Thursday, January 05, 2006

Defect Prevention - A perspective!

This one if for the Geeks!

We all know about defect prevention meetings, for the first 10 minutes we genuinely make an effort, sit quietly, try to analyze why the defects occurred and the ideas that come out to prevent those defects are sometimes highly creative but very far fetched. What the heck, we are humans and we will make mistakes so what’s the big deal about spending so much time analyzing them? That’s the mood that sets in after the first 10 minutes. The next ten minutes is usually dedicated to analyzing the human race, the surroundings and environment that we work in and of course our esteemed customer. Let us examine what takes place in the middle of the DP meetings:

Scenario 1
Lots of creative ideas floating around but its not leading anywhere, the DPR earnestly tries to put on a serious expression and reminds us that we are nowhere close to reaching an action item and since the conference room booking will last for another 15 minutes we should cut out the crap and hunt for root causes and action items. The hunt begins for the root cause for "Copy Paste Errors", after a lot of brain storming the light bulb flashed (or was it a tube light?) and the conclusion was that the customer cannot visualize what they want so requirements come in batches where much of the code needs to be copied and pasted so the customer is at fault. But of course we cannot put that in writing, the customer is always right - that is our mantra, so the root cause needs to be carefully rephrased. Phew! So we found a root cause what about an action item - think fast 10 minutes to go, another light bulb flashes somewhere ..."Think Modular" slogans to be put up in every cubicle so we don’t have to cut and paste, we can just re-use.

Scenario 2
An earnest effort is going on to examine why on earth are there defects due to "Negligence". The 5 why analysis tool is used.
Why is there negligence? -> Lack of concentration
Why lack of concentration? -> Feeling sleepy
Why sleepy? -> Afternoon tea did not arrive on time
Why tea not served on time? -> The milk curdled and was spoilt
Why did the milk curdle -> Very hot day so refrigeration collapsed

Well some things are beyond our control it seems and defect prevention seems to have a much larger scope than we had imagined. Anyway the team hunts around for a plausible root cause and an action item which will make sense to the project managers and the auditors. No doubt it’s a tough job!

The last 10 minutes is usually a sermon, the entire SDLC process is revised, we MUST follow checklists, we MUST review, we MUST test etc etc etc. The minutes are jotted down, responsibilities assigned and back to our seats! What a relief!

1 comment:

The Comic Project said...

Think modular :-) You are on my bloghop