It was not expected that we would still be writing about “Staying In” after this many weeks. So we decided to rename the blog to number ‘n’ and then we will go for number ‘n+1’ etc. For those who studied math, you will recognise the numbering system where ‘n’ can be any number and we keep adding 1 as we create each new blog. For those who want to count, this is blog number 7 on “Staying In” and right now that is bringing a certain song to mind!
But, when we switched to the new numbering system, a further idea came up and that is the concept of the general case versus the specific case. Some testers start with the most general case they can think of and then work their way towards more and more specific cases getting out to the edges of what the product will do. Other testers start with very specific cases and then go towards the general as they start to recognise patterns and test data and steps that cover a large range of cases. Either approach will work as long you get the coverage you need.
What about Quality Assurance (defined as Process Improvement)?
In general, people recognise a specific problem they are having in the way they are working. A recent example is where someone captured some proofs but failed to number them properly so matching them back to the requirements after was a large problem. The question is whether that is a specific one time problem that will not change no matter how many processes we improve or is it a symptom of a larger problem where people consistently fail to recognise the extra work they are creating further down the line. Then we have room for a Process Improvement Initiative. In the case of Quality Assurance we often work from the specific to the general. Process Improvement is always intended to apply to many projects or products.
P.S. In the specific case we mention, it is symptomatic of a larger failure to plan and consider the implications of work methodologies. A process improvement initiative is already in progress.
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P.S. In a couple of weeks we will discuss a new definition for Quality Assurance.
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