9 Quality Culture Failures and What You Can Do About It

Quality is often neglected by people, and not because of their bad intentions. Instead of looking at quality as a problem with one clear cause, they view it as a problem that has multiple complicated causes or complex causes.

These are nine common failures of quality culture and the least-favorable ways to fix them. Let’s go!

FAIL #1 – Minimal Testing Breadth

What you’ll see/hear: “We don’t have time for security/performance/accessibility testing right now. “.

How to handle it: Make customers and stakeholders aware of the various flavors of quality risk.

FAIL #2 – The team doesn’t have quality

What will you see/hear? “Why didn’t you find that bug dear Tester?” “.

How to handle it: Help the team map their path to production, and show them where they are contributing to quality testing & development.

FAIL #3 – Delivery is difficult because of technical debt

What you will see/hear: “No amount of testing we do, things always fail in production.”

How to handle it: Use Meaney & Winter’s “Test for Testability” exercise as a way to give your system a health check.

FAIL #4 – Our Code Quality isn’t Great

What you will see/hear: We need to do more end-to–end testing to stop bugs from escaping to production.

How to handle it: Use unit testing and static analysis tools lower down in the stack and use their coverage information as a guide for your exploratory work at system level.

FAIL #5: We don’t know what the impact is on our customers

What will you see/hear? “Our customers are telling us that our app is down. “.

How to handle it: Describe success and failure in story refinement, and then implement methods to monitor them in production.

FAIL #6: Poor Quality Practices Show Up During Testing

What will you see/hear? Why is testing so slow? “.

How to handle it: Do you remember the map that shows your route to production? You can use that map to identify bottlenecks and then attack them with utmost determination.

FAIL #7: Work Is All Features, Features and More Features

What will you see/hear? “I’m just too busy to do the retro.”

How to handle it: You can use Skills Mapping for a list of skills that your team lacks or wants to acquire. Demonstrate how these skills can improve delivery and ensure that learning happens in every iteration/sprint.

FAIL #8: Delivery Teams Never Interact With Real Customers

What will you see/hear? “We still haven’t got any update on your fix, dear Customer. “.

How to handle it: Use a portion the Delivery team’s resources for Customer Success tickets. Allow the Delivery team to communicate directly and effectively with customers.

FAIL #9: Teams are Constantly Changing Their Focus

What you will see/hear: Drop everything for Project X, because we need to deploy Y as soon as possible! “.

How to handle it: Help leadership team identify a North Star so that they can focus on the important work.

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