How to improve a (test) process?



What may happen when you try to improve your "process" in an engineering environment?

Mostly, you may get some resistance because people do not have time for improvement. 
(There is a lot of work to be done here therefore we do not have time for “your” improvement)

Therefore, people do not innovate.
When people don't innovate, they stick to routine and procedures.
In testing, testing gets replaced by checking. see: http://www.developsense.com/blog/2009/08/testing-vs-checking/
If they do innovate, they do not stick to routine (of course)

Because of the routine, the fear of failure (fear of being blamed for failure) increases. 
(OMG: I will not finish all of these obligatory tasks on time!!!

All of this increases the feeling of time pressure. (enter the endless loop)

Usual solution for this situation is: "Introducing Industry Standard Best Practice"  ISBP
(yay hooray!)

But what do ISBPs do?
For what I've seen so far is that they
1.      ask for innovation
2.      ask to follow (pre)defined routines and procedures

Will this work?
(NO! It never has and never will.)

See the model.
We could’ve seen so far that innovation and routine do not go well together. Under the pressure of fear and time and asking at the same time to improve innovation and establish better routine the ISBP will simply be ignored and it will bleed out.

jt2c:

To improve your “process” create your own ISBP by
1.      Seeing your process as a system
2.      Making a choice between innovation and routine (choose innovation if you ask me)
3.      Tackle the fear
4.      Give people enough time (or at least the feeling that they have enough time)

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