Saturday, February 14, 2009

Problems and responsibilities

During a master class SCRUM Jens Østergaard and Bas Vodde gave us the phrase "If a problem gives you a headache then probable it is not your problem."

The idea behind this was that the headache is initiated because you are not able to solve it immediately which made you think without reaching the solution.

Getting headaches is sometimes inevitable in software testing. It is easy to handover the problem to some one else. Will this be the correct way? I think you have to check if it lies in your field of responsibilities and your field of influence.

I always try to think in the number three-approach. Based on this I came to the following classification of problems and responsibilities:
- problems in your area of responsibility, only you don't know how to deal with it
- problems just beyond your area of responsibilities, only it has to do with your field of profession
- problems beyond you area of responsibilities, only you were eager to notice them

In your area
If problems can be assigned directly to activities you are responsible for, then you should not hand over the problem. As you got already the headache, try to find a person who is able to help you. This help can be given in support or advice.

Just beyond your area
If the problem is not related directly to your activities you should check if it is related to your profession. It would help the person you handed the problem needs your support, your expertise and your commitment to help him.

Outside your area
This is an area you have to be careful because you noticed things which should not be your case. Here you have to decide if you are approaching it in a formal way or informal way. Formally could be by escalation or documentation (e.a. e-mail). Informal would be by identifying the person in your field of influence that might be able to guide the information.

Problem solving the headache
To deal with your headache, you might:
- Ignore it, and hope it will go away over a while;
- Take an aspirin;
- Identify your responsibility and take that.

1 comment:

  1. Good blog, not just for testers, but for any professional a very helpful insight