Why do we think we’re different?

rutty:

I’ve covered similar people problems during my systems thinking modules for my Open University degree. They called one of the issues ‘goal divergence’, but it’s the same thing.

Creating ‘Best Practice’ has become a goal unto itself. I can see how creating such things can be helpful to less experienced testers, but I do think James is right that they’re designing in problems. It restricts creativity.

Originally posted on James Christie's Blog:

The longer my career lasts the more aware I am of the importance of Gerald Weinberg’s Second Law of Consulting (from his book ), “No matter what the problem is, it’s always a people problem.”

The first glimmer of light that illuminated this truth was when I came across the term “goal displacement” and reflected on how many times I had seen it in action. People are given goals that aren’t quite aligned with what their work should deliver. They focus on the goals, not the real work. This isn’t just an incidental feature of working life, however. It is deeply engrained in our psychological make-up. There is a long history of academic work to explain this phenomenon.

Focal and subsidiary awareness

I’ll start with Michael Polanyi. In his book , Polanyi makes a distinction between focal and subsidiary awareness. Focal awareness is what we consciously think about. Subsidiary awareness…

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ruby stayed over with her Grandpa and Gran in Leeds for the first time this week (it is half term at her school) and I arranged to pick her up again at the rather splendid Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I have driven past here on the M1 many a time but never managed to venture in, so I thought it was about time to see what it is about.

It is an outstandingly beautiful place with some utterly lovely sculptures. I took a few pictures while I was there:

https://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=1811922554

Ruby loved it. It’s encouraging that she enjoys running around in the countryside and that she also seems to like art, especially the Henry Moore sculptures that abound here.

Untitled

We will be back soon, with wellies.

Still here

I have been very quiet on this blog for quite an extended period of time. My intention has always been to keep blogging, but other factors have interfered; a busy job, open university assignments, a lively child.

I will try to put more content up; just the occasional post with some reblogs and shared posts. WordPress is a pretty good platform for that and makes creating blog content easy enough.

In the meantime, here is a photo of my lovely daughter taken just before her recent 5th birthday:
My angel

ISO – the dog that hasn’t barked

rutty:

I’m following the arguments surrounding ISO 29119 with interest. It seems right up my employer’s street and I’ll be utterly unsurprised to find that someone in our practice has decided to shackle us to it once it emerges.

Once my current project draws to a close I’ll considering my options. I think I need somewhere to work that has greater vision and doesn’t limit me to being a “resource” that has to follow this difficult-to-follow set of rules

Originally posted on James Christie's Blog:

On August 12th I gave a talk at CAST 2014, the conference of the Association for Software Testing (AST) in New York, “Standards; promoting quality or restricting competition.” It was mainly about the new ISO 29119 software testing standard, though I also wove in arguments about ISTQB certification.


I was staggered at the response. Iain McCowatt asked what we should do in response. Karen Johnson proposed a petitition, which subsequently became two. Iain set up through the International Society for Software Testing (ISST), directly targetted at ISO.

Karen’s petition is a more general for all professional testers to sign if they agree with its stance on certification and standards.

I strongly commend both the petition and the manifesto to all testers.

Eric Proegler also set up an AST special interest group to monitor and review the issue.

This action was not confined to the conference. In the last three weeks…

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Is Best Practice the Enemy of Innovation?

rutty:

Does ‘best practice’ stifle innovation? Those of us that work for large organisations are often lumbered with having to work with whatever processes the higher ups have decided is best. I thought this article was very interesting.

Originally posted on What's the PONT:

Here’s a confession. Before I go to bed I like to watch an episode of How It’s Made.

There is something very soothing about manufacturing processes. The logical sequence, efficient systems, robotic arms, complete repeatability, high levels of certainty and quality products are like a comfort blanket before I go to sleep.

Unfortunately the world I wake up to isn’t quite like this, generally it’s all a bit more confusing.

This mirrors some of the confusion around best practice and innovation. Frequently I hear; ‘organisations must be more innovative’ rapidly followed with ‘organisations must implement best practice’. But how do the two fit together, particularly if you’ve got other voices saying ‘best practice is the enemy of innovation’?

Here’s the Wikipedia definition of best practice: ‘a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used…

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