When author Zane Roett began a new Senior Manager test role in a new organization in 2019, he found that it became an important task to create and lead the development of a software test engineering professional community of practice (TCoP).
Getting process improvement "just right" is difficult. Go too far in the definition of processes, and it really does get too hot, with the heat coming from the people trying to use the processes. On the other hand process definitions that are too short to contain anything of value will leave users in the cold, and then there will be no improvement in the organization. Ed Weller states that a useful process improvement activity develops a set of process artifacts that meets the needs of the user. This helps the organization capture "tribal lore" and cast it into a set of process definitions that eliminates waste and improves time-to-market.
One of the most valuable services a QA group provides is preventing failure. Ironically if the group succeeds at this, QA might find themselves unpopular or out of a job. Linda Hayes reveals how typical methods of measuring success can actually cause failure. Especially if success is achieved at the loser's expense.
The correlation between project size and project failure is well known in the software industry. Despite this well documented danger, companies continue to sponsor huge projects. It's unlikely we will talk executives out of their dreams of huge projects, but we can talk with them about ways to manage the inherent risks. Often a short story is worth a thousand words. The "Hudson's Bay Start" is one of these stories and a great risk reduction technique.