Black Hole No.3 Lack of organisation.
Obi Wan: You are going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.
The rebel heroes in Star Wars seemed disorganised compared to the highly structured juggernaut-like Empire, surviving on agility and instincts. But most IT organisations do not possess the same powers, and telepathy is beyond our grasp.
Some people are organised, while others are not.
For instance some children just can’t manage a tidy bedroom and some parents can’t abide a messy one. But what’s the issue? The child can still find the things they want. Is it that the parent cannot, or just the aesthetics and a fixation with neatness? But if you are not aware of where things are ‘supposed to live’; they are just as difficult to find as anything in a child’s bedroom! It just depends on your point of view. The benefits of tidiness are clear, but to get true value, things need to be organised. To be truly organised, things need to be communicated and controlled according to agreed standards.
But what is it about being organised that is so beneficial and what lessons can be applied to application quality?
If the child is analogous to a very small, one or two person QA team, then the similarities are strong. Such teams can operate using their own knowledge of their systems and the target applications. Their supporting infrastructure will typically include partial test documentation held in numerous non-standard spreadsheets and communication will be by email, containing varying depths of information. Agile developments similarly rely on informal knowledge transfer and Post-It Notes. Is this the untidy room syndrome? So where’s the problem?
Take this into a larger organisation and the idea of trying to run a significant QA team in such a way, becomes patently ludicrous. But as we have already established, there are many other teams in addition to QA, who should be accessing the information locked away within QA.
What if one member of the team is unavoidably taken ill, or unfortunately cryogenically frozen in carbonite?
How do development know what test coverage has been achieved to date?
How do operations know when the additional system capacity will be needed?
How do key users know whether the testing is representative of their current practices?
How does the team management know whether the target date will still be met?
Find out how to achieve real success with an effective application quality management solution.
This is the third in a series of ten lessons from Yoda, on the topic of Application Quality Management. 10 Black Holes to avoid for successful Application Delivery.
Missed the first two? Read them here;