I only want to share some (bad) experience regarding term QA. I have more stories regarding for example unit and integration testing terms. I wonder if anyone is interested in such stories…
Some years ago joined QA department in a company. Not sure how it got so far but the fact was that 90% of the department assignments was QC (testing). The number increased with a time as QC demand extended. When on the other hand we got demand for QA (CMM certification) a new department was created. And guess what …to maintain backward compatibility… our department is still QA, while new one is “Quality Management”. BTW we got CMM5… [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]
P.S. I was wondering which forum to post this topic and found in this forum’s description “definitions for QA terms “. So I posted it here…
No big deal. It happens all the time. The fact is that QA as well as all QA terms are defined at the company level. So if QA really means QC then so be it. There are no QA Police which go around arresting terminology offenders. Maybe there should be, but sorry, you are out of luck. I wonder, is your company truly a level 5? In some coutries the control is pretty lax on CMM levels.
It just goes to show that people who appear to be the most demanding about quality are the ones who seem to be clueless. Last time I looked the term Quality Management referred to a process, not to a department. At that rate you will be skipping CMM-6 and go straight to CMM-7 maybe?
OK, let me add one more story. Term - Unit Testing.
Once open a time we escalated issue of a lot of fixed defects (10-20%) being incorrectly integrated into builds (incorrectly check-in to CVS) that we test. PM decided to add one more status for defect life-cycle: build master are now sending the defect to the developer who implemented it. Only when developer makes sure that the fix is inside the build, only then it is passed to retesting. Guess how the status is called? Unit testing! Only because this term is associated with testing developers should perform…
P.S. Regarding CMM. To be honest only 2 departments participated the audit (departments having direct customers like IBM outside the company), secondly they got level 4 two years ago and we are now the only company in the region having level 5.
I was only kidding: the emphasis is on trying to strive for quality, which seems rather at odds if you think of the "abuse" of terminology. I bet in your company they allocate costs by phase, so the project manager being annoyed with the poor code quality decided to use Unit Test as a phase that allocates the cost to the right bucket. Let me be fair, I might have done the same thing if that happened to me so that the costs would reflect a programming phase rather than to appear to be in testing. I don't think that was an intent to find a new variant definition of Unit Testing.
Thank you Frits Bos. You helped me to say want I actually wanted to say in this thread. No matter how completely the terminology is described on web, in books, etc. In practice they are used according to some purpose that only in few cases exactly accord to definition.
Term definitions, explanations and examples only describe generic cases. Practice is never generic case (except if one create process by book, which is the worst practice I could imagine). That’s what FAQs forgot to mention.
Any argues on that statement?