Thursday, February 7, 2008

Introduce Process Slowly

Because my current QA team has gone from 1-4 in about 3 months, we're lacking a lot of process. Formal team-oriented processes aren't really something that comes up when you're working alone. But now that there are 4 of us, and it's time to put a few processes in place so we don't trip over each other.

So here's are some of the process elements we need:
  • a task queue
  • a rotation schedule for automated test result analysis
  • measurement of our velocity
  • tracking velocity over time, with goals to increase that velocity
  • a story definition process (similar to dev, but with some twists to handle how our stories are different)
  • a process for handling escalations from support
  • a process for accepting stories
But to put all that in at once would be overwhelming. So let's take baby steps.

So far we've:
  • established a rotation schedule for automated test result analysis (this one is not really intimidating)
  • picked a person to handle escalations
  • picked a person to handle story acceptance
  • created a task queue. We are not yet requiring that these be fully fledged stories.
The idea here is to not create so much process that we get overwhelmed. This way we can all learn the product, learn the test style, learn how we work together. Then, and only then, will we add process elements.

So are we doing some things "wrong" or unsustainably? Absolutely.

Is that the right thing to do? Yes. As long as we're improving, then it's more sustainable to be flying by the seat of our pants than to try to change too much at once.

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