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  1. #1
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    Reinvigorate qa department

    Hi.

    Here is my problem. I work for a company with a small QA department. There is a process, of sorts. There are requirements coming in certain form, which are then reviewed and tested by the QA guys. There is process around test cases and release management, defects and communication. There is company wide visibility to the book of work and arefacts of the testing.

    The problem is that the QA area is in the dumps. The perception problem with the rest of the company is that QA are inefficient, and take too long. There is also a perception that the QA dont know the product that they are testing. This is because the BA and DEV are asked some questions that they feel are elementary. I dont personally agree with it, but I cant argue perception.

    I am talked with reinvigorating QA. I have full mandate to do what I want and change how I want it.

    Ive already conducted an assessment to see how close we are to TMMi and it seems that we are between level 1 and 2. The environments are not good, so I know that. The cross training is not happening. There is not really any automation.

    But can you please give me a few ideas about what to do to shake up the QA? I have full support of the management and would like to make a difference.

  2. #2
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    If you don't mind, I'm going to ask a few questions to probe a little more.

    I get the sense that there is 2 problems from your writing, 1) Lack of trust or respect of the QA department that perhaps is causing some resistance to changes you want to make, and 2) You may not have full management support. (I get this sense from even though you mention having management support, but the tone of the post suggests while management are open to your ideas, you're not in the position to simply recommend something and expect support from the top to push things through)

    * What are BA's and Dev's questioning you about? What are some of the reason you think they think it's "elementry"? Do you feel it's reasonable?

    * Of the things lacking to provide these answers, is there a component that can be solved using the following?
    a) Process - ensuring proper handoff, chain of responsibility, and resource assignment?
    b) standardizing - such as standardized requirements and documentation?
    c) Training?

    * What are the barriers to implementing automation?

    * What are the barriers to implementing change in the process?
    David Lai
    SDET / Consultant
    LinkedIn profile

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlai View Post
    If you don't mind, I'm going to ask a few questions to probe a little more.

    I get the sense that there is 2 problems from your writing, 1) Lack of trust or respect of the QA department that perhaps is causing some resistance to changes you want to make, and 2) You may not have full management support. (I get this sense from even though you mention having management support, but the tone of the post suggests while management are open to your ideas, you're not in the position to simply recommend something and expect support from the top to push things through)

    * What are BA's and Dev's questioning you about? What are some of the reason you think they think it's "elementry"? Do you feel it's reasonable?

    * Of the things lacking to provide these answers, is there a component that can be solved using the following?
    a) Process - ensuring proper handoff, chain of responsibility, and resource assignment?
    b) standardizing - such as standardized requirements and documentation?
    c) Training?

    * What are the barriers to implementing automation?

    * What are the barriers to implementing change in the process?
    Thank you for your response.

    There is a definite lack of trust in what QA is producing. one of the BA's just said that he doesnt trust what comes out of QA as part of testing. This is even after we started sending proposed scope of testing and asking for BA to review and suggest other things that we have not considered. The last time we had a production defect that was due to QA oversight was in Mar. Since then there were no prod defects in 4 releases.

    The management definitely wants me to do everything to change and suggest everything, but it has to come 100% from me. They say that they are behind me, but I am not sure what that means. I started producing metrics that show rejected builds, defects in QA and UAT phases, root cause analysis breakdown, time to market, etc, but I think they are waiting for me to work on DEV process as well and to tell them how to fix their broken DEV department.

    The DEV and BA are saying that sometime QA guys are asking questions that they should know the answers to, but could not give me an example. its highly subjective.

    There is a process. There is standardization. All of those I implemented and its working. Training is a bit harder - there is no budget and i am fighting a loosing battle there.

  4. #4
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    There is a component is company culture that needs to be addressed from the top. One of the CTOs I admired always start his new hire orientation with a message of mutual respect, that I remember till today. He did a day long presentation on how there are different types of developers, how their thought process worked, and how to work with them in a team setting. At the time I had this orientation, I was a hot headed hack and get things done. And the slow code review process I saw as a huge blocker for me getting my goals done. Now I can appreciate that some people have a slow methodical approach, and I need to keep myself in check.

    On organizational theory. I think the high level of conflict is normal for any new organizations. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckma...up_development

    Your team is Forming, tying to figure out what metics to put in place, what the product risks are, what processes you need to put in, while the Dev and BA teams are in the storming phase. They have their process figured out, and are probably under other circumstances high performing individual, but somehow they aren't producing what they think they are capable of, and being smart people they have an opinion why. They probably have forgot how hard it was for them the first week on the job when they had to learn everything. Ideally you'll want to get to a level of healthy conflict. Where you can argue things out in the meeting room, walk out with a few action steps, then be okay with hanging out and having a drink after work.

    Hope that helps, good luck.
    David Lai
    SDET / Consultant
    LinkedIn profile

 

 

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