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The iron triangle of project management has scope+ time+ cost and at the core rests the Quality. Meaning none of the axes can be compromised, which consequently impact Quality adversely. So what’s about Quality? Well, everything boils down to Quality. Standards are Quality measure. High standards attributes to High Quality. Well, when thoughts transcend from personal experience as Project Manager, I always ensured the quality team has the final word on everything shipped much to the chagrin of the development team. They often sparred as to ‘who called the shots?’ and I will put my best foot forward “I do” to the eerie silence of the team. A team is a bunch of individuals with their own talent, and that’s why we refer recruitment more as Talent Acquisition. No matter the nomenclature associated, no two individuals are going to be the same. Like-minded perhaps, but unlikely twins in thoughts. So it’s a mixed pool. Fundamentally its still the make, sell, support, and the Quality team falls under the support bucket while developers act as the breadwinners in the ‘make’ stream, and hence feel privileged and even entitled. At the inception of the project, when the Developers roll up the sleeves and get busy writing Unit Cases, testers too are full of activity preparing test cases. So the any claim of entitlement is very juvenile in judgement and I dare say never to expect anything additional other than the allocated. One incident always enlivens and worth narrating. He was a super-duper geek that touching his code is deemed an insult. It’s like rinsed with Listerine mouth freshener every five minutes that the teeth are sparkling white and fragrant. One should marvel at the pride taken in their work that they come down to challenge “check my code and any bug, I am toasted else you are roasted”. I found a demure girl, belying her age, walking up to the rock star “I am sorry but there seems to be a bug”. A volcano just erupted. When the pride is pricked, what else can you expect? Fireworks. I was observing the exchange from a distance but didn't intervene. They are professionals and ought to conduct like one. A dent to his dignity, he mounts a ferocious attack justifying every nook and corner while the tester patiently hears him out. After a full fifteen minutes of explanation, the girl calmly states “I understand but it’s a bug”. The developer slams his forehead and unloads a heap of curses in which one expletive burst out unbeknown. Now discipline and decorum can never be conceded at any cost. Since the unfortunate exchange happened on the floor, the shrill pitch made heads turn around. The lady was unmoved and strangely didn't emote at all but retained her composure. The developer, in sharp contrast, was belligerent and a nervous wreck. However sharp you might be, team play takes prominence and position. Both approached my desk and my silence spelled ANGER. My glare at nowhere but all ears, I wanted to hear one word ‘sorry’ instead he defied everything that’s sacrosanct and conduct hardly propriety. I demanded ‘Apologize. Now’. It was not a counsel but a command, and reluctantly he budged and muttered the apology. He might be a rock star but that lady’s attitude made her much taller and he dwarfed in stature. I then requested the tester to walk through the bug and she clearly made her case which was watertight. Confounded with the bug and confused as how his code can be cracked, the developer was at his wits ends and close to tears. Passion is different to taking things personal. After all to err is human. Managing people is far too different and difficult than project. My call still remained unaltered ‘the tester will have the final word’ and pausing “if the client finds fault in the UAT [User Acceptance Testing], it will the tester who will be taken to task”. Even that developer smiled. Much rests on the shoulders of the tester who are gate-keepers. Nothing can or should slip or creep between their legs. With an eye for details and investigating instincts to sniff something unusual, they treat every test case as a suspect and once convinced of merits pass it for clearance. That tester demonstrated typical traits expected – the poise, politeness, profound knowledge, patience, perseverance, while the other (Developer) displayed pettiness. Her signature statement was bereft of sentiment but well stated “I am more concerned about the Quality of the Project just as you are about the principles of Project Management.” Well said! Quality Management is a key knowledge area in PMP® Certification exam. For more details visit http://goo.gl/U4Rtez

images courtesy: goo.gl/FtgC51



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