Software production is hard.
To succeed in this dynamic environment, organizations need a comprehensive and cohesive approach that consolidates the big picture while enabling focused and effective action.
This is where MAMOS, the Quality Engineering Framework, enters into play.
MAMOS acts as a guiding compass for organizations to map their software production capabilities, streamlining their system for faster and efficient delivery addressing their key quality and speed pains.
Systemic issues require a deep understanding
In a fast-moving business and technology ecosystem, organizations face the challenge of delivering software with uncompromising quality and speed. Amidst countless visions and initiatives, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture, leading to a constant struggle to maintain focus and clarity.
The primary objective of software production is to support the business, whether it’s enhancing customer service, creating innovative offerings, optimizing costs, or achieving other strategic goals.
However, achieving these objectives is far from easy: short deadlines, business pressures, and people rotation create a complex web of interconnected challenges, making it difficult to address issues without inadvertently creating new ones.
Systemic issues often make these challenges even harder to solve, like persistent cockroaches that keep coming back. The interconnected nature of software production requires a holistic approach that goes beyond quick fixes and isolated solutions. Organizations need to develop a deep understanding of their software production systems and how various elements interact with one another.
This is where MAMOS, the Quality Engineering framework proves its worth by providing a comprehensive overview of an organization’s software production capabilities, it sheds light on potential inefficiencies and bottlenecks.
MAMOS defines the software production system
MAMOS structures the software production system organized around its five system areas (Methods, Architecture, Management, Organization, and Skills) then divided into two levels of sub-areas and capabilities.
In short, MAMOS have 3 level of structure:
- 5 system areas in MAMOS
- 10 sub-areas per system area
- 4 capabilities per sub-area (not covered in the schema).
MAMOS prioritizes emphasis over completeness. Rather than getting lost in exhaustive details, it focuses on highlighting the key elements that drive impactful results, promoting better communication and alignment through simple yet powerful keywords.
Built upon software industry content, case studies, communities, readings, and practical experience, MAMOS goes beyond the realms of lean startup principles, encompassing system-thinking, DevOps, Agile, among others.
The MAMOS framework intentionally omits a separate “Culture” system area with the rationale that culture is primarily shaped by the behaviors of the individuals within the organization, influenced by the other areas of MAMOS.
Use MAMOS with Quality Engineering Building Blocks
MAMOS provides key Quality Engineering building blocks to leverage the framework as part of your Quality at Speed transformation with 3 key steps per block: “Assess, Architect, Transform”.
The Quality Engineering Framework steps are:
- Assess Quality and Speed pains
- Architect MAMOS solving systemic issues
- Accelerate outputs and outcomes to delivery.
This first step enables you to get the big picture of your software production system health without entering into technical details. The assessment can and should be made with key stakeholders in the perimeter of action to get the good inputs.
The goal at that stage is to:
- Define Quality at Speed pains
- Map the MAMOS areas
- Rank key themes to address.
Each pain can be transmitted more clearly with metrics, concrete examples, and verbatims from the interview. Someone saying “I lose 10 hours per release due to lack of clear requirements and manual testing” will be powerful.
The mapping stage identifies key areas on the MAMOS map, covering the different areas in difficulty and the ones considered as strengths, using only 3 colors with a maximum of 6 for key issues, secondary issues, and strengths.
Keep a balanced big picture that does not push you too much into the details, before moving on. At this stage, a list of key themes to address next must be ready.
This second phase covers the switch from the problem to the solution space. Based on the assessment of the phase 1, the search of possible scenarios based on each identified problem can be done.
You may need to dig into the details of each problem to understand better their causes and consequences-that’s where expertise lies and will make the difference in the speed and quality of the conclusions.
The output of this stage is the retained implementation scenario for each theme where, ideally, you clearly articulated the rationale behind the choices of one solution above another, including the relevant stakeholders (see MVM).
Before launching actions, define clearly your success with key outputs and outcomes that will track the progress and link your activities to results. The metrics should be defined with your stakeholders to reveal the expectations of the transformation.
Some of the DORA metrics on lead-time or change failed rate can be used, but also some outcomes of the research like customer satisfaction, business growth, or other non-internal system metrics.
From there, the key work is to animate the teams and keep the focus to deliver activities measuring their effectiveness with outputs and outcomes.
Going further with MAMOS
MAMOS is the translation of the Quality at Speed Architecture practice I believe makes the difference in organizations towards software production excellence.
As we have come to realize, the key to effective problem-solving lies in clearly defining the problem before attempting to find solutions. MAMOS provides the essential step back that allows you to gain a holistic view of your software production system’s health.
The systemic approach of MAMOS empowers you to address not only the symptoms but also the root causes of your quality and speed pains.
With a high-level map of 50 sub-areas and a detailed capability map featuring 200 system sub-areas, it offers an opportunity to deep-dive into specific issues, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of your challenges.
MAMOS ambitions to guide towards sustainable business growth where the software production system is a true business-enabler.