Once upon a time in jungle, there was a Tiger and he had his own factory.
An Ant used to work there. Yes, one single Ant. She used to work as per her own schedule and methods. And used to leave for home after finishing her work, daily. Tiger’s business too was running smooth.
One day Tiger asked himself, “If this Ant performs so well without anyone supervising her work, how great she would perform if I appoint someone to supervise her?” And with this purpose, Tiger appointed Honeybee in his factory as Production Manager.
Honeybee had rich experience of her work and she was great at writing reports. She said the tiger, “First of all, we’ll need to fix Ant’s office timings. And to keep the record of that I would need one secretary.” Tiger then appointed one Rabbit as secretory for Honeybee. Tiger was extremely happy to see Honeybee’s passion that reflected from her demands. And one day he asked Honeybee to show him all the work done so far and the graph of production progress. For that, Honeybee demanded a computer, projector and laser printer. Tiger bought all those and he then had to appoint one Computer Head to look after all such requirements. He appointed a Cat for this purpose.
Over the period of time, Ant got overloaded with all those form fillings, repetitive report creations, creating so much of metrics, documents over and again. And with all those ‘work related’ things which were far less important than her actual work. And that in turn adversely impacted her productivity. Production of Tiger’s factory got reduced to considerable extent. Then Tiger thought, “I must bring in some technical person who will better explain Honeybee’s ideas to Ant in language she understands”. And then he appointed one Monkey as Technical Instructor.
An Ant, who used to work with her own expert methods earlier didn't like all that new burden, additional processes and she got angrier. Thus, production of Tiger’s factory got reduced even more. Realising that he was facing heavy losses, Tiger appointed an Owl to find out the root cause. After three months of survey and investigations, Owl sent his report to Tiger.
The report said, “There is much more staff than needed. You must lay them off”. And who went home with pink slip then? Any guesses?
That’s correct! That Ant is still in shock, totally clueless of what was her mistake. My special thanks to original author of this story, whoever has written it.
It’s 2015 already but testers in our industry at large, are still getting overloaded with non-productive activities, mostly in the name of standards, best practices and creating auditable artifacts. And in the end, they are held responsible for lack of productivity. Wish Tiger could know how to do more with less.
With State of Testing Survey 2013 that we did in collaboration with PractiTest, we could find out some interesting facts about our profession and its state last year. It will be interesting to see where we are heading in near future. Please help us figure it out better by participating in it and spreading it to the world.
A passionate & thinking tester. Trainer & student of the craft of testing. Chief Editor and Co-founder of Tea-time with Testers magazine.