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This is episode #31 of Custom Made and this week I am talking with Daniel Slatton and Andrew Turner from Dialexa.

Daniel is a Manager in Dialexa’s Quality Engineering practice where he guides teams on how to identify, assess, and resolve issues with regular retrospection.

Daniel lives and breathes Collaborative Quality and thorough Story Kickoffs and Reviews, Daniel encourages product teams to self-organize and produce lean, living documentation. Daniel promotes Agile and quality best practices to maximize sustainable delivery through the creation of project specific Quality Agreements.

Joining Daniel is Andrew, a Principal in Dialexa’s Software Engineering practice. Andrew has previously been a guest on Custom Made, where he was discussing Site Reliability Engineering in episode #10. With extensive experience in all aspects of software development, Andrew provides end-to-end technical leadership on projects while assisting Dialexa’s executive team in scaling engineering processes and practices.

We start this week's episode by addressing some of the misconceptions product teams have with regards to integrating Quality methodologies, and Quality teams, into their product development process. For example, clearing up the notion that Quality is not a specific phase of a project, or a series of tests that are run to check the final product that has been built.

Which, if you did think of Quality that way, would mean you might not find out if your product met the user’s needs and necessary quality standards until you were too far down the product development process.

During our discussion Daniel references a great quote from Kenny Cruden - and I’m paraphrasing:

Quality Assurance is - Are we building the right product? And if so are we building it correctly?

With that in mind, there needs to be a shift in mindset to a more progressive approach to quality, causing many product teams to rethinking the role of quality in their product development process.

For example, how do you integrate “Collaborative Quality” into your product development efforts so that you are a Quality coach across the different disciplines that are involved, rather than a Quality referee. There is a big human aspect in Collaborative Quality in how we communicate with each other across disciplines, facilitate conversations, and validate whether assumptions are correct.

Finally we end our discussion with advice for technology leaders on how to foster an environment for quality within their organization, what signs to look for to understand if they are building quality products without having to wait until it is almost finished, and what they should be asking of their teams and technology firms to ensure that a modern approach to Quality is being adopted for their projects.

You can catch Daniel and Andrew's full Custom Made episode here or via the podcast links below:

You can get all episodes of Custom Made on these platforms and many more. Do subscribe on your favorite platform to catch each episode as it is released, and let me know any feedback, questions, and recommendations on twitter @dougplatts.

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I hope you enjoy this episode!

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