Reader Patricia Osorio had another good question about the answer to the following question from our Advanced Test Manager e-learning course. Here’s the question:
A given organization is using reviews for development work products like code, requirements and design specifications; test work products like test plans, quality risk analyses, and test design specifications; and, documentation and help screens. The review processes have been in place for two years and are delivering excellent financial, quality, and schedule benefits.
You are attending a management team meeting. A senior executive raises the need to update the objectives by which the individual contributors are measured on their yearly performance evaluations. He suggests using defect counts from review meetings. He circulates a draft plan. Under the plan, people will be rewarded based on the number of defects they find in reviews. Further, people will be penalized if items they have produced incur too many defects during reviews.
Which of the following is a psychological factor affecting review success and failure that is likely to cause such an initiative to undermine the current success of the reviews?
- Scrutinize the document and not the author.
- Focus all participants on delivering high-quality items.
- Try to find as many defects as possible.
- Assemble the right team of reviewers.
The correct answer is the second option. Instead of focusing on delivering high-quality items, the reviewers will focus on trying to claim as many defects found in reviews as their own, and will raise as defects trivialities, in order to try to maximize their rewards, while the authors will try to refute every defect report, even the most serious, in order to try to minimize their punishments. We have seen this play out in real life with clients, so you must be careful.
Tags: software reviews