New Year's Day is traditionally the time when people sit down and examine their life and vow to make copious far-reaching changes...and then last night's egg nog wears off and life goes on as normal. <g/>

 

If, however, you would like to see changes in the relationship between you and your developer and your program manager and whomever else is on your feature team, I have a suggestion for you:

 

Gather everybody in a room and ask them if they want to understand each other's jobs better. If they don't, the meeting is over. (Use your freed-up time to send me your resume!) If they do, have each person explain what they believe each other person's job entails.

 

High hilarity! What often happens is that the person speaking is overrun by guffaws and laughter and some variant of "You think *that* is all my job is?" from everybody else. Make an effort to keep the din to a dull roar, okay?

 

Once everyone has spoken, go around the room again. This time 'round, each person explains their own job. Typically the sounds of jaws dropping to the ground in amazement are interspersed with comments to the effect of "I had no idea you do all that!"

 

Time and again I hear testers, and developers, and PMs, complain that a) their counterparts in the other disciplines are holding things back, and b) their counterparts haven't a clue as to all the work the complainer does. This exercise is a simple, easy, and often fun way to change that. Experiment with it and let me know what happens!

 


*** Want a fun job on a great team? I need a tester! Interested? Let's talk: Michael dot J dot Hunter at microsoft dot com. Great testing and coding skills required.