Feb 082012
 
Padding estimates and promises

A few days ago, we uncovered an opportunity that depended a lot on timing. If we could get it going in five days, we could exploit it… if it took longer than that, the timing was going to impact some other strategic concerns. I asked a developer for an estimate of the effort, and he said it would take ten days to complete. About my own estimates I have always been sensitive to suggest my own estimates to other developers. My estimates nearly always scared others, but I had a [read more…]

Dec 282011
 
IT - coming on tour in a city near you

For the better part of twenty years, I observed business processes with an eye toward defining, streamlining and sometimes automating them. Now that I am no longer on the consulting side of the table, I get to share greater ownership of our business processes with the other members of our management team. At the same time, I notice a stark difference between engaging clients from the outside in a process improvement effort and being part of a team that has to work politically together to make those improvements happen. I also [read more…]

Aug 132011
 
Running the QA guantlet?

To borrow from another phrase, “defects happen.” Even six sigma processes are not without defects. By definition, a six sigma [manufacturing] process is one in which 99.99966% of the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects. That amounts to an average of 3.4 defects per million opportunities. We are left to ask how much is reasonable to invest in those last 3.4 defects… It is not the role of QA to prevent defects Over the last couple weeks there has been a great conversation on LinkedIn about [read more…]