It is such a joy to catch up with colleagues, meet new people and get inspired again. This year, I got to attend Sogeti’s annual Quality Experience Day (instead of speaking & running workshops like previous years) as it is my first workweek back at Sogeti after leave. So, I did what I do at conferences: I enjoyed the hallway track, created my sketchnotes and co-hosted the new Quality Improvement Game with Wouter Ruigrok and Emna Ayadi. It was a pleasure catching up with old acquaintances and meeting new people and I look forward to continuing those conversations in the future.
This post details summaries of the talks I attended including sketchnotes so that hopefully others can enjoy the content as well.
The opening keynote Navigating Infinite Change: 3 Provocative Questions for Quality Engineering by Michiel Boreel, Sogeti’s Global CTO and Group Chief Technology Officer, was inspiring and thought-provoking. He spoke about the concept of Digital Happiness and Positive Computing to build Innovation Ready Enterprises. What is required to build a Future Fit Strategy? And why is it so vital to focus on the importance & impact of behaviour in contrast to just technology?
Michiel challenged the audience to find ways of testing that suits the expectations, values, and behaviour of the Synthetic Generation (born between 1993-2019) and the concept of the Transformation economy. How do you test for compassion, empathy, transformation, and existential questions? How do you test for (digital) happiness?
My sketchnote shows my summary and understanding of his talk (in Dutch!). All talks will also be up on Sogeti’s youtube page in a few days if you’re interested in listening yourself (be aware that most presentations are in Dutch).
Serghei Pogodin and Peter Geurtsen presented their experiences with implementing Contract Testing in a presentation titled “End of End to End”.
They detailed how they broke their chain tests and their chain by moving towards Contract Testing. This had the benefits of increasing autonomy for their squads and limiting dependencies. By implementing stubs for everything, redefining acceptance and test criteria within 3 amigo sessions and starting test driven development (shift left), they demolished their chain and are now able to release weekly (minimum) or daily. (They also implemented shift right principles which is outside of the scope of this presentation).
On my sketchnote, you can see my summary including the principles of a contract. It helps facilitate communication within and between teams. Serghei and Peter stress that change takes time – this shift towards contract testing took place over all four quarters of 2021. It also takes time and direction: they faced resistance (obviously) and teams often need a push by removing the chain test to incentify the focus on change to still meet the underlying quality requirements. The resulting changes after a year do mean that they are now reaping the benefits of more autonomy and less dependencies which saves time and effort and increases release speed.
Peter and Serghei invite dialogue if you want to hear more about their impact!
The final presentation I had the pleasure to attend was by my colleague Julien Schouten: Leading Change @Scale Sturen op verandering (Directing Change)
Last year, Julien Schouten’s team implemented Shift Left and large scale improvements that encouraged ownership, facilitated higher quality and tackled the underlying needs they were facing. After this success (read the whitepaper on their business case), Julien was asked to implement the change process at scale for the entire department.
In this talk, Julien presented his experience scaling up quality improvements, the challenges they faced and the solutions they found. Julien is particularly interested in Value Streams and how people act within them. He acknowledges that there is a massive difference between being asked by a team to help and entering a department to facilitate a new vision as it requires a strong story and business case to encourage and convince people. They achieved several improvements: shift left; ownership for test data; End2End team; test automation; lean mindset; QA mindset; chain responsibility. They reduced dependencies and increased ownership. Julien strongly argues for Gherkin scenarios to encourage communication and clarity.
To communicate his quality vision, he asks questions: what do you need to create value? What is your definition of ‘good’ and for whom is that valid? What are you struggling with and where do you wish to go? What do you need to START?
Julien uses the example of Amish culture building a barn in a day to indicate the value in offering vision, thinking in collective, preparation, built-in quality and clear responsibilities/roles. He stresses the importance of joy and fun in the work.
My sketchnote of Julien’s talk shows my summary of his talk (in Dutch!).
In addition to the sessions, Wouter Ruigrok and Emna Ayadin hosted a table in the Quality Experience Centre to launch the new Quality Improvement Game they designed together with Rik Marselis. I had the pleasure of helping out and explaining the game to various people who joined the table.
In four rounds, teams can identify their current problems and set their goals on different levels of product, process and people. They then explore different metrics that suit the situation at hand and through the medium of storytelling ensure that each team member has a shared understanding. By brainstorming quality improvement actions they can take and refining the appropriate metrics to measure the effect, teams are invited to take concrete action and embark on their quality improvement journey.
What I love about gamification and the various Quality Games in existence is that they open the conversation by offering concrete questions, suggestions and concepts. By playing these games, you get different results than from an ‘open’ brainstorm. It is the concept of liberating constraints in action.
If you are interested in playing the Quality Improvement Game with your team(s), having a conversation regarding Quality Engineering Coaching or sketchnoting – send me a message!