We have been discussing what is occurring during the present lockdown. We started at the macro level and then concentrated in more detail on IT and some projects that were being launched despite the lockdown.  For a couple of weeks we took a break and talked about some organisations that might not be standard candidates for Quality Assurance activities (a little tired of the lockdown!).

We are currently in the process of opening up (at least for a while depending on how it goes) and some shops and services are allowed to reopen under strict guidelines. 

However, this week we thought we would take a very quick look at some Lessons Learned from the lockdown.

  1. At the corporate level, organisations that were already used to remote working transitioned much more easily than organisations that expected everyone onsite every day.  This seems obvious.
  2. At the IT level, there was a clear demarcation between the people who were users and could work anywhere and support people who needed to access actual machines.  There was a comment in a Meetup recently from a QA person who said their test tool server has always required a power cycle every few days otherwise it gets slow.  The suddenness of the lockdown meant the machine was just deserted and left running.  Eventually it slowed down to unacceptable speeds and someone (who was onsite that day) was requested to recycle it.  If the lockdown had been more strict the entire test department would have eventually ground to a halt.
  3. At the QA department level, organisations with a clear QA Strategy providing long term QA direction were able to move to other initiatives that were scheduled for down times from testing.  They were often scheduled for year end when project work is often slower.  These organisations simply moved them to this period.  Very few long term objectives require access to specific devices since they are more planning in nature  so they could be done.
  4. At the QA Project level, organisations with Test Plans that included contingency plans in the event that testing could not be done, and listed trade offs for some of the testing, had ready made tasks to be completed.  There was no gap!

None of these are a permanent solution to an extended period of absence from the office but they bridged some of the gap while some replanning could be completed and the path forward assessed.

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Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash