mandag den 8. juni 2015

Thoughts on Test Process Improvment - Learning

Remember my list from last week?

  • Know where you are (Current situation)
  • Know where you are going (Target situation)
  • How to eat an elephant
  • Learning
  • Ownership and commitment
  • Process first, then tools

Today: Learning

Learning is both on an individual level and in the organization as a whole. As individuals we need to learn about the new process, we need new skills to follow the process e.g. learn about test design techniques because we now have a strategy about structured test and wants to ensure the most efficient testing to be done. About tools if new tools appear because of the changed processes and of course also changes in culture and responsibilities in the team and for the individual team members.

But also on organizational level we need to learn. We may take inspiration from the Deming cycle or  PDCA – Plan, do, check, act.
I am a big fan of pilot projects, let’s not implement the process improvements big bang in the entire organization, but rather create pilot projects where we implement and learn from the experiences we gain.

We plan the test process improvement project by creating the roadmap, breaking the project down into smaller tasks, creating a backlog. As described above we need to prioritize the backlog and identify quick wins. We plan how to implement it – identifying the pilot projects to involve. The pilots should also be a part of the prioritization of the backlog, they know the current situation better than anyone and can supplement our knowledge from the assessment.

Based on the backlog we do; create the necessary process to support the individual backlog items and we implement them in the pilot projects. Again I recommend including relevant members of the pilot projects and also other projects in the creative process of creating the process parts.  We also ensure that the necessary training is conducted as a part of the “do”, we need to ensure that the people in the pilot projects are “dressed for the job”.

When the pilot is running we need to move to check, supporting the pilot projects and follow up on whether the changes have the anticipated effect. In some instances we can define formal KPI’s for this check, but often interviews and retrospectives are more valuable – you tend to get more information and feedback during that than from a KPI.

Based on the feedback from the pilot projects we can now act, we need to improve what we have already created and make it support the feedback we got from the “check”.  And round and round and round it goes J now this is a cycle that runs continuously, an iterative process of test process improvement.

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