Credit: Jutta Kuss
Show me an IT project that runs without speed bumps, and I'll show you a work of fiction. Certainly, roadblocks are to be expected with any work endeavor, but the skirmishes born out of ego, fear, or the need for control have to be among the most frustrating for any team -- and they hurt the final product. Many moons ago, I worked on a project that somehow managed to succeed, despite some players' resistance to teamwork and collaboration.
It started with a government agency's request for an application to be developed. The agency wrote up the requirements and handed them over to a third-party developer. Later on in the process, they hired my company to provide IV&V (independent verification and validation). Both the development team and our test team were devoted solely to the project.
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As testers we had a great working relationship with the developer "worker bees." The roadblock stemmed from the developer's management wanting total control over the entire process. They did not take kindly to the idea of someone else potentially questioning the thoroughness of their job, and they viewed IV&V as a negative metric generator.
In the beginning, we wanted to talk to the end-users to glean day-in-the-life-of information that would enable us to create more robust test procedures. But because the developers had come on board first, their managers convinced the government agency it would be a waste of time for us testers to talk to the end-users. They claimed the developers knew what the users wanted, and they considered the requirements to be well defined. In their estimation, our questions were unnecessary, and thanks to their efforts, our requests were regularly rebuffed.