Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weekly Bug Quota - why it's soo good in soo many ways

I swear the best way to ramp up anyone is to give them ONE goal... hit a weekly bug goal. The magic number I always liked was 10 bugs a week minimum. And the rules to this game is, always hit it no matter what.

Who should this be applied too?
  1. New Hires for sure, it simplifies their life and teaches them to focus on what makes them valuable... finding bugs.
  2. Anyone that has not been through a full release cycle from start to end.
  3. Any testers that are labeled as verifiers
  4. Any tester that does not consistently produce results.
  5. Any tester goes off and does there own thing and is leaving the product hanging.
  6. Any tester that thinks they are done.
Why is a weekly bug goal good to have?
  1. Teaches the tester to never take their eye off the ball, or at least in our case the product. It forces them to practice finding bugs. The tester should never go longer then a couple of days without being in the product.
  2. Everyone knows how the product is doing (including devs and management). Its funny how people always assume the product is better when there are no bugs... when in reality you don't have a clue if its because the product is stable or the tester is not testing. By forcing the quota, you don't have to worry so much about the tester not testing.
  3. Later in the product cycle, this quota is super important because it forces the tester to do integration testing - (where 80% of all bugs are integration). Alot of testers think that if their area is stable it vacation time! Not true, its heavy integration time. NOTE: I have noticed that very few testers spread outside their area, the mandatory bug quota forces them to branch out.
  4. If you have hired someone to go through a test plan and verify. You should still apply the bug quota. It will apply a little bit of pressure, and force them to question the test cases they are running - makes them have the 'break the product' mentality. You will get higher quality testing, since they will deviate outside the test plan if they see something interesting.

Excuses you will hear (when they don't make the quota)
You will hear alot of excuses... here are a couple that come to mind:
  1. "My area is stable" - my answer would be - "test other peoples area"
  2. "I don't have UI" - my answer would be - "test other areas"
  3. "I was regressing bugs" - my answer would be - "while regressing you should have been trying to find bugs" (regressing bugs is the best way to find bugs... so anyone says this statement probably did a really crappy job regressing the bugs!)
  4. "I was writing my tool" - my answer would be - "write your tool, but also find 10 bugs. tool means nothing if you don't find bugs"
  5. "I am blocked" - my answer would be - "test something else"

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