Sunday, 29 May 2011

Ideas ...

 ... and so have ideals.

Saw this when I was walking about yesterday and though it was a very apt message: I'll be back to blog some more on this point later.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

In The Beginning ...

 ... there was darkness and confusion. A Winter of Waterfall discontent. Pain and suffering.

And then Agile came. And it was good.

Well, not really. It wasn't as bleak as I've painted in my prose.

But picture an organisation where, this time 12 months ago, there was no proper QA function. A team of three Testers testing the work of maybe 20-30 Developers. No QA Manager. A world where testing was a mad dash at the end of a frantic race to Live, with no test scripts, no requirements, no engagement. A QA Team surviving by their wits alone, with no real say over end quality - who were subsequently blamed when issues (inevitably) made their way into the Live Estate.

A company that brought me in, as QA Manager, stating that 'we are Agile now. We transformed Development several months ago, but testing hasn't been changed yet', giving me the challenge of 'transforming QA to be fully Agile in 3 months'.

Er, yeah.

Picture all of this and you'll get an idea of the beginning of this story.

Fast forward to the Utopian ending we all want to see. A true collaborative environment, with QAs feeling truly valued within Development Teams. A process and purpose for QA. QAs equipped with the tools and technical skills to be more than just 'testers'. Quality being paramount, not just at the end, but throughout the lifecycle. No 'Us' and 'Them' mentality. Just the right amount of definition to give clarity. Just enough chaos to keep us hungry.

Well, we are not there yet.

But we will get there.

This is my journal of that quest, as QA Manager, to transform QA in our organisation to work in an Agile manner. My aim is to create a world-class QA function, something to shout far and wide about. Something that transcends our organisation and makes a real statement in the industry,

I'll be the first to admit that I'm ambitious.

But that doesn't mean that it can't be done.

I'll be sharing our highs, our lows, our triumphs, our learnings. No sugar coating. There are no easy answers, and you certainly won't find any here. There is no 'magic recipe' that, if recited three times whilst hopping around in a circle in front of a mirror, on the night of a clouded-over full moon, will make you 'Agile'.

But I hope to provide an honest, open, and occasionally humorous, account of our trials and tribulations on this crazy rollercoaster ride we're strapped into. And whilst I'm doing so give my own insights into various matters Agile, Testing, QA, and much, much more. And I hope you'll find something here that gets you thinking, challenging, questioning, applauding, laughing, crying, lauding, learning and enthusing, and maybe even coming away with some sagely advice you can use on your own journeys.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".

Thank you for choosing to read about ours.