QA software testing and agile and scrum reviewed
by Mountain Computers Inc., Publication Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
View Count: 295, Keywords: Project Management, QA, Scrum, Agile, Software Development, Hashtags: #ProjectManagement #QA #Scrum #Agile #SoftwareDevelopment
This is a brief round about on quality, quality managers, continuous improvement, organizational leadership and behaviors and the move from Q&A to SCRUM and AGILE. This is not a difficult concept.
Let me simplify. In manufacturing, just like software development, release and production support; we had QA final inspection and somewhere along the line, that moved from the very end to checkpoints all along the product and manufacturing work in progress (WIP). I call it WIP, they called it WIP. So instead of waiting to final inspection to see if the product aka software met every test requirement, those were pushed up the pipeline, food chain, assembly line to specific checkpoints during the raw to assembly to finish goods mentality.
As a farm boy who grew up knowing how to get things done both alone and in teams, we leveraged everything. If the rock was too big for brute force, we figured out what a lever was, and if a stump was too stuck, we found a block and tackle and come-a-long. Leverage, thinking, critical thinking and applying and re-applying basic techniques in various environments gives us tools to manage and solve just about anything. Let gravity and physics do their work in our favor. Interesting metaphors.
If you look at SCRUM and AGILE you will see all they did was replace Project Managers and Quality Managers with self-governing teams and a scrum master and product owner. Note, none of these included management or the stakeholder. I believe the world got tired of project managers and quality managers and some hipsters just renamed what we had with something more or less politically correct for the times. It's like hiring and firing and now onboarding and offboarding. Same thing, just the psychology behind the words are softer and less joyful and less harsh.
In the last 30 years of my life, I have been a software hardware developer and engineer that was customer facing and in customer support aka product technical sales support. I moved throughout the organization from the support and sales side to the manufacturing to operations, highly technical components and through management roles.
All of these included a financial budget accounting and controlling factor with teams and team members, colleagues from the GM and Director level, to the VP and CXO levels. All of this exposure to vast diversity in thinking and behavior gave me a sense of overall understanding how organizations can work and be successful.
The vision and mission of the company is what we work for, which directly serves the needs of the client, customer and our society.
Many just go to work, not really keeping the eye on the big ball, just their bucket of balls, as to know have too many in the air and juggling at one time.
So when did we need to get rid of quality and quality managers? It appears around the mid 2000s that SCRUM and AGILE appeared either through our education system pushed back up there from industry, or someone who could not hack it in the industry and became a teacher and change the nouns and verbs and taxonomy of project and software development into team based team focused team owned projects products and results. Well, we had that prior to 2000 in what was call Kanban and Quality Circles implemented through the ISO 9000/90002 models. Someone with a PhD decided to rename and take the credit for something already in place. That's okay.
So where do we go from here?
SCRUM and AGILE has a very specific vocabulary and very few rules and some of them are a little interesting in where ownership and management cross over. The need to remove management aka leadership from the product and project and leave it up to the product owner and scrum master and team is important - we call the self-awareness self-correcting self-improving self-managing. That is great and good and just another way to make people accountable for their own work in teams of two in sprints, and held to timelines and daily progress reports of 15 minutes or less and product display and run throughs on a daily basis if possible. I like that, daily compiles and builds. We did that back then and we still did regression testing to keep unexpected consequences out of the end product.
With that all being said; what's the point of this blog post for today? I read the Scrum Master short tests and quizzes without studying and got 95% positive result after all of it. Amazing. Not even one bit of scrum study and this is what I got. Is it because 35 years of SDLC and critical thinking, and experience managing and working in teams without a lot of micro-management overhead gave us some great tools, just named something different from a different time.
I believe what I did learn from the pop quizes and short tests was the taxonomy of the new SCRUM and AGILE world. Its funny.
It's like our school and education systems revisionary visionary thing called Common Core for learning the 3 Rs. (R)eading, W(R)iting, and A(R)ithmetic.
more to come...
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