Quality comes from Professional Responsibility

Testing is a double edge sword. Testing is done for two reasons: to catch any unintended consequence of changes and (for risk management) giving a fresh view to find anything that would be a reputation issue if it reached a customer. However, because testing is done there may be a tendency for a “I’ve got a safety net” mentality that can allow corners to be cut and process precision to be lost.

When a software team goes wrong, testers start to name and shame. Blame is used to make developers feel guilt for their poor quality. Developers grudgingly do what they have to do, what they are told to do and are given few choices in how they complete their work. Some will make excuses to justify things as they are, blame others, or even fault find with testing processes. There will be some who blindly or arrogantly ignoring that their work might be an issue or denying the problem. Some will quit to avoid the shame of failure or work in the way they are obliged to do.

The mark of a true team is the mutual respect between developers and testers, each recognising the strengths and contribution made by the other. Everyone steps up and takes responsibility for their work. The developers have craftsman’s pride in their work. They take the initiative, making the choice to lead to lead on quality.

The question is how to build an agile team that works that well. The only answer has to be culture. Recruitment must focus on building a team with the attitudes to want to take responsibility and pride for the word and work respectfully and cooperatively with others. Training must focus on the expectations of craftsmanship and quality for each role. Management needs to be looking for indicators of those negative attitudes and facilitate professional maturity and not use command and control techniques.


About 3triangles
Helping organisations make change happen in 3 key areas: strategic change, deliver tactical impacts, efficient and effective processes. All blog content (c) 2009 - 2012 Carol Long and Three Triangles Performance Ltd

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