“Churn, Churn, Churn"
Is your project in churn mode?
Are you spinning your wheels without getting anywhere?
Is your Quality Control (Software Testing) entering panic mode (again)?
Many will recognise the reference here as taken from the song: Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There is a Season) which was popularized by The Byrds in 1965. For those more familiar with food production, churn of course refers to the production of butter.
Either way, the problem of Churn in a project, whether it refers to constant change with little forward motion or how slippery the project has become is a common problem. And it tends to come to a peak at the time of Quality Control (Software Testing). Although anticipated and well known to the project team, the fact that there is almost no time left to complete the project and a lot still to do, causes a sudden concentration on the necessary items, accompanied by panic, late nights, the blame game, and sometimes the Project Saviour wearing a cape and tights.
Few like it and even fewer want to fund it. In the current world economy, which still seems a little shaky, almost no one can afford to fund churn.
Churn is easy to avoid and a colleague of mine did it quite successfully with support projects. He refused to fund the extra time required by churn until Quality Assurance techniques had been applied throughout the software development process. The end result, after application of Quality Assurance techniques, was that the need for extra funding went away and many people saw their homes during daylight hours for the first time in many years.
Even in small parts of the project which are supporting other pieces, churn can have large ripple effect and make the whole project late.