I like testers.
I used to think that they were only for testing the application to make sure that I'd completed the task correctly.
What a naive view on the true power of testers.
Testers can make your project so much more successful. You should include testers from the very inception of the project. They can help with:
- analysis of the issues
- define the scope of the work
- define successful (and unsuccessful) conditions
- show you what's necessary to complete the task
- provide a different point of view on the issue and how it fits into the application/project
"How? " I hear you ask.
Well, quite simply, get them to analyze the requirements, write test plans/test cases in the initial stages of the project/task. This effort almost the same as them writing the test plans/cases when they are delivered the application for test, but if that information is available to the developers, then they can use it to determine how much work there is to do. It can also be useful for the project lead/manager to help in creating a "block plan" of the tasks involved.