Small streams make great rivers.
Following a successful first impulse, you need to extend the new model of Quality Engineering to the rest of the organization. The goal is to reach the inflection point where the additional adhesion will create a snowball effect.
Accelerating transformation requires focusing your effort on actions that maximize results. Your efforts will focus on disseminating the practices to early adopters up to the early majority, and laying a solid foundation.
Making this transition will give you a head start in spreading Quality Engineering to the rest of the organization. Your priority is to move from a state of initiation to one of expansion by demonstrating the value of Quality Engineering.
Quality Engineering is the paradigm for constraining software chain activities to continuous value delivery. Achieving it requires acting on the pillars of MAMOS: Methods, Architecture, Management, Organization, Skills.
This article lists the practices of the second transition of revelation of your transformation process towards Quality Engineering. For an overview of the transitions required for Quality Engineering, you can consult this guide.
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Balancing Your Change Management Effort
“Who wants to go far, take care of his mount”.Racine
The tipping point is your priority. Reaching its threshold allows you to cascade the changes made to the rest of the organization while minimizing your efforts and with maximum impact.
To do this, you must capitalize on your stakeholder management matrix to develop an interaction and communication plan. Your priority is to bring together new players in Quality Engineering, while keeping others up to date.
One-on-one and small-group direct interactions will be needed to roll out your new model with promoters. For others, you can mix global communication, sharing of results, and questionnaires.
Your efforts must remain focused on achieving results in the short and medium term. You should only include the available actors with the necessary skills so as not to waste time, internally or externally.
The balance of your approach will pass through the use of the following methods:
- Transition Management
- Tipping Point
- Communication Plan
- Skills Matrix
Align and animate the actors by the management
The management makes it possible to orchestrate the different actors in the implementation of new practices. They must both act head-on by carrying out concrete actions and create an ecosystem that accelerates actors’ direct collaboration.
Culture helps drive new units of Quality Engineering and evolve the organization. Management must address two issues head on: eliminate the myth of “quality ⇔ testing” and explain how to do less testing.
Actors – often from diverse backgrounds and skills – need common ground to collaborate effectively. Management must give workshops to align the definition of Quality and the principles of quality, such as Shift-Up.
The inflection point will be reached by a succession of iterations. Management is responsible for getting there as quickly as possible by developing organizational skills. A powerful mechanism is that of retrospective.
The leaders of the guiding coalition must lead by example by instituting practices demonstrating the value of Quality Engineering. The use of Testing Notes, 3 amigos, or TDD are to be evaluated according to the composition of the teams.
Management is responsible for implementing the following practices:
- Kill myth of testing ⇔ quality
- Explicit the need for less testing
- Quality Principles
- Definition of Quality
- Common mission
- Quality practices: Testing Notes, 3 Amigos, TDD
Evolve the organizational structure more broadly and responsibilities
The organizational structure provides a framework for the actors. It directly defines the perimeters, roles and hierarchies. Indirectly, it guides interactions and the location of power in the organization.
Changing the organizational structure makes it possible to prepare the entire organization for future changes. This step is essential for the snowball effect of the shift towards Quality Engineering to have the expected impacts.
Quality Engineering requires removing a single silo responsible for quality in the initiation stage. It is strongly recommended to replace the acronym “QA” by a name with a transverse responsibility for quality.
In this transition,accountability for quality inputs, deliverables and interactions must be clearly defined. The model of Team Topologies can be useful to you to guide your choices of structuring and interactions.
Quality Engineering needs skills to do better sooner. We must invest primarily in the skills of requirements management, software craftsmanship, and communication (active listening, adaptation).
The development phase requires action on the areas of Organization and Skills:
- Remove the silo QA
- Quality Accountability
- Quality contributions
- Compose with existing roles
- Software craftsmanship
Develop and implement new performance measures
must be to measure the creation of value to maintain current efforts and secure their deployment thereafter. Far from a purely financial measure of return on investment, you must link the outputs to the outcomes.
Existing methodologies such as the Balanced Scorecard make it possible to maintain a global vision of the results. Its main advantage is to balance our perspective in order to avoid negative local optimizations.
QE Monitoring is to measure regularly and collaboratively your changing practices of Quality Engineering. You can use the Quality Culture Guide from Alan Page and Brent Jensen, or the Quality Health Monitor from Atlassian.
The last measure is based on the Net Promoter Score, a methodology widely used for customer satisfaction. Applied to the actors contributing to the software, you can continuously collect feedback from the field of your QE approach.
These measurement mechanisms allow management to monitor progress, prioritize corrective actions and demonstrate the value of ongoing changes. This while energizing the rest of the organization through more global sharing.
Performance measurement mainly involves the following methodologies:
- Balanced Scorecard
- QE Monitoring (QHM, Quality Culture Guide)
- QE NPS
Laying the foundations of the Quality Engineering platform
Quality Engineering requires an efficient and replicable software delivery chain. By focusing on a limited scope, you can quickly define a common structure which will then serve as a model.
The first foundation is the alignment of your code repository with your organizational and software architecture. So make an informed choice between monorepo or multirepo, and define project templates by type of component.
Your test repository is the second building block. It consists of defining where to maintain your repository of requirements – preferably unified – and its breakdown into technical components in the form of manual and automated tests.
These 2 pillars combined allow you to build software deployment processes that systematically include your quality criteria. For each of the templates, therefore set up CI/CD pipelines incorporating Quality Gates.
The Architecture practices necessary for this transition are the following :
- Repository architecture
- Testing architecture
- Conway’s Law
- CI/CD foundations
- Quality gates
Disseminate, accelerate and maintain this new ecosystem
This revelation transition focuses on deploying Quality Engineering on the minimal ecosystem and allows you to reverse the trend. New methodologies with new modes of animation will make the difference.
The implementation of Quality Engineering results from the proper conduct of the various identified transitions. Efforts must be channeled at each stage without wanting to skip it, at the risk of creating organizational fatigue and a transition failure.
Change requires discipline and action outside the comfort zone. Your transformation process towards Quality Engineering requires significant efforts to cross the mountain in this phase, so stick with discipline and courage in the course.
These iterations piloted by your guiding coalition will allow you to rally the actors necessary to reach the organizational tipping point. This pivotal step will change your priorities as you initiate the next transition of expansion.
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