The “Why” for QA

Coming up in May will be the QAI QUEST conference. I have had the great opportunity to share my knowledge and the successes (along with lessons learned) within my organization.

The conference is a great opportunity to share ideas and learn, not just from the speakers.

Over the past few years I have taken up the “Why” movement that was started by Simon Sinek. I was introduced to it while going through my MBA and I really struck a cord with me. Over the years I have have tried to emulate my messages based on The Golden Circle, then I read his book Start with Why. The book is when I started to see that the Why not only falls within messaging or leadership it is an internal component that drives what you do.

With that I read Finding your Why and I found how everything started to fall into place. I looked into my Why statement and started to think about the QA discipline. As per the book the statement is formed as a Tribal Why and it gives the emotional statement of why a group does what it does.

In the end a Why statement is “To _______ so that _______” (Chapter 2 of Finding your Why). Seems fairly simple, right? Well unfortunately it isn’t. It is a long thought process that requires fine tuning over time.

For individuals, there is some soul searching and definition of feelings of what makes you tick. For organizations it is taking what individuals in your organization feel is their Why find the themes then figure out a statement that fits. Something that tells clients and future clients that why they should buy your product or hire your services.

In my QA Corner segment on SPaM Cast on this subject we do go into some details of what if the individual and the organization statement don’t line up? This could occur. Even in the books they go into some detail of that happening as well. It is not the end of the world and people can adapt without changing their Why . Or it may not be a good fit, who knows. My suggestion would be have a discussion with your manager and talk about it.

So back to my initial thought in the beginning of the blog regarding QUEST. I will have the opportunity to do a Tribal Why for the QA discipline. The intent is to not only get a statement of Why people in QA do what they do, it is also to spread the Why movement. I am looking forward to sharing and having good discussions throughout the conference. As well as learn what others are doing, not only help the discipline as a whole, to help individuals grow.

I cannot wait to get the discussion going.

P.S. I will also have a track session on Estimation.

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