Monthly Archives: March 2016

Leading Change from The Quality Team

Most efforts to request or implement changes fail. They fail often enough that the “change curve” for organization change is derived from the grieving process when a loved-one dies. Shock, denial, anger, and fear are experienced before the organization starts accepting the change and committing to it. These change efforts fail somewhere between shock and fear. Yet, the opportunity for change is large, especially when it comes to quality. We all know that preventing bugs is better than finding them. We also know that finding bugs earlier is better than finding them late. Since testing is often done late in the development cycle, when we want to drive a change it usually involves asking other teams to change their behavior.

The presentation “Leading Change from the Quality Team”, provides a 4 step process to lead change, illustrated by 2 examples of successful changes.  I’ll be presenting this talk on September 14th in Seattle at the QASIG meeting, and at the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference on October 17th, 2016.   The QASIG presentation will be live-streamed on YouTube.

For those who attended the talk, thank you for coming here.  Here are links to the references from the presentation.  Enjoy…

Slides from PNSQC


Video from the PNSQC Presentation


MindTools article on change management. This shows the change curve, and strategies on how to deal with the various stages.

The Kübler-Ross model describes the five stages that people experience when a loved one dies. These painful stages are very much like the stages in the change curve.

Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail, a great article by John P. Kotter. Published by Harvard Business Review, this link takes you to the page to purchase an official reprint.

We saw how important the “First Follower” role is in leading change by watching the dancing man video on YouTube.  The “first follower” is also one of the change agents.

We discussed the value of converting your idea into a vision statement, one that touts the benefits of your idea – and not the specifics.  A great role-model for doing exactly this is Steve Jobs and how he described the iPod – not as an mp3 player with a hard-drive, but as “1000 songs in my pocket”.

The Goals Grid is a very powerful tool to help you plan your change, and acknowledge the inputs of your stakeholders.

We discussed the concept that your idea is just a hypothesis, and you should test your idea before rolling it out widely.  The scientific method provides a classic framework for thinking about how to conduct experiments.