I’m Fiona Charles, owner and principal consultant at Quality Intelligence, Inc., a small independent business offering consulting services in software testing and test management. I formed the company early in 2007, after nearly 13 years working for IT services companies as a consultant and test manager on client projects.
With strong project management and risk management skills, I have a track record of successful test management and/or test consulting on many large projects for clients in diverse industries, including banking, financial services, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications and health care. Many of those projects were rescues, where I turned testing around—leading it to a successful conclusion after coming into a troubled project in flight, to replace or coach a struggling test manager and motivate and refocus a demoralized team. Several projects have been repeat engagements with the same clients.
I consult on and manage any kind of software testing, for any kind and size of organization, and have considerable experience designing and implementing test strategies and processes to fit the needs of a variety of clients. I bring particular experience and expertise in test program management on multi-project programs, and in managing large-scale systems integration testing across multiple platforms.
I have an excellent network of associates I can partner with if needed for specific engagements. I can also assemble teams of skilled testers and test leads I have worked with and can recommend.
I am a dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom, and can work freely in Canada and the EU.
Quality Intelligence Inc., 2007-present
Owner and Principal Consultant.
IBM Global Services, 2003-2007
Test Manager and consultant on large projects for clients in a wide variety of industries.
LGS Group, 1994-2003
Test Manager and Consultant on client projects. As founding Manager of the LGS Toronto Testing Services practice, I was responsible for definition and delivery of our testing services, as well as management and mentoring of test resources in the branch.
PROMIS Systems Corp., 1984-1994
I worked for PROMIS as a tester, documentation manager, and finally as Director of QA from 1991 –1994. In this role I was responsible for assuring the quality of all our industry-leading manufacturing software products. I was mandated as acceptor for all R&D Department activities: software product development and maintenance, user documentation, customer training, technical support, and product release.
Groups and Associations:
TWST, TASSQ, Association for Software Testing, International Society for Software Testing, AYE, PSL, Shape Alumni
My full CV is available here. Contact me for a list of my conference presentations, workshops and publications.
“Nobody knows more practical things about testing, test management, test strategy–all things testing–than Fiona. Call on her for help with any software testing situation.”
Jerry Weinberg, Principal, Weinberg & Weinberg
“I've worked with Fiona on a number of occasions–as co-designers of a board game on software testing; as co-creators of the Toronto Workshops on Software Testing; as board members of the Toronto Association of System and Software Testing. Perhaps the most memorable occasion, though, was a case in which she hired me as a consultant/contractor on a project that was--aside from Fiona's participation–severely troubled and mismanaged. In that circumstance, I could only admire her integrity, her management skill, and her willingness to speak truth to power while the train crashed around us. If you're involved with a big, gnarly software development project, and you want to know what's going on, hire Fiona.”
Michael Bolton, Software Testing Consultant
“Change and strategy transformation are truly the most challenging situations to be in. The funnel effects on QA are even harder when the environment is complex, heterogeneous and diverse. Fiona was instrumental in assessing our organization and developing an implementation strategy for the foundation roadmap, in a very short period of time, speaks volumes on the wealth of her vast substantial experience. I am indebted to the rich experience Fiona has shared with us - "keep it simple and effective" - was the message and was delivered on solid blocks of new creative ways of thinking and communication. I would highly recommend Fiona!”
( Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert)
Kashif Choudhry, consulting client
“Fiona is a Test Manager with expertise in large integration test projects. She attacks testing with a creative and unique view and applies comprehensive and powerful testing methodologies that are not cookie cutter and text book driven, but catered specifically for the individual system she is testing. The result is a brilliant test strategy that finds defects and exposes project risk. She is an expert in test metrics, test methodology and strategy. In addition, Fiona is a strong project manager with superior risk management skills. Fiona has been a mentor to me for more than 5 years and I have worked on several testing projects with her. She has taught me how to think creatively, develop comprehensive test metrics and reporting, project management skills and general testing practice skills. She is an absolute pleasure to work with and I continue to learn from her every chance I get!”
Laura Riehm, QA Manager
“I worked with Fiona at Promis Systems Corp where she materially helped the company move up the quality curve. Our software supported 24/7 semiconductor chip fabs, so any software-related downtime was taken extremely seriously by our customers. This made Fiona's job especially important to our market success, and she performed superbly.”
Clement Kent, former Director of Customer Service, Promis Systems Corp.