You’re Doing It All Wrong!

I’ve discovered that in order to maintain quality on your product, it is just as important to maintain quality on the tools and processes you use to accomplish this.  Quality shouldn’t just be about how many bugs you find, or how many automation scripts you have running.  You also have to make sure that the product you are building does the things it should do.  If your tools and processes (or even your own approach) are not allowing you to do that, or are getting in your way and preventing you from doing that, then perhaps it is time to take a step back and examine the larger picture again.

What may have worked well for you when you had a small team might not work so well for you now that your team has doubled in size.  Maybe the number of applications or teams you support has grown, and that has caused the need for scaling your processes and tools.  The hardest part of doing this, is that sometimes, what you see when you start looking may be very painful to admit is happening, and may be even more painful to fix.  You have to have the willingness to do this on a regular basis, and then have the fortitude to follow through on making the necessary adjustments.  There comes a point when saying “That’s the way we’ve always done it” is no longer a good thing, and rather, becomes a stigma you must deal with.

One of the best ways you can use to make sure you are the right track is to reach out to your end users (clients, product owners, developers, business team, etc.) and solicit their feedback as to the quality of the product.  Be sure to honestly listen, even if sometimes they are not happy, or you don’t agree with what they say, so that you can truly evaluate what needs to be done.  Becoming combative or condescending because “they don’t know QA” never helps the situation, and only puts you into a bigger hole.  Remember, at the end of the day, your process/tool/ego isn’t the most important thing…delivering a quality product is.  If you make sure that you are always putting that at the forefront of every discussion you have, no matter how hard it may seem, things will usually turn out for the best.


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