Whole Team Owning Quality

Mark Winteringham's profile
Mark Winteringham

Tester, Toolsmith, Author and Instructor

Francis Ho's profile
Francis Ho

Quality Engineering Lead

Challenge Description

In this activity, we will explore ways to encourage our team members to take ownership of quality. Our working contexts are all different, therefore how we approach them will require us to identify unique ideas and approaches that nudge our teams towards taking on quality. 


Part 1

Visualise your current software development lifecycle (SDLC) using a pen and paper or diagramming tool. Try to capture each of the activities in your SDLC and how they flow into one another. Here is an example diagram to help you get started:

Part 2

Next, create a second diagram that would describe your ‘dream’ SDLC flow where the whole team has ownership of quality. You can add new activities, add responsibilities or re-arrange your SDLC process.

Part 3

Comparing your two SDLC processes, write down three small experiments/ideas that you could try out as a team to help nudge you towards whole team ownership of quality.


Encouraging your team to own quality as a whole is an iterative process that requires experimentation. Rather than suggesting large changes to how we work, we can set up small experiments that let us see ways in which we can nudge our teams towards quality ownership. These experiments can be identified and agreed upon through team conversations and collaboration. Once an experiment is complete we can analyse data and discuss with our teams whether they were a success or not. Allowing you to move closer to whole team ownership of quality.

Key Takeaways:

  • How a team adopts ownership of quality will differ depending on your working context

  • Experimentation is key to encouraging adoption

  • Start small with experiments and review the results with your team

  • Encourage a culture of trust and support to openly analyse what works and what doesn’t

What you’ll learn
  • Identify experiments to carry out to adopt a whole team quality adoption


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