Independence in QA: Delivering "problem" projects
Do I have a problem project on my hands?
Despite following best practices, using proven delivery methodologies, and assigning the best people, sometimes projects can lose their direction, momentum and focus. The “Finish Line” becomes a hope rather than a tangible, and more importantly, an achievable objective.
The feeling often comes during the “Testing” phase when the cumulative effect of all decisions, compromises, short-cuts and workarounds get exposed. Each of those items, when assessed individually, had a minimal impact but now, when combined for the first time, results in a solution that is far removed from what was specified, expected or required.
There is seldom a single identifiable cause, but when combined with an overwhelming amount of information, conflicting priorities, and management pressure to show progress, it can be very hard to establish the situational awareness that will lead the project forward.
How can independence in QA help?
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation you will benefit from a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective. To be brutal, the same thinking and approach that took you to this point are unlikely to get you out of it.
You need independent assistance from people not influenced by previous decisions or political affiliations, just an objective focus on understanding the current situation and an experience-based skillset that can be applied to providing you with solutions. They will be familiar with similar situations and it is unlikely that any aspect of your situation will surprise them.
They can provide focussed effort to assess and understand the situation, then develop a plan with recommended actions that will realign the project to its objectives. With continued involvement to monitor and track progress the project can not only be reset but also prevented from heading off-track in the future.