Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Attitudinal Bias

One of the interesting things about working in QA is how much you discover about attitudinal bias. Basically, people's perspectives are colored by their approach to problems and their approach to a given system. Basically, if you ask different people the same question, you'll get a different answer.
  • If you ask marketing, you'll find out what it COULD do.
  • If you ask product management, you'll find out what it SHOULD do.
  • If you ask development, you'll find out HOW it does it.
  • If you ask support, you'll find out WHETHER users actually do it.
  • If you ask QA, you'll find out what it REALLY does.*
The really odd part is that they'll all answer the question by saying, "It does....". So be on the watch for attitudinal bias, and ask the person who will give you the slant on the question that you need.

* Yes, these are generalities and for every generality there is an instance of nonconformance. Call it the exception that proves the rule.

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