Tackling The Backlog While Continuing to Keep Moving Forward
I recently accepted a new SQA Manager position and after a little over a month have started working on my long list of improvements. The team is made up of almost 20 positions including analysts, leads, end user testers and release managers. We are spread out over multiple states and there are several inconsistencies in process across each location. One of the biggest areas of contention is the large (and slightly increasing) number of projects that are ready for testing. I have spent a good amount of time looking at the cause of the backlog and working on recommendations for improvements to eliminate existing backlog items and prevent more from piling up as we move forward. After nearly 20 years in the software industry, I know there are definitely process improvements to be made, not just in SQA but within the entire SDLC. My question for the community is this: Are there any recommendations for reducing the backlog we have now while still being able to move forward with the "newer" projects coming in the door? When confronting my Team Leads, it seems we can't get out of our own way. Their stance is to work harder... I would rather we work smarter. But I'd like to hear some war stories of how people "shook things up" and/or "temporarily re-orged" to clean stuff up!
Teams in my current company recently adopted the practice of Kaizen, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen in the context of Agile.
As part of our iterations, we are required to accomplish a process improvement story first before we're allowed to take on any work.
I really like the idea. How it works out we'll see. Let's hope process does not cave to pressure.