Many Software Organizations face a major challenge in delivering the projects/products within committed timelines and meeting customer expectations. In making a project success in meeting the KSF of the project, the team contribution in technical, domain and process areas play a significant role. The team must be competent enough in all the 3 areas in order to deliver efficiently and effectively.

A project will pose a major risk in competency if the team has fairly fresh inexperienced staff, new technology intro, lack of required skilled staff etc., which will hamper the project deliveries.

Deployment of the competency FW/development program helps the project & test teams to build competency in defined areas and gain confidence in deliveries and customer expectations.

Test team competency plays a vital role in the projects. The competency of the team has its impact on the quality of deliveries based on the expertise knowledge & skills present in the team members. Higher the competency in the team, the higher the efficiency and effectiveness in the deliveries.

The need for competency development arises due to the following reasons:

-High expectations from customer/management on project goals

-lack of sufficient knowledge & skill in the team

-new & inexperienced members in the team

-customer feedback on the quality of deliverables

-new technology/advancement introduced in the project

-lack of sufficient domain knowledge in team

-functional knowledge is average

-process needs to be improved.

-post release defects are high

-Testers involvement late in projects


Basis for competency development(CD):

Building competency is a continuous learning process and therefore, a competency development program needs to be in place. Competency Development has following 7 step process which is based on Deming’s PDCA.

Define Vision statement for the team

Brainstorm with the team and agree on a common vision statement, which maps to organization vision so that team has a common focus.

Define Mission statement

Brainstorm with the team and agree on a common mission statement, which is in line with the teams vision statement.

Identify primary focus areas for CD

Identify key focus areas for Development that will align with the project goals.

Eg:-Technical/Functional, Domain, Continuous process improvement, Non-functional etc..,

Define team charter

Allocate teams for each of the focus areas and nominate a taskforce lead for each of the teams. Taskforce lead will define the charter based on the discussion with the team members. (Charter will have the Goal, Scope, list of activities, timelines, Risks & Mitigation, Measurements.)

Define the list of activities with timelines

Identify the list of activities that will be performed by the task force during each quarter for all focus areas.

Review the charters

Taskforce lead will present the charters for review to the team. Once the review is complete, the task force will start working on CD plan.

Measurement on monthly basis

Taskforce lead will present to the management on monthly basis on the status of the tasks performed and the competency achieved.

Competency development tracker for all taskforce teams with the list of activities planned for that quarter is periodically tracked for closure.

Management must ensure to allocate atleast 2-3hrs/week in the weekly test estimate for the team for engaging in CD activity to reap positive results from the team.
Please let me know in case some other things can be added.

~Himanshu~

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