Rapid action team – building a team from scratch

Customer is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Their products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment.

The principal in US wanted to explore the possibility of moving core product development to their captive center in India with business case analyzed and approved. The challenge however was that they were unsure on the time required to build the engineers with domain knowledge and relevant experience. The impact of such delay on road map and associated planned revenue was identified as major risk. Could STAG mitigate this risk? Read more.

One Manager responsible for development was relocated to India and given this responsibility to build the initial team and show success. Offer for full time senior person to manage QA was made and they were waiting for him to join. With the market going through some turbulence, getting a person full-time on board to take over QA responsibility was also taking its own time.

The management was aware STAG took up a challenge in the past to arrest their defect escape. So they threw in the new one – to build an effective QA team with the following goals:

  • Build initial set of QA team in 3 different sub-groups
  • Complete knowledge transfer or ramp-up time will go as per business plan
  • Build complete test lab on-time
  • Commit deliverables and adhere to the plan
  • Show the improvement in productivity and quality over time
  • Transition core team to be part of customer organization if all set goals are met and partner with them to build temp staff required to achieve the new set of goals for product road map

We identified a large team – some with knowledge in HyBIST & STEM™ but new to domain, AND the rest with experienced in testing from the same industry. Both were then given a clear definition of quarterly goals under focus and STAG way of tracking and ensuring that how we measure customer expectation. Entire team worked closely with QA Manager to setup complete lab and commit release dates for some customer key releases and delivered on-time with acceptable quality defined.

Having the complete lab and no constraints to skip any type of tests, team started enhancing their scope, improving test assets thereby increasing stake holder’s confidence further. Certain area for automation identified and new members were added to support this initiative. With multiple releases experience team understood the dependencies and started defining right scope regression and release cycle time reduced wherever business situation demanded.

Typical success factors like good planning, effective tracking, timely release with good quality, team flexibility and attitude towards business impact was seen in every subsequent release. Both Development and QA got the required approval to take the core team on board and define the temp staff requirement and duration to manage the rest of the releases in road map. Journey continuing with STAG being a QA partner, some members smoothly transitioned to customer organization as core team and additional extended team requirement is still supported by STAG.

  1. What was thought as tough constrains to meet and build the team on-time was achieved with our approach which had high impact on revenue plans defined for that product line
  2. Full-time core team formation and extended team as contractors working fine
  3. Smooth transition ownership of a product line was achieved as per plan

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