Test Process Improvement …is a waste of time? Paul Gerrard Technical Director Systeme Evolutif Systeme Evolutif Limited 9 Cavendish Place London W1G 0QD, UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7636 6060 email: email@example.com http://www.evolutif.co.uk/
How to improve… • I want to improve my (insert any activity here) • _______ people improvement • _______ organisation improvement • _______ process improvement Changing people (like me) and organisation (like my company) is so hard – let’s not even think about it
The delusion of ‘best practice’ • There are no “practice” Olympics to determine the best • There is no consensus about which practices are best, unless consensus means “people I respect also say they like it” • There are practices that are more likely to be considered good and useful than others, within a certain community and assuming a certain context • Good practice is not a matter of popularity. It’s a matter of skill and context. Derived from “No Best Practices”, James Bach, www.satisfice.com
The delusion of quality management(a la ISO 9001) • Google search for • “ISO 9001” – 49,700,000 • “ISO 9001 Training” – 15,500 • “ISO 9001improves quality” – 1 • ISO 9001 in a nutshell • “Document what you do” • “Do what you document” • “Do what you like” • ISO 9001 accreditation without reference to the garbage that is produced by the documented processes.
Exchange between quality manager and ISO 9001 consultant > 3. The 9000-3 Guidelines suggest the use of a> Life-> Cycle model for software development. Is it> necessary to reference a specific model? No. You do not need to reference a specific lifecycle. But you need to define your development process...which really speaks to the lifecycle of product development. Most development processes are derivatives of some type of model that someone else hatched.
Exchange between quality manager and ISO 9001 consultant cont… > I would like to learn more about the certification audit> process and how to document reasonable quality> processes which will allow us to provide the highest> quality to our customers and which fall within the 9001> standards. The key is putting practices in place that hold up over time and that support getting software out the door faster and better. In the simplest sense, an implementation strategy that has worked for all the implementations I've been involved with is....put fundamental, good software development practices in place that are achievable and can act as a baseline for improvement.....check the standard to make sure you've covered your bases....and evolve the practices as the market and business changes. As regards documentation......it is tougher to write a 5 page design review procedure than a 50 page design review procedure because it requires that you communicate in a cogent fashion. But that's the subject of a "Streamlining Documentation" course that I teach.
The delusion of process models(e.g. CMM) • Google search • “CMM” – 12,100,000 • “CMM Training” – 12,200 • “CMM improves quality” – 4 • An Evolutif client… • CMM level 3 and proud of it (chaotic, hero culture) • Hired us to assess their overall s/w process and make recommendations (quality, time to deliver is slipping) • 47 recommendations, only 5 adopted – they couldn’t change • How on earth did they get through the CMM 3 audit?
But process models make improvement simple don’t they? • People like simple models: • levels of maturity, stepping stones, checklists, roadmaps and outside support for credibility • But life is much more complicated, unfortunately “Things should be made as simple aspossible, but no simpler” - A. Einstein
Deming • If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing. • W. Edwards Deming • It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and THEN do your best. • W. Edwards Deming
Deming 2 • I have to disagree with the first statement • The second one states the bleedin’ obvious, doesn't it? • e.g. describe playing football, seducing a woman, winning a deal, convincing someone that a project is risky as a process • Is that “process” the critical factor in success?
People need process? • A big problem with process is it becomes all encompassing • Process folk sell process and cast all things in terms of it, forgetting that people who are smart, succeed in spite of process, not because of it • It could be argued, that less smart people need process • (By less smart, we're talking about people who need so much structure and enforced discipline they can only operate in the military, or in prison probably) • Is our industry really staffed by such people? • Do we really want production-line workers?
Physics quotes… “I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy” “It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong” Richard P. Feynman
Process quotes “I believe that a process consultant looking at non-process problems is just as dumb as the next guy” “It doesn't matter how beautiful your process model is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with reality, it's wrong” me
ProcessChange From this… Perceived Results Chain CurrentMaturity FutureMaturity Acts of Faith CurrentCapability FutureCapability Better Capability = better, faster, cheaper
Changed Aspirations To this… Actual Results Chain CurrentConstraints/ Problems Acts of Change CurrentCapability FutureCapability Better Capability = better, faster, cheaper
Constraints, problems and aspirations • Constraints are fixed headcount, budget, timescales, quality of requirements, contracts etc. • Problems are “testing takes too long; too expensive; can’t hire testers; bugs get through” etc. etc.… • Aspirations: • Personal: personal development, fulfilment, motivation • Organisational: hero culture to team culture, outsourced, higher consistency, predictability • Acts of change are…
Acts of change – focused on constraints, problems and aspirations • Changes in behaviour to address specific problems (effectiveness, efficiency etc.) • Targeted personal and team development • Infrastructure change (process, techniques, tools, environments) to support the changes • Managed Transition…
Managed transition • “It isn’t the changes that do you in” • William Bridges • Get them to let go of the old ways • Practitioners, managers, everyone • Manage the neutral zone • Like a trapeze artist, there’s an uncertain period • Launch a new beginning • purpose, picture, plan
Test improvement model • Current behaviour assessed in the context of current problems, goals and constraints • Aspirations drive the definition of goals • People in the job define and consent to the required changes in behaviour • People supported by • Personal/team development plans • Infrastructure investment (process, technology, tools, environment) specific to the change • Transitions are managed, not assumed.
Test Process Improvement…is a waste of timeOver to you?http://www.evolutif.co.ukhttp://www.riskbasedtesting.com/http://uktmf.com