Stop29119 – the ongoing campaign

This page provides links to articles I’ve written as part of the on-going campaign against ISO 29119 after the initial flurry following the CAST 2014 conference in New York.

The first is about the stance of the audit profession towards testing standards. It followed a question at the Scottish Testing Group in Edinburgh. “What does the audit profession have to say about testing standards?”.

The second article “Why do we think we’re different”, was expanded from part of a talk I gave at Starwest 2014 in Los Angeles in October, and which I will be doing at Eurostar 2014 in Dublin at the end of November. I talk about why prescriptive processes and standards can be dangerous and counter-productive in software development and testing. They lead to goal displacement, and also promote “functional stupidity”. The underlying argument is that they don’t fit the way that people think and work in organisations.

The third article followed on directly from the second. JCD provided an interesting comment with a couple of points that deserved a considered reply, which I provided in “Too smart for checklists, and a consultants’ war?”.

In March 2015 I wrote this article “Standards – a charming illusion of action”, prompted by a question expressing doubt that standards would be used if they were ineffective. I argued that organisations are capable of adopting and persisting with processes and ways of working regardless of whether they actually work. The phrase “a charming illusion of action” comes from the British politician Rory Stewart talking about the UN’s efforts at rebuilding Afghanistan.


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