Random Thoughts on "Want Better Quality? Fire Your QA Team"- Will this Work.

22 Feb

Few days back I came across  this blog posted on forrestor site.This writing caught my attention and made me to think “ Can companies really do without having the QA Department “. I know this discussion has been going on for many years in almost all forums or groups I have participated.Lot of horror stories with lot of positive and negative experience people have said about this topic. I personally know that many of the projects which has gone live were without the QA ,some are doing well in the production and some failed miserably.However I noticed one thing which was missing in that blog,it does not differentiate between QA and Testing.So I assume that Mike might be talking about software testing.

The point of the post is why do people still think they can succeed without have formal QA department, some of the reasons I feel they can do without having formal testing or QA is,

  • The product which they are developing commands the leadership position, or the company itself is the market leader with little or no competition at all.Search Engines falls in this category.Google search / Bing is the product with almost little or no competition at all.They are competing with each other and controlling almost 80% of world’s internet search.
  • Government laws dealing with the product are weak in nature or there are many loopholes in the law or they favors only the companies.Good example for this is in BFSI sector ,where many laws related to Loans, Cards etc.  heavily favors the lenders than takers.
  • We have operations to deal with rather than Projects.I am referring here the standard definition of PMI here with regard to Projects and Operation.Input,Process to generate Output remains the same in operation and risk factors affecting operations are mainly external risks like natural calamities etc.Projects which start as Software projects and later on gets converted to operations falls in this category.Bugs/risks are managed here.
  • Program or Project Management team is run by people who are new and they lack key skills to manage or run the program successfully thereby pushing the quality towards bottom.Time and cost card is often played here by executives to cut short or hide their inefficiencies with their planning.Again risk or bugs are managed here.Some succeed by building the good relationship with clients and some fail.Again those who succeed are the smarter ones who pushes their work to their successor and move on.
  • We just don’t have sufficient cost/people/schedule to maintain the QA team or testing team for various reasons.
  • Project are executed in Fixed price model.Motto here lets squeeze to the maximum extent the current resources.Please note that this point may not be entirely true,but I have seen some fixed price accounts where development team=BA=Testing team.
  • We have with us excellent developers who are very honest and relate excellently to their work and clients.Yes please there few such folks still available in the market.

Well I feel that having QA or testing department will not give you the assurance that your release with be successful.What is more important is that people working in the projects needs to assure that whatever task they are doing, they must do it with quality and they must own it completely with full responsibility for whatever outcome it generates.agile practices like xp,scrum gives more importance to whole team approach where all the people works together to ensure that quality is met.

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