RamsThoughts

April 1, 2007 4:58 am

Taking Shortcuts in Software testing and Quality outcome…

Filed under: Computers,Project Management,Quotes,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 4:58 am

During the conversation about project management, scope, schedule and functional disciplines with Pradeep, he pointed me to a fable titled “Test trimming“. It is very impressive. The moral of the fable is applicable for any context. It also reminds me of quotes like “Pay the price it takes”. That’s very true. Take every day examples in our lives. We get the quality for the price we pay. It could be for any service we get.

I have experienced the example quoted in this fable, at work and life many times. Depending on the context, taking shortcuts and not paying the right price only gets us into frustration. Let’s take an example of project management and scheduling: especially if you are on a waterfall model and have an end date for a deliverable, how would a schedule look like often? No matter how well project is planned, if there was no contingencies allocated, it is very likely that product analysis and requirement slips, Design slips, the difference in time gets absorbed in development phase and pushing the dev tasks into the testing task. Usually the functional testing and the user acceptance happen just before the hard end date. so, if  end date deliverable cannot be moved, guess what, testing phase gets compressed like anything. However, I was part of several negotiations where we had to build, make the teams understand on what it takes from Quality angle and readjust 2 of the triple constraints (viz., scope, schedule, cost). However, it is very interesting that we don’t see Quality in PMI’s triple constraints. well, I will get into that on a separate post.

I have been in the projects at my home town (Bangalore), and other places where people wore all the hats for waterfall. I have had titles like AnalystProgrammer. I now realize it meant, start from the requirements with the customer, do a design (no reviews), go into development and wear a test hat (kind of unit test) and work with end customer representative for user acceptance test. I wasn’t happy with the quality but I wasn’t aware of specific displines and functional teams back then. Our marketing person was our product manager. He collects the information from the customer and transfer that information to us. That’s the filter right there. We learned very hard from the consequences we had. Remember this picture, this was almost exactly what happened. Well, this was almost a decade ago; but it was a good lesson.

So, you reader, if you are involved in software project management of any sort, how do you manage your schedule, deliverables, project development, and yes,Quality?

{tags: project managementsoftware quality }

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