Friday, January 18, 2013

Look First to Improve Your Performance and That of Your Sphere of Control

Improving the State of your Testing Team: Part One – Values
Typically, the first thing out of my test teams mouths when asked “how can we improve the state of testing here”, usually relates to something that other people should do. Very few people or teams take an introspective based approach to improvement, or state their management values, but the ones that do, typically have great success.
Being accountable for taking ownership of getting things done – upwards and downwards – is what people expect out of their leaders, and will move the test team higher up the value chain.
Several of the points resonate with me. The idea that so many find it easy to see how others should improve performance but seem surprised they should consider changes themselves is common. I also find the understanding that we run into many problems based on what we think we know (but isn't so) as important and something many people miss. This idea holds true for teams also: look to what we are a group can do to improve not just all sorts of changes other people should make to stop causing the problems we experience today.

In Dr. Deming's management view the second point is explored as part of the theory of knowledge.

People do have to be responsible. I worry about "accountability" because so often it is managers designing and enforcing bad management practices which make good performance difficult and then use "accountability" to blame those in the system for the results of the system.

"the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort." Dr. Deming

Related: Sphere of control

No comments: