Book – Black Box Thinking

A source of feedback

Black box thinking is ostensibly a book about management (we read it in our managers’ book club) but really it’s a book about about testing.  The whole book is about setting out how to measure your results rationally (rather than rationalizing your results), setting yourself up to test and fail at what you do, how to approach failing in what you do and then learn from it.  In passing it explains clearly why we find testing really hard and why we’re so quick to believe that we’re actually really good at testing.  It may also make you feel more comfortable about flying and never want to go near a hospital again!

In really brief summary, if you want your organisation to truly get better, create short, clinical feedback loops, question the obvious things that you all know work really well, and  identify, enjoy, and reward failure (as long as it comes with learning).  But to get what it actually means to do that well, and the consequences for not doing it, you need to read the book.

I’d really recommend this book, not just to people trying to improve their testing skill, but to anyone interested in getting actually better at what they do.


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