We often talk, within the world of system development, about the “prioritization triangle” where the work to be done should be prioritized in respect to the three aspects time, quality and cost. If ambition is changed within one of these areas it will have an impact on the other two. I buy in to this way of reasoning. It’s a relevant and useful tool in situations where a stakeholder is demanding that all areas should receive the highest level of priority and you need to explain that there are consequences in the choices made.
Even so I state that we, as testers, always need to be the champions of quality regardless of the prerequisites and priorities present. We should always see it as our task to hold the flag of quality high. We should keep a firm grip and never let go of it even if the winds of Time and Cost is blowing hard.
Wait a minute, I don’t mean we should be part of the problem but rather, of course, a part of the solution with focus on the best possible delivery.
We shall respect the outlines given by project manager, steering committee and others but we must always see to it that all players understand the consequences to quality if changes in priority are made.
It’s possible that you are the only person in the group that actually has quality in focus and that has a vision of what could be the effects of a proposed change in priority. Even if the other members of the group and the stakeholders around the project wants the quality to be top notch and agrees with you that quality work is important, they often have other priorities that are attached to their specific role.
The quality flag is yours, don’t be afraid to ask for help to carry it but never let it go!