Excellence in the Basics
Aligning trained people with effective processes will allow your QA teams to deliver superior performance. Developing Software is a creative enterprise that requires constant human interaction and reviews to achieve success.
Investing in getting the BASICS right ensures the QA function is built on terra firma. Often, the BASICS are enough to save the day.
Business – Acumen – Strategy – Innovation – Common – Sense
Business Acumen: QA personnel must have an understanding of the business processes that they are attempting to test. QA Engineers should have knowledge of the project requirements based on being included early-on in the development cycle, QA can make the best possible contribution to achieving timely results and to identifying opportunities to incrementally improve the development life cycle. They get a 360-degree overview of the business.
Strategy: While the word ‘agile’ is often used to advertise the unique nature of what a team can offer, the reality often falls short of the classic principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/) where value is placed on:
o Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
o Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
o Responding to change over following a plan
o Working software over comprehensive documentation
None of these value statements diminishes the importance of following best practices, using state-of-the-art tools, documenting the work, or having a valid contract and keeping to a schedule. They simply reiterate developing software is a creative process requiring collaboration and constant review.
Innovation: trying something new can be part of strategy but it must be justified by the standards and constraints of the corporate development ecosystem. Sometimes, what becomes innovative are daily meetings, effective conference calls, assumption of responsibility and follow thru on action items.
Common Sense: without being redundant, common sense can mean using basic management practices such as never expecting what you don’t inspect and holding people accountable for their performance. Measuring the output from your teams. What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done!
In summary, aligning trained people with effective processes supports superior performance. Other teams within the project will be influenced by the QA team and will emulate best practises. Investing time in getting the BASICS right will significantly enhance effectiveness. Efficiency can only be attained after effectiveness has been established.
Let’s get a conversation started about what basics are working for you? Feel free to share any learnings that you have in the comments or if you found this article of value. If you would like to continue this conversation contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.