Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It WILL Get Done

Commitment is very important in QA. Generally by the time QA is in the spotlight, it's close to a release and tensions are starting to get just a little bit high. Part of QA's job at this point is to maintain and encourage calm.

So what's the best way to do this?

Be very very careful of your commitments.

If you say you're going to do something, get it done. If you have to stay late to finish, stay late. In our profession, more than many others, slippage is a problem. It's easy to say that it's getting late, and you have to get home, and tomorrow's good enough. But there are consequences. If you said you would finish something today, and it doesn't happen, then there is often a house of cards that will fall around you.

Just today I was at work late installing a demo system. Why? I had said I would get it done today. So what was the difference between 10pm one night and 2pm the next day?
  • 6 hours less of demo practice time for sales
  • The demo data would finish loading 6 hours later - too late to ship out in time for the demo.
  • QA would seem less dependable.
The last item is by far the most important part. As QA, your job is to eliminate surprise. You should be the most dependable part of the entire software development process. The goal is simple:

If you say you're going to do something, everyone around you needs to know that it will get done.

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