Establish a new QA department
Establish a new QA department

Moxie Interactive was operating for over 10 years without a formal QA group. There were multiple attempts to introduce one with no success. But as Moxie grew, there were no excuses. There had to be a formalized Quality Assurance department (across Technology, Creative and Media) with structure and strategy to back it up. More...

Resource Management
Resource Management

A new QA group was in place and ready to go. And the work was pouring in. Only problem? The department didn’t have the resources to handle the wave of projects that needed QA assistance. We needed to manage schedules, timeline and employees and we needed an effective, practical way to do it. More...

Training, Education & Communication
Training, Education & Communication

After a company-wide restructure, the agency had a lot of great new talent. The downside was that most new employees were unfamiliar with Moxie processes. Coupled with this, the Technology department had recently changed its process and the QA group was still evolving. Client Service team members were often times confused and unsure as to how to push their projects through. More...

Release Organization & Management
Release Organization & Management

The technical group had transitioned from Service Desk to JIRA as a ticketing system and was still dealing with workflow issues. Client services and project managers were using the tool in many different ways. It was a recipe for confusion, as the development group transitioned between client and project groups. Consistency and collaboration were desperately needed. More...

Project Management
Project Management

The agency had contracted with a local Atlanta developer to work remotely and build a time-off management solution. This system would integrate with the agency portal and internal HR systems such as Prism. As Director of QA, I was called in to do a quality and risk assessment of the project. More...

Establish a New QA Department
Strategy • Innovative Thinking • Structure • Process • Leadership • Teamwork

Moxie Interactive was operating for over 10 years without a formal QA group. There were multiple attempts to introduce one with no success. But as Moxie grew, there were no excuses. There had to be a formalized Quality Assurance department (across Technology, Creative and Media) with structure and strategy to back it up.

I was tasked with creating and growing the QA department, starting with a team of one. I had full control over the growth, and ultimately the success, of the department. Sounded like just the kind of challenge I love.

  • Tasked with creating and growing a much needed quality assurance department
  • Develop Moxie QA services from a team of one
  • Full control over the success and growth of the team
  • Grow from grass roots efforts
  • Include projections for rollout of Technology, Creative, and Media QA efforts
  • No prior QA team, process or strategy and previous attempts to create one had failed
  • Limited mentorship/leadership from management and poor training in all areas
  • Dealing with significant restructuring and changes within the agency, including resistance from some departments
  • Yearly budgets rolled out with no QA analysts allocations
  • Developing a testing methodology that would support rapid development model in technology
  • Developing metrics methodology with no defined recording and reporting mechanism
  • No support for mobile testing and no space available for developers to do local testing across multiple browsers
  • Dealing with the inherent negative character surrounding quality issues
  • Rolled out foundation process for QA
  • Enhanced project structure and organization using JIRA
  • Identify team structure needed to support entire agency
  • Defined and enforced development process and standards that QA could operate in
  • Developed a Test Plan template that detailed the test strategy for each project to include test browsers, schedule, entrance/exit criteria and more
  • Organized QA effort between Creative, Client Services and Client
  • Set new guidelines that ensure Creative provides a site review prior to launch
  • Implemented QA verification and validation of ALL feedback outside of QA (Creative, CS, Client)
  • Developed QA methodology and strategy documentation that met the specific needs of the agency and clients
  • Work with Department heads to identify money available for dedicated QA Analysts
  • Defined mobile devices needed to ensure appropriate market support
  • Lobbied for space, mobile devices, and PCs to create formal testing space available to the entire agency
  • Conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis of operational and organizational changes needed; then laid out a growth plan and schedule for those changes
  • Successful, effective launch and implementation of new quality strategy, process and procedures in under 5 months
  • Interest and excitement about QA across the agency
  • Setup QA lab for mobile and cross browser testing (open to agency with checkout process)
  • Developed an adaptable, forward-looking quality strategy that the agency could adhere to in the years to come
Resource Management
Budgeting • Planning • Resroucing • Time Management • Strategy

A new QA group was in place and ready to go. And the work was pouring in. Only problem? The department didn’t have the resources to handle the wave of projects that needed QA assistance. We needed to manage schedules, timeline and employees and we needed an effective, practical way to do it.

  • No prior QA team or process
  • Limited resources and QA budgets, aggressive deadlines and a ton of projects
  • Not all clients had a formal QA strategy mapped out, which resulted in extreme priority changes with no warning
  • Different technical and release strategy across clients
  • Rapid development methodology
  • Statements of work not properly mapped to resource allocations across agency
  • Project teams that were not on-boarded to the QA process yet still required QA on their projects
  • Not all project teams followed included QA, but came in with last minute requests
  • Customized and adapted the quality strategy to the unique needs of each client, documenting adjustments along the way
  • Worked with senior staff and management in developing a strategic plan to ensure resources were available
  • Worked with Executive management team to identify each clients’ QA budget
  • Ensured appropriate QA head count based on client budget allocated to QA
  • Daily QA meetings to address project resource needs and daily changes
  • Set project priority for QA analysts
  • Implemented component level testing methodology to increase time allowed for QA and free up resources during development sprints
  • Define qa strategy and methodology
  • Increased resource availability and growth of the QA group
  • Improved quality of sites delivered to the client prior to launch
  • Achieved effective results with limited resources and budget
Training, Education & Communication
Process • Structure • Definition • Education • Communication

After a company-wide restructure, the agency had a lot of great new talent. The downside was that most new employees were unfamiliar with Moxie processes. Coupled with this, the Technology department had recently changed its process and the QA group was still evolving. Client Service team members were often times confused and unsure as to how to push their projects through.

