As early as the 1950s, Deming argued that downstream gates for assessing quality don’t build-in quality. They only identify what re-work is needed.
QA’s need for teams to attend to the errors they find force people into rework-mode.
In this model, no time is spent on learning why the errors occur in the first place and what actions are needed to ensure the errors don’t happen again. This is why Deming argued that quality should, instead, be “built-in” at every step.
Scrum teams define quality in their Definition of Done. This list outlines all of the activities, standards and contraints that downstream QA teams would investigate and asks the team to:
A team’s Definition of Done should be taken from its organisations rules, policies and processes, including:
Some examples include:
Agile teams are cross-functional, designed to operate as a single delivery unit. Where they rely on external teams, such as a specialist QA team, these handovers create delays in the delivery of value.
When designing teams, consider the skills needed to create quality and whether putting people with QA skills into the team is an important step to removing handovers and improving quality.
Building-in quality takes time. After a few months, expect the following impacts: