Print Story Processes
Working life
By jimgon (Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 04:38:31 AM EST) (all tags)
You get what you pay for.


I was in a meeting earlier and the need for a process was brought up.  The process was for testing.  The testing, with out going into details, was for an area in which I developed, lead the team, and then managed it.  I listened to the need for this testing process.  It dawned on my quickly that the speaking PM, even after managing projects in the discipline for six months, didn't have a clue about it.  Another PM spoke up and suggested an additional process.  The process that was being discussed is something we never needed before.

Why didn't we need a process?  Because everyone on the team knew how to do this stuff.  They new what tests were needed, and how to do them.  They knew how many people needed to be brought into it and when.  In short they knew their application and had experience.  Now they need a process because they don't have anyone who knows the application or has experience with it. 

The reason they don't have it is because they decided that it cost too much to support with the experienced people.  In my case I got moved off to manage a team in trouble.  In the case of my people they got laid off.  They were replaced with juniors.  When you add up the total number of people working on the application, compared to what we had, and even factoring in pay differential for offshore, they are now paying more to support the application than they did before.  The projects are also taking months where they used to take weeks. 

So now they need a process.  A process will make it better. 

And no, I didn't voice an opinion on the matter.  It's not what I get paid for.  To point out that the policies of upper management have degraded the ability of the department.  On paper productivity is the highest since we started documenting it.  Unfortunately, for those of us who were here before the documentation started, it's lower than what it was. 

In the end, I do realize that it's the process that they're paying for.  It's the interchangeability of the parts.  It's the changing of an industry from artisanship to a mass-production.  It's what they've done in other industries and will seek to do in future industries.     

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Processes | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Has anyone had success in offshore testing? by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #1 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 05:11:33 AM EST
sasquatchan and I talked about this. I know my corp does it, but I've heard nothing about it ( and being in development you'd think I see unknown furrin names in the problem database).


Offshore testing: by Alice Pulley (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 05:18:14 AM EST
One of internal SME's has been off sick and due to lack of skilled alternative (whoever said laying of almost everyone who knows anything due to offshoring was a bad idea?) we had to allow the offshore testing to continue without her QAing it.

Shes back now.

80% rework required for the testing thats been 'successfully' completed.

The issue seems to be in getting real 'end to end' tests done by someone who understands the business processes.

--

'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
You must work here by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 06:47:21 AM EST
We have a project that just enterred UAT against the mis-givings of the developers because the offshore testers, who don't know the system or line of business, are testing okay with out a BA.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Location doesn't matter by jimgon (4.00 / 2) #4 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 06:49:45 AM EST
Offshoring doesn't work because they don't have experience.  If you added to the staff with offshore it would have a negligible effect.  It would give the offshore people time to learn.  But the process of offshoring almost always consists of lay-off 80% of the experienced staff, and replace them with new people.  Even if you did that onsite you would have issues.  Being offshore does compound the problem since they don't have access to the business knowledge of the users.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Location matters for us, since we sell physical by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 06:55:49 AM EST
things, sometimes you need to show the developer just how the printer is acting. Plus, it's a lot easier to talk about an image quality or halftone problem when you have the actual output with you. And there's always the niceness of being able to ask a developer something.

I can see offshore testing used to run up hours of testing, but I come across any results.


[ Parent ]
I was going to weigh in here, by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 07:50:30 AM EST
but instead I think I'll just have a drink. I've changed jobs a number of times because of offshoring to -- you know -- those CMM Level 5 companies like Tata. I'm still trying to find any company onshore that understands and supports testing. I know damn well the offshore guys don't have a clue. Yes, I do too know. I've talked to them. And then I'd go have a drink...

[ Parent ]
You can be a tester for us by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 08:03:48 AM EST
Just buy $product, or $lesser_product and you can test our software. We still test in house, but we're cutting that down and letting the customer's find the harder bugs.


[ Parent ]
So, wait. I didn't know you were working for by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 11:04:24 AM EST
Microsoft.

[ Parent ]
Print by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 08:31:10 AM EST
Print is what they were talking about testing.  On the big Xerox mainframe printers.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
I don't think those do color though by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 08:36:16 AM EST
color prints you need to see, and examine under a loupe.


[ Parent ]
They do not by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 08:41:33 AM EST
They sell color printers for the mainframe, but you need software we don't use.  And the cost of converting to a new set of software would choke the IT department at this company.  They like to play a game on that, but the vendor for the current software knows the game.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
goddamn by webwench (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 10:39:05 AM EST
We work in such similar environments. It's sad, really.


Getting more attention than you since 1998.

Alice Pulley's Comment by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 03:25:25 PM EST
When I read Alice Pulley's comment on this diary I got a little worried.  Jeepers, it's a comment that could have come from me.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Processes | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback