I recently obtained myself a copy of Leading Quality by Ronald Cummings-John and Owais Peer. The black book cover contains five stars and a subtitle: “How great leaders deliver High Quality software and Accelerate Growth”. Being extremely interested in agile leadership and built-in Quality, I was sold. I read the book and believe it was a wise decision to but the five-star rating already on the cover. I thought it a valuable read.
Although the book is a book for testers, the book does not explain how you can do your tests. As Neil Brown states in the foreword. Being just good at testing is no longer sufficient. Quality is key to business success and test-leads must impact teams throughout the organization, align with business teams and work within the overall goals and directions of the business. The authors introduce the quality narrative, you can talk about the responsibility or ownership of quality, the right way to test or focus on the value of testing. In the following chapters they discuss topics that help to build a quality strategy and shape testing so it adds value.
For example, the discussion on Continues Testing helps to understand why you do certain tests. It is more than automating tests. Ronald and Owais rather define continues testing as the ability to test an application in every stage of its development cycle. The table by Elisabeth Hendrickson (page 66) links test questions with types of tests and invite you to think about testing on a more strategic level. What do you want to learn from your tests?
I liked the approach explained in chapter 5. The authors explain how a new product evolves and the testing purpose shifts accordingly. A clear example is given of a game manufactory that initially doesn’t care that much for quality, but rather validates whether the product is the right product. Predictability and scaling are relevant but later product life cycle. Conclusion: the quality strategy follows the product life cycle.
In the rest of the book automation, infrastructure, Growth Metrics and Persona’s are discussed. In the last chapter all previous topics are combined into one quality strategy. Great leaders start with a clear vision, but you need not only to know where you are going, but also where you currently are. The example of Ashley that mapped the development pipeline and overlaid the testing process on top of it, is one more inspiring example and I believe in the value of this practice. The rest of the chapter refers to the preceding chapters that form the ingredients of the quality strategy. A good quality strategy is one step towards built-in quality, so I am pleased that now there is a book on this topic available. Personally, I think the last chapter could have been a little more elaborated, but for me, the book earned all five stars that are already printed on the cover.