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  1. #1
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    moving a company from no system test to full system test

    I have started on a contract for a company that has been sending unit tested code directly to the customer for UAT. They realize that this is NOT the best thing for them, they're customer or the developers. My task is to slowly institute change in the processes and culture so that they have a functioning SQA process. Has anyone out there had to do this and been the only member of the QA group?

    ------------------
    hhjj
    SQA to all & to all clean code

  2. #2
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    I have just recently just started a new job with the same description as what you are doing. I am the only person in the QA department, and will be in the forseeable future. This is the 3rd time I have been the first QA person hired in the company to set p the processes and policies to reach a certain level of compliance for external auditing.

    It is never easy, and NEVER NEVER quick. It takes time, patience, and having good management support (which sounds like you may have as they brought you in for the purpose).

    I have always started by comparing the current development processes to the known QA methodologies and getermine which one is closest to what they are currently doing, and then implement that process to show everyone that things are better once the processes are in place. Once that is done and accepted by most everyone (there is always going to be the guy that "came with the building" that hates change), I then try to determine with management what needs to be improved on first, and then work on each part of the SDLC modifying the processes to get to the desired level.

    Also don't be afraid in the beginning to do some of the work that you are going to want others to do in the long term. It forces to make sure that what you are asking of them is not too much of an effort that it would negatively impact the normal course of events, and it also shows that you are willing to meet them halfway and dig into the work when needed. An example of this is I am taking the time to help the developers streamline the processes they go thorugh before turning the application over for testing - it allows me to learn the app, and I can make sure that I am helping the developers and not "hurting" them. It has worked well and now they know my goal is to help them and not add more to their already full workload.

    just $.02 of rambling thoughts.

    Good luck!

    ------------------
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

  3. #3
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    I agree

    Don't throw out any processes that might be in place. Simply add improvements, slowly.
    And convince/sell your methodologies 1 small piece at at time.

    Partner and mentor with them. Don't dictate, you'll do fine.

    ------------------
    -- Jean

    Something that you say or do today will make a difference to someone else.
    Make it a GOOD thing!
    Jean James
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I deliver what I promise, and I only promise what I can deliver.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

  4. #4
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    I just found an interesting article that seems to have been written with this thread in mind.
    http://www.processgroup.com/february99.html#CS


    ------------------
    -- Jean

    Something that you say or do today will make a difference to someone else.
    Make it a GOOD thing!
    Jean James
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I deliver what I promise, and I only promise what I can deliver.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

  5. #5
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by adr_r:
    I have started on a contract for a company that has been sending unit tested code directly to the customer for UAT. They realize that this is NOT the best thing for them, they're customer or the developers. My task is to slowly institute change in the processes and culture so that they have a functioning SQA process. Has anyone out there had to do this and been the only member of the QA group?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In regards to what some others have said I can agree. Take current processes and improve slowly on them. What to change and in what order will depend on your situation. Also, yep I have been the Lone Ranger too many times. Always takes time to find a Tonto.

    One thing I can recommend is to do a cost analysis of current processes. Determine what it costs (time and money) to:
    a) Develop and test the code using current methods.
    b) Re-work the code that needs fixes (found by customer). And re-release to the customer (factor in item 'a' from above again).
    c) Lost revenue to your company (cost or re-work and lost sales from customers).
    d) Cost for any other services (IT, Tech. Support, etc.) related to the product.

    Then re-do this work with better testing practices in place. Show the differences based on estimates (at first, then later on live data collected). Once you get all this figured out show the information to the Senior Management and C-level people. Get them to buy in and back you (sounds like you already have some backing, but you will need to lock them in). Also, explain this will not be a quick fix. It will take time and effort (on everyones part, not just yours). Have an action plan ready to show.

    Finally, be sure to 'sell' this as "cost containment" and not "cost savings / reduction". You are not saving money (reducing internal cost), you are containing the factors that cause money to leak out and be lost. Your getting more bang for their buck.

    Good luck, hope this helps.

    Jim


    ------------------
    Jim
    -------------------------------------------
    For all the general stuff to know about QA/Test go here http://www.softwareqatest.com/

  6. #6
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    to: awdavis - Thanks for your .02, I ramble myself and at least you tend to have a direction. I will try to remain patient and not let the whole project get out of control. Having them try to do too much too fast could be just as bad as not implementing any changes at all.

    to: jeanj - Thanks for the link and the advice. The article was a good and will hopefully prove to be a usefull read.

    I've got to read the latest response before I make any comment about it, but thanks for all the support.

    ------------------
    hhjj
    SQA to all & to all clean code

  7. #7
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    Like I said before this is a company on the verge of implementing a SQA process. Spoke with the PMO, she's been here for 1 month, and found out they have no in house documentation standards. I think anything with some kind of globally approved standard as far a documentaion would be step in the right direction and could get the ball rolling for building QA. I need to find a site that offers free templates or some guidelines for writing/creating:

    Bus. Requirements - Business/marketing
    Project Plan - Proj.Mgr.
    Development Specs/Requirements. - Development

    I can handle:
    QA Plan/QA Strategy - QA
    Test Plan - QA
    Test Cases/Test Steps - QA & Testing
    Test Report/Metrics - QA & Testing

    but the others are, well, out of my scope.

    Please reply to adr_r@hotmail.com as well as here.

    ------------------
    hhjj
    SQA to all & to all clean code

  8. #8
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    to: jimhazen
    Thanks for the words of advice today I had my first meeting with the business office and the first thing they said is that they wanted to save on costs. I will try apply best practices and move them along slowly to not let their expectations get out of hand.

    ------------------
    hhjj
    SQA to all & to all clean code

  9. #9
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    I have just been through my first CRP (Conference Room Pilot), it is my company's {I'll call them X Inc.}... well a CRP is used by X Inc. to test thier software prior to production implementation. At X they generally have two of these CRP tests, this was the first one I've ever seen. This test was slow, painful and prone to error. I've tried gathering data on what they would like to see change from the way this CRP process is done now. For the most part we agree that the amount of confusion during the execution of the test is too high for productive work. The practice of introducing new testcases after the test has begun is not safe and does not give time for evaluation or design. The practice of not having fully detailed testscripts for tester use at test-time is not productive. Incomplete details of expectations from the system should be discouraged. System non-availability for test, and resource non-availability should be addressed prior to the inception of testing.

    Now ... How do I tell X Inc. that thier test was as organized as spaghetti and no where near as good without resorting to simile, hyperbole, or tears?

    ------------------
    hhjj
    SQA to all & to all clean code

  10. #10
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    Re: moving a company from no system test to full system test

    I have been the solo guy starting up 3 QA Departments. What the other people have said is absolutely true.

    To add my $0.02,
    See what the company's processes are and improve the ones they use. Do not throw them out and have them do something new/start over. This does not work.

    Make sure you get upper management's buy-in and support on everything you want to do. This way everyone will have to follow your improvements.

    Define the big picture first, high level. You need to understand exactly where they are with the SDLC. You are basically scoping out and defining the problem you need to solve. Then pick and choice carefully where you want to improve. Small steps are best. Look for the small improvements that make the biggest improvements. This will make other changes down the road easier for others to buy into. See what processes they are using and improve them. See what processes they are missing and create/customize them, to follow how they do things.

    Work on the begining of the SDLC first. Getting good Functional Specifications written and approved will help make the rest of the project go smoother. Trying to improve Regression Testing First only helps QA, but improving the Functional Specs helps everyone on the project.

    The beginning of the SDLC is where you can make the biggest Cost Containments.

    Enjoy.

    ------------------

 

 
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