I spend most of my time these days sharing metaphors. Here’s one I use a lot to help developers, analysts, testers (and others) warm to the idea of collaborating. It’s called the "crossword effect".
Unless you’re one of those crossword freaks who can solve cryptic crosswords all by yourself, you’ll probably know what I mean.
- You sit down at a crossword and you solve maybe 1/3 of the clues by yourself before your brain gives up and you’re stonkered.
- Then a friend joins you and they add another 1/3 of the clues, all by themselves. They already knew some of the clues you’d solved but they also knew a lot of clues which you did not.
- Then you start collaborating - talking, discussing, bouncing ideas of each other - and you start solving many of the clues which neither of you could solve by yourselves.
- Then another friend joins you and they solve the last few clues.
I think the proper name for this is “synergy”, but since I’m not very good with words, I would be happy to be corrected.
Developers and Testers have, for many decades, worked apart, in silos and they can figure out how to work together, but it’s not always easy. The testers have a black-box view of the software; the developers have a white-box view. The testers are trained in testing theory and technique but they have little idea of how much testing good developers already do; good developers are usually self-taught at testing and underestimate the skill of modern-day testers. It is amazing to watch the “crossword effect” happen when you throw their brains together. Quality goes up; productivity goes up; rework goes down; and, - generally - people enjoy it.
I call it the “crossword effect”.