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An organization is undergoing an Agile transformation (from not being Agile)

A sub group of the organization is spearheading the effort by learning and adopting the various agile practices.

The lead QE role for this transformation is the Quality Architect

What areas should he/she focus on and within those areas what are the topics to cover ?

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  • Documenting my thoughts (see answer) and sharing them with others and seeing what I missed Jul 24 '17 at 12:33
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    How large should an organisation be to have a Quality Architect? And I hope this is a temporary role as the teams become more self-organised and manage their own quality-process. Jul 24 '17 at 14:09
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    Not necessarily; I think for scaled agile, things like Quality Architects may be a permanent need. Jul 24 '17 at 15:13
  • @NielsvanReijmersdal good point. My experience is that this is a worthy goal but gets hampered by the high turnover I see in programming. In many local (US, Boston) organizations developer turnover is 80% within 2 years. This tends to lead to a greater need for someone to be a champion for quality, educating and training new QE and application developer hires. Otherwise the quality focus is hard to maintain unless the role is broken out separately. Jul 25 '17 at 12:49
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    @MichaelDurrant I see your point, sounds like nice role. I would maybe just change the title to "Lead quality facilitator" or something, Architect is so easy to confuse with the waterfall gating process that people with these titles often introduce :) Jul 25 '17 at 12:55
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A key area you are missing is Technical Excellence as described by the LeSS framework.

  • Specification by Example
  • Thinking about testing
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous delivery
  • Architecture & design
  • Clean Code
  • Acceptance testing
  • Test automation
  • Test-Driven development
  • Unit-testing

These might sound like development practises and some are, still I think the lead quality person in an Agile organisation should closely relate to them, as:

Organizational Agility is constrained by Technical Agility

Read more: https://less.works/less/technical-excellence/index.html

This is important because:

UncleBob first presents, the secondary value (which most people believe is the most important and valuable) as: ‘The secondary value of the software is its behavior”. He explains that the primary value is more subtle, and really it is more important than the behavior. And presents the primary value as The software’s ability to tolerate and facilitate such ongoing change to accommodate for the evolving customer requirements. This means that, the main value of the software is that it is soft.

Read more: https://medium.com/@mvidaurre/what-is-the-value-of-software-development-c90ac18b786d

I think this also related to the three aspects of software quality, namely: Functional, Structural and Process. The Quality Architect (A title I don't like) should focus on the quality of these three areas.

In Agile you want your organisation to not resists change, nor should your product. If it does you bring down process and functional quality.

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  • +1 and yes QA/QE need to embrace and even promote change that improves quality Jul 24 '17 at 16:38
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Consider the following areas and topics:

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    I think some of your topics are very opinionated for your situation. For example the "Weekly triage" is just something the product owner could do continuously. By specifying it like this it has to become weekly, rather I would name it "defect classification system" or something. Others things I have worries over are, specific tools names instead of concepts. Jul 24 '17 at 14:18

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