The Lollipop Cycle

Software Testing


Lollipops. Sweet, colourful, sugar-infested Lollipops.

They can become a tool to propagate bugfixing within your team.
I’ll show you how.

The following tweet got me thinking about using lollipops as bug reports.Tweet AMC
I wasn’t attending the presentation, but it talked about using candy to motivate testers. Apparently, when anyone found a bug, they got a lollipop.

I’d like to take it a bit further.


Instead of rewarding bug-finding,
Bug-fixers would get their prize in the form of candy.

Consider the following flow:

  1. Someone finds a bug and reports it.
  2. The bug gets prioritized and added to the backlog/board/…
  3. For each bug, a lollipop is added to a basket.
    1. Critical bugs get red lollipops.
    2. Yellow for medium/minor/…
    3. Trivial bugs mean a green lollipop is added.
  4. A bug-fixer fixes a bug
  5. The fixer gets a lollipop matching the bug’s priority.

Positive effects can include:

  • Programmers are motivated to fix bugs.
  • Testers give positive reinforcement.
  • The basket serves as a visible reporting tool. “Oh, that’s a lot of red…”
  • Non-testers can participate in bug-finding to add lollipops to the basket.
  • New openings for joking.

Negative effects and risks:

  • Attack on the team’s diet. Consider sugar-free lollipops.
  • Dental plan should be standard within the salary profile.
  • Bug-fixers preferring green lollipops over red.
  • Programmers explicitly add bugs to get easy lollipops.

As you can see, the method is not without risk. Be context-mindful.


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