World Quality Month at Valpak

In recognition of World Quality Month and as it pertains to Agile (of course), I’m posting for you a write-up from Valpak’s QA Manager that was published in our weekly internal newsletter, “Monday Memo”.

See how quality is making IT better

We continue to celebrate World Quality Month in November, the inspiration of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Here’s another example of how quality is making our company better. This one comes to us from Carl Paret (Quality Assurance Manager) in our IT Department:

Ever since IT’s formal adoption of Agile methodology as its software development model three years ago, there has been a recalibration of how all involved should view quality. Similar to what Juneau Colleur described in her segment last week in Monday Memo on quality at the VMC, we too had to find a way to embed quality into our processes.

The notion that quality should be owned by everyone — not solely by individuals whose functional titles bear the word “quality” — is a concept that continues to be evangelized. Stephanie Davis (Director of Agile Leadership) and Jim Gaines (Business Analyst III) led the effort of having Business Analysts and Agile Project Leaders get better versed about concepts of Agile Acceptance Testing — where the team seeks to identify gaps at the time the work scope is being defined.

Under the direction of Bob Damato (Director of Software Engineering), Development Managers have their Developers adopt well-established, test-first development practices. Under this paradigm, they include code-level tests as they add or modify code modules so as to get quick feedback if changes they introduce cause unexpected failures elsewhere in the system. Meanwhile, the IT Quality Assurance team is increasing its use of automation testing tools to help execute tests faster and more reliably given our short iterative cycles.

As with the rest of our Agile journey, this evolution of quality is a work in progress, undergoing refinements as we learn from misses, and embracing what is proving successful. This, in the long-term, should only make us better and allow us to delight the customers for whom these applications are created.

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About Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Davis is Senior Director of Enterprise Agility & Digital Product Leadership at Cox Target Media. In this role, Stephanie champions agility across the enterprise, leads the Agile PMO, and manages the CTM portfolio while also overseeing the Digital Product Leadership team. Stephanie leads the team of Agile Project Leaders in the roles of ScrumMaster, Kanban Lead, and/or Agile Project Manager as well as overseeing the IT Business Analysts. Stephanie is a career project leader with over 16 years in the field, including past positions with AT&T Business and IBM Global Services, and has maintained the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification since early in her career. She also maintains the PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credentials. Her academic credentials include a BS in Marketing and an MBA in International Business. Stephanie serves and supports Agile within her community and beyond as organizer for the Tampa Bay Agile Meetup and the Agile Open Florida. Most recently, Stephanie has been elected to the Agile Alliance board for the 2015 to 2017 term. View all posts by Stephanie Davis

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