Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fulling QA's plate

Many people tend to believe that a good Scrum Smells is having QA overbooked for the whole Sprint. From a capacity standpoint this might make some sense, but from an Agile perspective this approach has several limitations, to name a few:
  • Overbooked personnel has no breathing room for creativity
  • No creativity implies repetitive work and repetitive work is enemy of reflection
  • No reflection cuts continuous improvement
Further, Lean-wise having QA working at full capacity all time creates waste in the form of work being piled up waiting for being processed and processed work being blocked to pass to the next server in the line because it's also booked.

Lastly, having QA at full capacity will break the continuous phase principle because engineers simply will quit the project if we make them work at this killing phase during all Sprints. The ultimate goal should not be making full use of resources from a capacity perspective, on the contrary, noble goals like team work and team empowerment should be pursuit.

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