitate. Of course, there has to be an adequate match between the role and the individual. If this match is right, then as a company you can get very high productivity, with minimal investment, and you will have happy employees who do their jobs very well. It is important to invest some time in the initial contacts with Passwerk, though, to ensure that a company fully understands what Passwerk stands for and how they operate. More importantly, Passwerk needs to get to know the company's culture and expectations for the specific role so they can provide that good match. Not only will you gain an additional motivated employee to strengthen your team, you will also have the opportunity to contribute to our society and see people on the autism spectrum grow and flourish.

TVH Parts: Bram and Wouter with the different TVH parts that are sold

TVH Heftruck: Bram and Wouter with one of the TVH forklifts 

TVH – Bureau: Bram (Test Engineer) and Wouter (SPOC – Functional Analyst)


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