How to Drive Quality in Your Organization Regardless of the Organization You’re In?

  • Testers or Quality Assurance? Can we influence or drive quality? Should we?
    People can and should, but not everyone can. And some organizations do not welcome it.
  • We can and should, but not everyone CAN right now.
    It’s all about communication skills – being able to articulate ideas and change. And also to the right person.
  • Context is key. In some teams, it is easier, while some companies do not welcome change. We need to do it.

When Joel started in his career…..many years ago. Testers were being called upon to bring about change. Motion and Emotion are related – change is from emotions. Emotions lead to change.

  • Testing is selling. Joel likes testers who have sold stuff in the past. He likes testers who have done something differently in the past. You are selling what the customers needs.
  • Every organisation can benefit from improved quality. That is what we sell. Push for what the organization needs:
    Look at what the organisation needs to MAKE money (better software, better releases etc) OR to STOP LOSING money (poor releases, customers unhappy etc).
  • Very few industries require absolute bug free software. How to move quickly should also be a paradigm.
  • It’s not about pushing testing….quality is bigger than that.
  • AB testing podcast – Alan and Brett – great podcast. 🙂 Modern testing.

DISC profile:
D – Dominating, Determined
I – Influential (communicators)
S – Steadiness (Harmonic people / small talkers 🙂 )
C – Conscientious

Tony Robbins – DISC
Manager-tools.com – DISC

  • Good teams have the right blend of people who have the energy to invest in change. Not everyone will want to or be able to over the long haul. Good teams are diverse. And that means communication must be diverse also.
  • Iterative approach is AGILE. What failed? Let’s improve the world. Use the retro etc and use it to improve. They document outcomes, but often don’t follow up on the insights. Make it an action item. Own it. Wear the hat.
  • Make small changes. Iterate on it. Easier to sell smaller changes.


Given the Industry is moving to agile, all teams are transitioning to an “embedded” model – where Developers themselves take care of testing and QA/SDETs are responsible to enable test better through various tools. Do you see a risk of having a separate “Quality” org in companies going forward, and investment in Quality Engineering leadership positions can take a back seat now?  Tina Chatterjee

Joel – Less and less larger organisation have a separate test entity. Sprints must be aligned -i.e. Testing not a sprint after.
What happens to the test manager? he might manage fewer people – but that does not take away from his responsibilities.

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