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Agile Quality: maximize results with a small quality team, Ben Linders, European SEPG 2004


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The Ericsson Operational Development & Quality team has managed to introduce a new Management System with a process baseline, rolled out measurements throughout the organization using a Balanced ScoreCard approach, and kept up a focused continuous improvement program. This presentation shows how (obstacles, KSF, results).
At all times, management has made clear that they need control of all aspects of the operation. With a collaborated approach of management and Operational Development (OD), the balanced scorecard was introduced. OD has streamlined target setting, monthly reporting, and quarterly management reviews. The monthly report has been enhanced from a figures only report to full analysis, action definition and forecasting per reported target, involving the line by means of feedback interviews.
A Management System was introduced, moulding and optimizing the existing organisation structure, authorities, and policies. With this management system, the set of processes was reduced, and process support was re-enforced.
A continuous improvement program was continued, with more focus on organizational targets. Existing tools like audits, root cause analysis, and improvement sessions were used to extract vital few actions together with line and project management; the resulting actions were tracked to completing by the OD team.
Key success factors have been the management commitment & active support, the drive of the OD & Quality team, and the build up of skills and knowledge that was needed to implement the changes. Cross-organizational co-operation was stimulated, and management was involved through the monthly reporting & feedback cycle. This presentation will give examples of this, and hints & tips on how to exploit these key success factors in your own organization.
The result is an efficient organization, capable of running projects and supporting activities in a largely quantitative managed way, meeting the required business results.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Agile Quality: maximize results with a small quality team, Ben Linders, European SEPG 2004

  1. 1. Agile quality: maximize results with a small quality team ESEPG 2004 Conference, London, June 16 Ben Linders Operational Development & Quality Ericsson R&D, The Netherlands, +31 161 24 9885
  2. 2. Agile Quality? <ul><li>Quick & Dirty? </li></ul><ul><li>Agile is for developers? </li></ul><ul><li>Survive as Quality Engineer? </li></ul>It’s quality Jim, but not as we know it…
  3. 3. Ericsson, The Netherlands <ul><li>Benelux Market Unit & Main R&D Design Center </li></ul><ul><li>R&D: Intelligent Networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Product Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product marketing & technical sales support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provisioning & total project management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development & maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supply & support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1300 employees, of which 350 in R&D </li></ul>
  4. 4. Agile Manifesto <ul><li>“ We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. </li></ul><ul><li>Through this work we have come to value: </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan </li></ul><ul><li>That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Agile Quality Assurance Vision <ul><li>Customers define quality </li></ul><ul><li>Way to quality is via developers </li></ul><ul><li>Things will change, be prepared </li></ul>QA has to: Collaborate! Communicate! Coach! The Context <ul><li>QA is not in control </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations on QA are high </li></ul><ul><li>More and quicker results </li></ul>
  6. 6. Deploying the vision <ul><li>Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stepwise improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support the bottom line </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accomplishments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Control: Balanced Scorecard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn: Continuous Improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support: Management System </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key Success Factors </li></ul>
  7. 7. Control: Balanced Scorecard <ul><li>Management should be in control </li></ul><ul><li>Developers are doing the work </li></ul><ul><li>Make the connection! </li></ul><ul><li>Set/communicate targets </li></ul><ul><li>Measure/analyze development work </li></ul><ul><li>Review with management </li></ul><ul><li>Decide, take actions </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul>
  8. 8. Balanced Scorecard – QA role <ul><li>Support management in setting targets </li></ul><ul><li>Measure and report the results </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the scorecard </li></ul><ul><li>QA should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not analyze the data but coach developers on how to analyze </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not make conclusions but assure that proper conclusions are made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not decide but supply information to management so that they decide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be supportive but remain also critical </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Learn: Continuous Improvement <ul><li>Targets are challenging, they can only be met if the organization improves </li></ul><ul><li>Coach result oriented learning! </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate targets </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze performance gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Enable/stimulate improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Measure results </li></ul>
  10. 10. Continuous Improvement – QA role <ul><li>Driver of improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Measure the benefit on targets </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the improvement </li></ul><ul><li>QA should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not force improvements but coach people to find improvements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not come with solutions but support people in defining the solutions </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Support: Management System <ul><li>Developers have knowledge & skills </li></ul><ul><li>Management wants the results </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the means! </li></ul><ul><li>Focus Stakeholders/customers </li></ul><ul><li>Small set of processes </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational structure </li></ul><ul><li>Resources & capabilities </li></ul>
  12. 12. Management System – QA role <ul><li>Support & coach management in defining the system </li></ul><ul><li>Document and provide the system to the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the system </li></ul><ul><li>QA should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not “invent” the system but investigate/clarify management needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not own the system; management remains responsible </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Key Success Factors <ul><li>Management Commitment & support </li></ul><ul><li>Drive and motivation of the QA team </li></ul><ul><li>Build-up of skills & knowledge </li></ul>
  14. 14. Management Commitment & support <ul><li>Economic situation: Management needs to know performance </li></ul><ul><li>Management believes that focus on targets helps to get results </li></ul><ul><li>Management wants QA to work with engineers (and with them): Joined forces! </li></ul><ul><li>Balanced Scorecard provides overview </li></ul><ul><li>Management is enabled and takes action </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operation paid off! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Drive & motivation of the QA team <ul><li>QA believes that improvements can help a company to survive </li></ul><ul><li>QA didn’t want to do it alone, now they could work together </li></ul><ul><li>Very experienced QA team, strong personal skills </li></ul><ul><li>Different role of QA enabled workman's pride </li></ul><ul><li>Some reduction in QA workload </li></ul><ul><li>Added value of QA has become visible </li></ul>
  16. 16. Build-up of skills & knowledge <ul><li>Auditor, facilitator, project manager, process support: QA has it all </li></ul><ul><li>Less focus on knowledge, shift towards change agent </li></ul><ul><li>QA persons coaching each other </li></ul><ul><li>Increased efficiency: More projects & line work </li></ul><ul><li>QA gets things done! </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusions <ul><li>QA role has changed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helping people to understand quality & processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coaching them on how to improve </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commitment & support, motivation & drive, skills & knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Accomplishments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Balanced Scorecard: Contribution to organizational targets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management System: The means for people to do their work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous Improvement: Learning to become more efficient </li></ul></ul>, +31 161 24 9885