I just joined a new project, and, again, I am being introduced as the “QA”. I found many of the terms and ideas I had successfully changed or introduced on my last project profoundly absent – the name of my role heading the list. Upon arriving home and checking my Twitter account, Lisa Crispin (@lisacrispin) was crusading along the same line at CodeMash (#codemash) in Ohio. The misrepresentation is rampant and 2014 should be the year we turn it around!
In the spirit of collaboration and communication for all testers everywhere, I offer up a few ideas in the form a statement that you can read during one of your meetings that start your project:
My Fellow Project Team Members,
I was excited to be assigned as a Tester to this project. I look forward to collaborating with you on requirements, products, and tests. I respectfully request that I be referred to as Tester. I am not a “QA”, I don’t “QA” anything, and can rarely assure quality in any product. While I will work hard, as you all will, to understand what quality means to our stakeholders, and will happily share my interpretations and opinions of that understanding, quality is a team sport. I believe we all have valuable points of view that contribute to a good understanding of what we should deliver.
When there are discussions around quality, or we are asked to define quality criteria, please don’t look to me to provide the sole definition. I will have something to say but what I say should be added to a pool of understanding. What I say about quality should not be taken as the project definition of quality, and certainly not the only definition of quality. I am interpreting the ideas, concerns, and passions of our stakeholder like everyone else so I encourage you to participate in our quality discussions. A team understanding will benefit us all by having a common quality goal that we define and that we share.