Monday, 24 May 2010

Can you spell quality?

How hard can it be to write a paper that contains no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors?

I recently told you that I am undertaking a Masters Degree in Agile Computing at UCLAN in Preston.

Well I have a new assignment that asked me to choose one of three papers and told me to review one of them. I am to write an essay that critically reviews what I have read.

It is clear that I am supposed to consider the implementation of Scrum, team work and critically evaluate the argument.

Unfortunately I find myself critically evaluating the spelling and grammar.

Having just spent a weekend discussing several topics including quality, I found it ironic that the first paper that I read was full of spelling mistakes and nonsensical sentences.

Quality is something that we at QA are constantly looking to improve. In fact we have an initiative named "Good to Great" that we take very seriously. Perhaps I am applying my standards to others?

The paper I selected to review was:  Lewis, Jeanne; Neher, Kevin (2007) "Over the Waterfall in a Barrel: MSIT Adventures in Scrum" Proceedings of IEEE Agile 2007, pp.389-394.

On my first read, I found several mistakes which annoyed me. I find spelling mistakes and grammatical errors very annoying. They are distracting and hinder my absorption of the argument. I also find myself judging the author(s).

After all, how hard can it be to write a grammatically correct paper that contains no spelling mistakes?

Microsoft Word does have a spell checker. The paper was written by two people. Didn't they read it? It was published in a widely read paper. Did the editor read it?

These mistakes stand out as clearly as someone breaking wind loudly at a dinner party.

Well perhaps that wasn't the best analogy in the world but at least it was grammatically correct and my son found it amusing. He's at that age!

Here are the mistakes that I found:

"We have learned that the first decision for a development team converting to an agile methodology is to select an agile methodology that is compatible will corporate needs and dynamics."

"They report time and productivity losses due in part to addressing the objections arising from sceptical team members. It also have been a hit to the general moral."

"But it is important to point of the value in finding a Product Manager who was already 'agile-minded' and willing to try the Scrum process."

"Over the years, the use of traditional waterfall-based methodology has leads to role specialization and sequential code stabilization that goes through several test environments."

"But his may not be the most efficient method as resource crunches are likely, such as needing to run verification tests and performance tests like soak and stress concurrently."

"As the number of MS IT teams adopting agile methodologies and Scrum continues to grow, we must begin to consider the future and attempting to glean what will be required to keep this grassroots movement vital."

How am I to concentrate with gaffes like that?

I even find myself tutting at the inconsistencies of capitalisation in some words. For example, Scrum is always written with a capital S whereas, waterfall is always written with a lower case w.

Well I had better wrap up now because any more of this behaviour and I'll be counting the spoons in my cutlery draw.

By the way, if you are interested in some high quality Agile training then QA have the following courses for your consideration. And there are no spelling mistakes in the manuals either! 

Agile Project Management
Code: PBPAGAPM · Days: 2

Agile with PRINCE2 / PMI Project Management
Code: PBPAGPP · Days: 2

Agile/Open Unified Process Practitioner
Code: PBPAGOPP · Days: 3

Agile/Open Unified Process Awareness
Code: PBPAGOUPO · Days: 1

Agile Awareness
Code: PBPAGAW · Days: 1


Right. Time to get on with my assignment !

See you soon

Phil Stirpé
"I don't do average!"

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