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- 1 Post By dlai
Need feedback on quality department mission statement and guiding principles
I am starting a new QA Department in a company that has never had a real QA team before. One of the first things I would like to do is really set the tone for what this group should be, and what we stand for. I have been brainstorming some ideas in regards to a group mission statement and guiding principles. Just want to bounce my thoughts off everyone here to get some constructive criticism.
QA Mission Statement:
To add value to the company by ensuring our products and services meet the highest standards of quality, performance, and compliance and security
Values and Guiding Principles:
• Honesty - We are honest with each other and ourselves. We admit to our mistakes and learn from them.
• Integrity - We act in the best interest of the company and do the right thing to ensure compliance with all applicable requirements.
• Creativity - We strive to be creative in our methods to improve our testing and problem solving techniques.
• Efficiency - We recognize that quality is limited by resources and strive to use our resources as efficiently as possible.
• Teamwork - We strive to work together as a team to accomplish more than we could as individuals.
• Communication - We strive to employ any and all means to communicate effectively to others.
• Agility - We recognize that the needs of business and technology change frequently and thus our techniques and methods must be flexible and agile.
Goals (FY 2014):
• To start automating any and all appropriate testing to increase our efficiency
• To identify a core automation framework for the enterprise
• To ensure all team members possess training and knowledge of all products and services
• Identify key metrics of performance and start to track them
• Identify and deploy tools necessary to make our jobs easier and efficient
Although a novel idea. I think almost everyone thinks Mission statements have gathered the reputation of being the first thing ignored. I remember working for a company who got really excited about their mission statement, "Helping the customer through Fearless innovation". It's so freaking vague and doesn't set expectations of what as a worker you need to be doing, or how that should influence your decision. And in a time crunch, you're not going to remember a mission statement, you'll just do what you need to do to get the work done. In that case, you're better off having a policy, but even those gets forgotten. How many times as a lead have you seen rank and file testers not write out full bug descriptions during a time crunch?
I've read this book a month ago. I really like their idea of spreading stories, instead of creating mission statements and policies. I really like their idea of telling stories of exemplifying good behavior and vilifying bad behavior. Stories can be retold and will all people to embody that as part of the company culture. Who are you company's heroes? Do we take the time to acknowledge their contributions and tell their stories so other employees can follow in their examples?
Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire: Paul Smith: 9780814420300: Amazon.com: Books
The next thing is, an environment needs to be fostered to promote said values. For example, at my current company, we want to promote integrity and honesty. We don't have it as a mission statement. Instead, every week, we have a small retrospective. And the first thing we do is ask if everyone feels safe to speak their mind. And any impediments to that, we address it first before continuing on with the retrospective. So if you want to create a value of "Creativity". Then an environment is needed to provide a work place where mistakes to a degree are acceptable and give them the freedom to try new things, make mistakes and learn from them.
What does "highest standards" mean to you?
Originally Posted by QADirector1
That's a good question. Is there a recognized quality measurement for software, similar to what the manufacturing industry has with six sigma?
'Quality' (to my mind) is a relative term, roughly defined as "The extent to which a product and/ or service meets the needs/ requirements/ expectations of a customer and/ or client."
Originally Posted by QADirector1
Hi QA - Why not use Six Sigma itself to measure quality? While the bar is high, you can determine your company's baseline sigma on current efforts and measure how the enterprise is performing and then also see how each of the QA department's goals are performing to improve it?
I believe that Caper Jones has measures on how various groups perform in regard to software quality rated by sigma of defects.
QADirector1 , how many of those goals have you accomplished in FY 2014 ?
ISTQB Certified Test Manager & Test Analyst, Certified SCRUM Master, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder, GARP Certified Financial Risk Manager, IBM Certified RUP Specialist, ClearCase Administrator, WebSphere Deployment Professional, DB2 Administrator