We needed to communicate the processes and workflow to the entire agency through education and a new project collaboration tool, while resolving conflicts that were arising.

  • Little or no training on new agency project workflow, which was still confusing in its documentation
  • Recent attrition created almost brand new Client services and Project Management teams with little to no knowledge of Tech and QA process
  • Translating technical details to people who do not understand technical concepts
  • Steps were being missed and teams were left out until the very last minute (QA, BA, UX)
  • Dealing with large scale changes in a very short time frame
  • Managing change in a change resistant organization
  • Surveyed the existing processes and structures for communication and operations gaps, then developed effective processes to resolve them
  • Create detailed workflow documents and Technology/QA orientation for new and existing employees (complete with training materials)
  • Clarified roles and responsibility
  • Identified key areas in which technical processes needed to be consistent and aligned with the entire organization
  • Identified root causes of perceived issues across departments and implemented documentation to resolve
  • Diagnosed where process breaks were occurring, with a heavy focus on release management
  • The agency workflow process was clearly defined to all employees
  • Increased control over the technical and quality process
  • More consistent release process
  • Improved communication and project scheduling between client services, creative and the technical groups
  • Increased quality management
Release Organization & Management
Evaluation • Methodology • Organization • Training • Implementation

The technical group had transitioned from Service Desk to JIRA as a ticketing system and was still dealing with major workflow issues. Client services and project managers were using the tool in many different ways. It was a recipe for confusion, as the development group transitioned between client and project groups. Consistency and collaboration were desperately needed.

  • Different project organization and process across all clients
  • No formal training on new collaboration tool provided to client teams
  • Workflow to move releases from stage through production was disconnected and inconsistent for developers
  • Projects releasing with errors because projects tickets were not organized
  • Implemented release management escalation practices
  • Evaluated the existing collaboration system and identified gaps
  • Established workflow process in JIRA and documentation for each client's release
  • Implemented required QA checkpoints at each environment release
  • Implemented Quality Assurance checkpoints for each environment release
  • Defined a project organization structure and process that could be used with any collaboration tool
  • Created a ticket grouping methodology to improve release management and assist in QA efforts
  • Completed a full project organization and release management evaluation to find all strengths and weaknesses
  • Release management was more organized
  • New ticket grouping and organization ensured that tickets were not missed in the release
  • Helped to eliminate the dependency on developers to identify tickets for release
  • Defined project organization structure that can be built upon and used as the agency continues to grow
  • Allowed projects to move through the deployment phase of the SDLC more smoothly
  • Empowered the Client Services team by providing them a better understanding of how to effectively release sites
Project Management
Organization • Timeline Management • Strategy • Leadership

The agency had contracted with a local Atlanta developer to work remotely and build a time-off management solution. This system would integrate with the agency portal and internal HR systems such as Prism. As Director of QA, I was called in to do a quality and risk assessment of the project.

  • No formal functional requirements, Project Manager or timeline
  • 70% of development was completed without any formal requirements, wireframes or comps
  • Developer left to "interpret" communication as needed, which caused friction between the contractor and agency
  • Dealing with differing agendas, personalities and value systems
  • Ensuring recommendations were objective, practical and actionable
  • Needed to launch something within a month of coming onto project and also show immediate and significant results to executives
  • Assessed the project and identified next steps toward complete
  • Stepped in as the liaison between the agency and contract developer
  • Reviewed code internally with agency Sr. Developers, then worked with contract developer to define recommendations on what code could be best leveraged as a strong basis for getting the project back on track
  • Provided a timely solution for the most pressing problems while developing a plan to complete the project as originally intended
  • Created a revised timeline and development plan to resolve high risk issues
  • Took on responsibilities of UX, BA, PM, Technical Lead etc to assess and complete project
  • Acted as an effective "sounding board" for executive management, while taking back only the actionable items and filtering negative sentiment for both internal team and contract developer
  • Used excellent communication skills to convey project status to an executive management team that had lost patience with the task at hand
  • Was able to help executive management team understand the communication gaps that was resulting in a strenuous relationship with the developer
  • Brought forth three quality solutions that executive management could choose from to complete the project
  • Created detailed workflow documents to build the solution - broken down using a phased approach
  • Offered solutions that would get a system up and running by the original timeline with growth potential post launch