Sep 032012

Are we done yet?  How much longer?  How many defects have you found?  Are any of the defects, showstoppers?

These are the words many a quality assurance professional have heard in their career.  QA is typically the process at the end of many software development lifecycles and the gating event for the products move to production.   Throughout a project, communication can be tricky, especially near the end of the project when tension naturally increases.

I have found that communicating daily with the stakeholders often is a great way to defuse this tension.  The quality assurance team produces a daily status.  This daily status is for the direct stakeholders as well as the upper management; therefore it must contain various levels of information.

The daily status report the team produces has the following elements:

  1. Executive summary – this summary has a high level of the accomplishments for the given project for the day.
  2. Roadblocks – this is to report any roadblocks which the quality assurance team may be facing.  These may include but not limited to, the environment being down, botched deployment,
  3. Project summary – this is a grid consisting of three columns and five rows.  The three columns are Status, Test Cases, and Test Steps.  The five rows are Complete, Not Started, In Progress, Out of Scope, and Total.  This information is calculated from the test case Excel spreadsheet.
  4. Build Status – this informs the reader to which build QA is currently testing against along with an ETA of when QA is expected to be complete.
  5. Defect Summary – this provides the reader with total number of defects identified and what the statuses of the defects are.  The list has Defects Identified, Defects Open, Defects Closed, and Defects Resolved.

The questions tend to dissipate when you provide this level of information on a daily basis.  Once the email template is established, this process is about 10-15 minutes long with most of the time coming in the executive summary and roadblocks.  The remaining information is merely gleaning statistics from the metrics you are already gathering.  When you are working on multiple projects with multiple stakeholders, this is an invaluable way to keep everyone informed, no matter their management or stakeholder level.

I know there are more ways to communicate with the customer and is dependent upon culture and customs.  This is a method I have used to communicate to multiple clients and it has seemed to work.  I hope this method helpful and your communication with the stakeholders more clear.  And with that, I am done yet.

Aug 232012
Signal Pointe Tennessee

The view Byron and I had from Signal Pointe. Click on the image for a larger view

My brother Byron came for a visit for the weekend.  While using points to purchase his ticket, he flies into Nashville which is a two and a half hour drive from Chattanooga.  I got to work early as usual to put in a full day before driving to get him.

I drive into Nashville and am way to glad to take a pit stop with the grand-kids house in Spring Hill.  I pull up to the house and walk to the front door.  Who is where waiting for her Popi, yup, Melody.  I hung out and played with Melody and Zafer.  Melody posed for Popi with T-Rex.

I headed on in to Nashville to wait for Byron.  I was on the phone with my sister-in-law about 20 minutes before Byron is to arrive.  All of a sudden it starts pouring down rain.  I am watching the arrival board and see it switch to diverted.  WHAT?!?  He is supposed to land in 20 minutes!  I call Southwest to find out he has been diverted to St. Louis and should be back in Nashville in a couple of hours.

Finally at 1:00 am in the morning Central I get to see my brother.  He tosses his bag into the car and we are on the way back to Chattanooga.  Still pouring down rain but we are now headed home.  We finally arrive at 4:45. Tired after a long day for both of us, now for some rest.

After a little rest, we decide to head out to see the city.  First stop was a breakfast/lunch at City Cafe.  Next stop is to the IBEW Union hall.  The ladies at the hall were a real treat with their great customer service! (Insert sarcasm)  We walked around downtown to take in the sites from the view at Boynton Park to a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge. We went back to the house to wait for Mackenzie to get home from school.  She walks in and asks where her Uncle Byron is.  She sees him and gives him a hug…an official hug because as you all know it is not a hug unless you grunt.  Byron later brings out Mackenzie’s gift, in a gift bag, especially for her.  He brought her a “punch in the face”.  Now while this sounds mean, it is a family joke and is very harmless.

We round out the weekend with a dinner at Tres Amigos and a hike around Signal Point. I then introduce Byron to Nascar.  We watch the Michigan Sprint Cup race.  Late in the race Byron chooses Greg Biffle for his driver as Greg is from Vancouver, Washington.  So who ends up winning the race…Greg Biffle.

It was great to have my brother here for the weekend.  I am happy for the time we spent chatting, laughing, and getting caught up on life.  He left his mark on our visit with one more antic.  Just to get a dig in, he would randomly say “Roll Tide!” just to get my wife, an Auburn fan, riled up.  That is my bro!

Jun 262012

This last weekend, I finally took the time to straightened up the garage. After nearly two months after moving into the house, it was time to get both cars into the garage.  One short hour later, both cars are in the garage.

Procrastination is such an easy thing.  Why do we put off something which would only take a few minutes to complete.

Wayne Gretzky is quoted to say – Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.

Lord Chesterfield said – Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Things would have been much easier if I would have put things in their proper place when we moved in.  Instead we found places to just set the “stuff” and then it was something which needed to be handled.  Another area of procrastination is in presenting the Gospel to others. How many times have I had the opportunity to share the Gospel and not.

Pearl of Wisdom
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Don’t procrastinate in serving the Lord, and don’t ever serve Him in a wimpy manner. Halfhearted service is not only “not hearty,” it’s only barely alive. When you do for the Lord what He asks you to do in a halfhearted way, you’re not living up to your potential in Christ.

I am going to purpose to reduce my rate of procrastination.  What will you do?

Jun 172012

I have had a wonderful weekend.  It started with a trip to Nashville to celebrate my grandson’s first birthday.  Friday’s trip in was a little longer than expected due to the traffic in Chattanooga.  What began as a downer, turned into a nice detour through some back roads.  We arrived at Krystal’s Friday evening.  It was nice to have Krystin there as well.  We spent a couple of hours of grandkids and family time and then off to our hotel.

Balloons in the morning

The Hotel Rosenberry was wonderful.  It is located in Thompson Station.  The caretakers are wonderful folk.  I got up early as Nashville is on Central Time.  I has able to see several hot air balloons taking off early in the morning.  Oliver and I took a stroll around the neighborhood while others slept.  The caretakers made a good waffle breakfast.  We then checked out of the hotel and went back to Krystal’s.

I dropped Lynn and Mackenzie off at Lynn’s friend Jill’s house.  Jill has been diagnosed with cancer and has been going through Chemo therapy.  I went on to Krystal’s house.  We decided to pack up Zafer and Krystin to head to Toy’s R Us to get his birthday gift.  Mimi and I got him a chair and ottoman

Melody is ready to help grandpa Bruce with the projects around the house.

similar to what his sister has.  We picked up Lynn and Mackenzie on our way back to Krystal’s house.  Once we got to the house we helped Krystal get the rest of the party items ready.  Then we loaded up and headed to the Storybook Village for the party.

Zafer’s party was fabulous.  He had a good turnout.  There were kids of all ages.  The party decorations were of a music theme.  There were cupcakes with music notes, the rice crispy treats were in a musical shape, licorice guitar screens, musical note shaped brownies, triangle sandwiches with a pretzel stick, drumsticks which were a large stick pretzel with a HUGE marshmallow on the end, and of course, soda!

After the party, we headed back to Chattanooga.  The trip back to Chattanooga was less exciting as coming into Nashville.  We did have to take a detour for a wreck but it was not all that long.  We arrived home late in the evening but it was nice to be home again.