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  1. #1
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    QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    For many years where I work the QA team was under the marketing branch. Now we have switched it under Engineering. I personally found that while being under Marketing, more bugs were getting fixed. QA and marketing together were fighting to get bugs fixed with a customer mindset. But now since we've moved uner engineering, it appears that less bugs are being fixed with more focus on releasing on time. My question is should QA be independant of both or more to one side? What are your experiences?

  2. #2
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    imo it depends on the level at which QA reports to Engineering. At some point QA will often be under an engineering head i.e. VP of engineering or whatever the title may be who reports to CEO (as one example.)

    If the reporting structure to R&D begins at a manager level for instance....not a very good idea from my experience.

    I'm a director reporting into SVP of product development and things work out well. Another factor is the relationship between QA and Engineering head they report to as well as QA's ability to stand up to any pressure from anyone. Someone in senior staff tried to pull the "I'm senior management" trump card and my statement was flat out "That's not a valid option and I'm not changing my decision that we're not certifying". You'll also gain a lot of credibility within the company if the defects you're being forced to defer turn into issues that are causing an impact on sales.

    Reporting into Marketing....never heard of that. Get your customers involved in a formal program to ascertain software quality. Beta programs are perfect for this....get a series of survey questions to understand software performance, scalability, straight functionality working properly....whatever is critical for your customers. Run the survey and report results.....people generally listen when the people who pay their salary and keep the business afloat comment on quality and their willingness to upgrade to new version or purchase the software for the first time.
    Reserve a few months every so often and preview retirement throughout your career. You won't regret that a 35 year career was reduced to 34 years to take vacations measured in months in order to remember what a stress and care-free life is all about.

    Books and hard work will get you anywhere you want to go.

  3. #3
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    I would suggest you following: if you have access to problems reported by customers/users analyze - how much of them correspond to bugs you reported but they did not fix. Maybe engineering is right not fixing them, maybe not - you need to analyze that. If your findings will show there is something wrong - try to show that to upper management.
    Meanwhile serve your stakeholders well. There are always tradeoffs between quality/time/features. If someone decided to move you to engineering this decision do mean to move focus away from quality. They should have a good reason to do that. At least I hope so.
    ?:the art of a constructive conflict perceived as a destructive diagnose.
    Ainars

  4. #4
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    Originally QA/QC was a third party operation. In the evolution of testing the first step was no formal testing, let the users sort it out. Next came minimal testing by developers, but that took away time from scripting so it slowly vanished. Then came Beta testing. An inexpensive method of helping to insure that major defects were not shipped to the end users. But someone had to monitor results and double check defects so a full time position was assigned. Then someone got the idea that since more defects were being found by outside testers, let's setup an organized group to independently test software. Of course that eventually evolved into in-house testers, which brought in another factor. If Engineering were over them, they could control the testing to make it not seem so bad on development. There are still processes that work around this issue however. Many companies found that they were successful at one of these evolutionary steps and did not evolve further. That's fine. Plus there are many mutations of these steps also. None of these are particularly bad. But independence, at least from the Engineering group is like locking your front door. A criminal can still get in, if not by the front door, the back door.
    Personal Comment

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  5. #5
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    I have never heard of QA being under Marketing before, but being that Marketing is a large stakeholder on the release they can put more pressure on Engineering to deliver something that will meet their expectations. To me this is more an after-effect of what the reporting struture is.

    But if you are seeing less bugs fixed, is there a reason you can find to determine why there are less fixed? Being outside of Engineering you may only now be seeing how they are operating, and it may be the same as it was when you reported to Marketing.

    - M
    - M

    Nothing learns better than experience.

    "So as I struggle with this issue I am confronted with the reality that noting is perfect."
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    Now wasting blog space at QAForums Blogs - The Lookout

  6. #6
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    That is a good point that maybe I'm seeing things differently now that we are under engineering, but it just seemes like back in the days there was much more head banging between Engineering and QA and now engineering seems to be running QA which to me doesn't seem right.
    Therefore, which bring to minds, shouldn't QA have a different mindset that engineering since their focus is in releasing the product on time and sending service pack, patches to fix known issues?

  7. #7
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    Don't worry who you report to.....give us examples of how R&D is forcing you to ship software which customers will perceive as poor quality in your new reporting structure.

    And stand up for the customer.....I have told senior VP's I'm not accepting their mandate to ship. I'll get fired before I ship a piece of software that I know will cause more problems than it solves. Have the guts to stand up to anyone. And as mentioned above.....get customer feedback on quality and present this to the entire development team.
    Reserve a few months every so often and preview retirement throughout your career. You won't regret that a 35 year career was reduced to 34 years to take vacations measured in months in order to remember what a stress and care-free life is all about.

    Books and hard work will get you anywhere you want to go.

  8. #8
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    It depends on how mature the set up is in the company, but QA and Development should be partners in Engineering, that is where I have seen it work out best. When QA is being directed by Development then there are going to be the occasional issues rising due to pressures to ship. Best you can do, as has been said, is advocate for the Customer (both internal and external).

    There will be a different mindset, IMO, but that is due to the fact where the focus lies. For Development it is in generating a product to requirements, for QA its making sure that product meets those requirements, but both should seek to get the best product out they are able. Unfortunately reality is not always working out that way.

    - M
    - M

    Nothing learns better than experience.

    "So as I struggle with this issue I am confronted with the reality that noting is perfect."
    - Unknown

    Now wasting blog space at QAForums Blogs - The Lookout

  9. #9
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    Re: QA under Marketing vs QA under Engineering

    We seem to be always under pressure to release because we are always late for release. That being said, have any of you managers released a product knowing 'High' priority bugs are still evident, but are willing to fix them depending on the screaming factor from customers after release? Why risk breaking other modules when your release date has passed...right?? [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

 

 

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