Agile PM Process Grid-5.13 Escaped Defects

In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, he creates an “agile project management process grid” which describes 87 processes used in agile project management.   These processes are divided into five process groups (Initiate, Plan, Iterate, Control, and Close), which are analogous to the five process groups in traditional project management, and seven knowledge areas which can be mapped, more or less, onto the ten knowledge areas in traditional project management.

I am now covering processes that are performed during the Control process group of an agile project.   Remember, after the Planning process group, an agile project does not go in a linear fashion from Iterate to Control to Close; rather, it cycles from Iteration to Iteration with periodic checkpoints (many times at the end of an iteration cycle) where you Control or make changes to a project to make sure it gets back on track.   Or sometimes, you even change the track itself if there is a change in the requirements.

In the past set of posts, I have covered those processes done in the Control process group that relate to the fourth knowledge area of Team Performance.   Today I start covering  processes related to Risk Management:

  • 5.11  Obstacle Removal
  • 5.12  Variance and Trend Analysis
  • 5.13  Escaped Defects

The first of these is 5.11 Obstacle removal, which I covered in the previous post; I cover 5.12 Variance and Trend Analysis.

Do you remember the Christmas Story by Charles Dickens, where Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by the ghosts of three spirits:   the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future?

In a project, a project manager or scrum master is also haunted by three ghosts, but in this case they are called the Ghost of Defects Past, the Ghost of Defects Present, and the Ghost of Defects Future.

The Ghost of Defects Present is detected through variance analysis, and the measures taken to exorcise this ghost are called corrective actions.   The Ghost of Defects Future is detected through trend analysis, and the measures taken to exorcise this ghost are called preventive actions.   This process of 5.12 Variance and Trend Analysis is covered in the previous post.   The Ghost of Defects Past is covered in this process, 5.13 Escaped Defects.

The first activity to be done if escaped defects are found by users is to repair them, which requires finding out when they were created, and what the root cause of the problem is.

The cost of this process of repairing Escaped Defects needs to be measured because it is part of the costs of poor quality.    Often when asked to justify quality measures, it is useful to have the cost of poor quality available to show that the cost of implementing measures to improve is less than the cost of poor quality.

Finally, there must be an improvement process put in place to eliminate similar kinds of defects from escaping in the future.    This reduces the risk of having future costs that are related to poor quality.

The next process I will cover is the one that is related to the sixth knowledge area of communication that is done during the Control process group, namely, 6.9 Knowledge Sharing.



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