How To Set Smart(ish) Goals For Testers Part 3




Last week I appeared as part of the QA Touch Virtual Series. I spoke on the topic of goals and setting goals. I used the presentation to bring together a number of ideas about goals and goal setting, and this essay, in turn, is based on the presentation. This is Part 3, please read parts 1 and 2 before reading this section.

Read Part 1 Read Part 2

Part 3: 

Setting goals is important for deciding and communicating what you want to achieve in a specific period. Goal setting provides value by forcing a degree of introspection, acting as a filter to separate the important from the irrelevant, and as a guide to channel behavior. Like many things in life the journey is often as important as the destination; however, setting goals is complex because there several systematic problems that affect setting goals.

Too Many Goals: Goals are not like potato chips (crisps), more is not better. It is possible to set too many goals. Like any other work environment, having too many tasks or projects in progress at any one time tends to complicate and slow progress. Solution: Implement a work-in-process limit (WIP) for your goals so that resource contention is minimized – your attention is a resource that must be managed.Too Narrow of a Focus: This is a corollary to the “Too Many Goals” problem. Focusing on a single aspect of your life—your hobby or career, for example—can lead to a lack of balance that might cause you to sacrifice attention on other important aspects of your life. Solution: Ensure that you have a solid systems thinking view of the product your work impacts. Consider performing a value chain analysis. Poorly Estimated Goals: SMART goals are by definition supposed to be attainable and time-boxed. Any task that has a time box needs to be the right size to fit in the time box. Determining the right size requires estimating what can be accomplished in the amount of time in the time box. All estimation exercises require a solid definition of done and an understanding of the level of commitment to the task or goal. Solution: Use portfolio management techniques to prioritize your goals. Prioritization techniques include value ranking or weighted shortest job first. Once prioritized, the goals can be broken down into subgoals and tasks and then planned using agile planning techniques (backlogs, Kanban, and planning meetings similar to sprint planning).Static Goals: The world is a dynamic place. As time moves forward, life happens, and it is possible that the context may have shifted. That means that you may need to change your goals. Similarly, as time goes by, some goals may have been accomplished without a next step or follow on goal. I have adopted a weight loss goal nearly every year of my adult life which I almost always meet. Which once accomplished is quickly celebrated and then not maintained. Solution: Consider adopting a

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By: tcagley
Title: How To Set Smart(ish) Goals For Testers Part 3
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Published Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2020 23:55:37 +0000

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