Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Are we focused enough? Learn using Google Earth!

I was recently chatting with my colleagues on the topic of focus. The question was “Are we focused enough in our business?” The answers I received were surprisingly wide-spectrum. I assumed that the question was well understood and there was no scope of confusion in the question. That set me thinking. I thought we were sharply focused on what we do. I believed this was largely true. So why did this variation occur?

My analysis goes like this…

Here is the picture of Bangalore as seen from an eye altitude of 40000 feet above the earth (Courtesy Google Earth).

What I see is a bunch of buildings and some lakes (green colored water bodies).

Let us go to a lower level – eye altitude of 4000 feet. Here is what we see:

Lo behold - I see the indoor stadium and the nearby velodrome! I see that there is a lot more greenery near the stadium. But wait a minute – This is just part of Bangalore, not the whole. Sure enough, the eye can see only this much at this level!

So what do we learn from this little Google Earth experiment?

1. What we see depends on the ‘eye altitude’

2. How much expanse we see depends on ‘eye altitude’

3. What degree of detail we see depends on the ‘eye altitude’

4. The inference that we make depends on the clarity of data and this depends on ‘eye altitude’

See the correlation now…My analysis of “Focus i.e. what we see” was from a certain ‘eye altitude’ (40000 feet), whereas my colleagues looked at the same from a different ‘eye altitude’ (4000 feet). I saw the whole picture (Bangalore), understood the overall picture and then came down in my ‘eye altitude’ for specific businesses, while my colleagues saw just the stadium and possibly missed the rest and then construed that I was not focused enough!

Focus according me is setting the context to the right ‘eye altitude’, setting the size of the canvas and then capturing the image. If what we do fits in this canvas then we are focused enough, else we are probably digressing.

I am a software test professional and to me FOCUS is very important. Within the given limited time I need to check the software and release it if it meets release criteria. Although I would like to test the software thoroughly, it is a daunting task. Hence I need to focus on what is most important to customer, what features are most used.

FOCUS buddy....

I would like to hear your comments.

Have a great day!

T Ashok

1 comment:

Jyoti said...

Hello Sir

This is a very nice write up on focus. I like the way in which you relate all the real world examples to the software world. Simply nice!
On reading this i am feeling how do focus when we are only dealing with the regression arena. Generally in such cases we end up running the whole suite of regression tests (2K odd tests) each time the build is deployed. And the bad news is that we have biweekly builds. This leaves us with no time at all for anything else other than regression.
Would like to hear from you on this.