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Expectations of Senior Management

(In this SmartBits, Sudhir Patnaik outlines “Expectations of Senior Management“.  The video is at the end of this blog)

Leadership is key. But more than organization and people leadership owning a substantial part of work is also needed. One can have an oversight on some part of the organization, but need to get hands dirty by owning areas that have no managers. This keeps one grounded and also helps develop empathy for their organization as to what they go through.
Here are the expectations :
(1) The ability to understand what the team is going through.
(2) Show up in incidents, show up in incident reviews, show up in customer escalations
(3) Keep learning newer technologies and catch up with what’s going on in the industry
(4) Have the curiosity to look at everything from a metrics driven approach.

Extreme ownership mindset

(In this SmartBits, Sudhir Patnaik outlines “ Extreme ownership mindset “.  The video is at the end of this blog)

There is a tremendous shift towards a customer backed approach. Everything that we do is keeping our customers in mind and an extreme mindset of product ownership. The one scrum team mindset is driving phenomenal change in how we deliver products. This is where extreme ownership mindset comes into picture where a scrum team owns outcome for customer.
The days are gone, when one has to develop, somebody else has to test and somebody else has to deploy. It has to be packaged in such a way that as a member of the scrum team every single member of the scrum team owns every single responsibility.  If I am a developer or a test engineer, I own development, I own testing, I own deployment, I own support. That’s the team’s extreme ownership. That’s a disruptor.

Transforming test teams

(In this SmartBits, Sudhir Patnaik outlines “ Transforming test teams “.  The video is at the end of this blog)

As a leader running platform engineering organization, industry changes made us reimagine how we test software platforms. We decided that in the context of extreme ownership mindset by Scrum team it is best that we transform quality engineering organization and merge them with Scrum teams.

This required us to look at the entire quality engineering organization, find out people well-versed in functional, performance testing and  security testing,  and automation. In a step-by-step process, we did a shift left of quality engineering organization, re-skilling many engineers towards learning the development technologies. We moved one function at a time into the respective Scrum team, and gave them about a year to transform themselves into developers. We provided every training that was needed.At the same time, we also trained developers to embrace functional testing concepts. If one is the owner of a service, one owns its unit testing, code review and its functional testing too.

From Quality Engineering perspective this meant that half of quality engineering organization ended up merging with the Scrum team and transforming themselves into developers in a period of one year. The remaining half of the team still stay as a central organization, but largely responsible for end-to-end and non-functional testing.

They are not executors of end-to-end and non-functional testing scripts, they have transformed themselves to become more creators of tools, frameworks and scripts that are needed to get these done. Then who executes those – “Well it is the Scrum team”!