How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Every Defect
monica914 060000WAY8 Comments (2) Visits (4566)
I have always loved that subtitle on Dr. Strangelove – “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” I have recently been thinking that better, faster, cheaper with continuous delivery and continuous testing means we really have to stop worrying about every defect. Which led me to Dr. Strangelove. It’s equally mind bending in some ways … so many years of looking under every rock for those defects. The worst possible thing was an “escape” to production and its requisite archaeological dig to figure out who missed what and where. But the customer mindset has changed and they prefer having the software faster and have a tolerance for defects, at least the kind that are purely functional. There is, of course, still no tolerance (or maybe even less tolerance) for big problems like lost or corrupted data, identity theft, security breaches and even crashes. But if my mobile app is not that slick, that’s okay. It only cost me, um, nothing. And they will fix that problem tomorrow. It might get a down arrow today for the problem, but it’ll get an up arrow tomorrow for the fix!
So now, the functional defects that escape are the only ones we fix. Kind of makes sense since in some ways that’s what we always did. We would triage defects to figure out in advance how likely it was for customers to find. And we fixed those. Lots and lots of process around severity and business priority with triage meetings and control boards that we testers had to enforce (deeply affecting our popularity in the organization). And in the end, we always shipped with a bunch of known, low priority defects. If we stop worrying about every defect, we can do away with all that. We can wait for customers to tell us what matters to fix. It probably feels to customers like they’ve always been telling us what matters to fix. So focus that “find every defect” energy on those high priority areas (and fix all those found) and STOP WORRYING and learn to love those little defects.