Checklists can help catch issues in the early stages of any type of project. The trickiest part may be determining a ‘Pause Point’. A Pause Point is a place where it makes sense to stop and take a look at the work that has been done. Perhaps it is a point where pain has been felt in the past, or a spot where there is going to be a hand-off technology wise. It is an opportunity to ask questions – have I forgotten anything? Does this output make sense to you? What do you think of how I handled this obstacle? Do I have my spear?
Once a Pause Point has been determined, the checklist doesn’t necessarily need to be complete to get started. Start reviewing the designated work. Apply your area of expertise, and start at a high level of analysis and drill downward. If the work needs analysis from another area of expertise, show it to someone who can provide that expertise. Get those eyes on it. Get that feedback. Create a checklist.
Experience tells us that there will be challenges that have not been accounted for. Obstacles routinely pop up during development. These unforeseen hurdles often lead to redesigns, workarounds or even new development in order to accomplish the original task. Using a checklist may have induced the right line of questions that could have exposed the issue prior to development. Adding the scenario to the checklist will can prevent it (and others) from happening again.
The point is this – document what you can at every opportunity. It does not have to be a novel. Just write it down. Now we are creating a list of items to check. This list will become a living document, so every time we reach this Pause Point we have a resource to check that ensures nothing is forgotten or missed and anything new can be added for future reference.
At ToolBox Solutions, we plan out manual testing for certain stories in every sprint. There is the potential for a checklist to guide each one of these tasks. We create tasks to pair with the Product Owners and Quality Analysts whenever it can provide value and ensure we are on the right track. These pairing tasks can both produce new checklists and enhance existing ones.
It’s simple. Checked or Unchecked. Yes or No. That’s it.Tags: Development methodology, IT, software solution