Greet Burkels
Programme Test Manager & Consultant at Professional Testing BV
My name is Greet Burkels and as probably so many of you, I stumbled in the 'testing business' by accident. This happened almost twenty years ago when I was involved in a major digital transformation at a large retail organization in the Netherlands. Lots of stuff went terribly wrong and I asked a million questions.." What was the main purpose? Was everyone aware of this? How could we have known upfront that this was a risky business?" and so on and so on.. I became a Test Manager soon after and went through a lot of adventures... Many different projects with an incredible diversity in context. One thing they all had in common and that was politics.. And I discovered that I like politics. So much so that I am starting to study for my master in Public Administration in May '19. Let's pick two projects that stand out for different reasons: one was at Air France KLM. I was the overall Test Manager for the implementation of a new system called Altea Departure Control which had 400 interfaces with all kinds of (legacy) systems. Business critical, had to be implemented at all airports in the world and when I was interviewed by a delegation of the board of directors they asked me "if this system is down for three days, we will go bankrupt. Are you comfortable with the responsibility of finding out if we are at risk...".. So you can definitely qualify this as a major league project.. And it was hectic for sure. Flying back and forth to Paris, building a test organization of 70 people, writing a test strategy that was re-named to The Da Vinci Code and not because it was a page turner but it had so many pages... (I will NEVER do that again...). But the thing that really stands out for me, that I will never forget is, when I interviewed a candidate for test analyst. She was new to the craft. Very shy (so it seemed). She was originally from a different country that she fled from due to a war there. I asked her " what is the worst that people can do to you" and her answer was " That they underestimate me". Of course she was hired... Another project that I am quite proud of is the implementation of a brand new metro line in the capital of The Netherlands: Amsterdam. Currently transporting 120,000 people every day.
Speech title: Multi-industry testing of new Amsterdam line

My talk will take you through that journey. What was it about, what were the complexities, how did I face them. You can imagine that combining construction work with integrating new IT systems, new train software, track software and so on bring a lot of challenges. Add to this the constant attention from the press and the public, and you have a unique story. I will share my lessons learned with you that you can apply even though you are not implementing a metro line... They will be applicable for any project I am sure. In conclusion, I will reveal what 87,000 liters of water, 22,000 sandwiches, portable toilets and microphones have to do with testing in this context. My role was the test manager representing the public transport organization, so I am sure the story will appeal to fellow test managers but I am confident that in fact anyone with affinity in testing and/or project management will find it interesting.  
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