From time to time, I do the Airplane test.
It’s not a difficult one, there is no written exam, and the results are rarely ever shared with anyone.
If anything, it is a level-set on where I am and what needs to be done.
The Airplane Test
Step 1: Take every person in your team/organization that you work with.
Step 2: Thing of how you would do in building a plane.
What kind of plane would you build? Would it be technically sound, would it fly at sub-sonic speeds, would it have landing gear on it.
The easy part is to say it would be perfect because we are great, the hard part is to look at your team, decisions you’ve made in the past year and think of what it would really look like when delivered.
Do you skimp on documentation? Well, I guess no manuals for the pilots.
Are requirements not a focus? Well, okay.
Do we leave the UI bugs for the end? Okay, it’s solid but not a thing of beauty.
It’s not about laying blame and getting mad, it’s about seeing where you are and what direction you want to go in next. We all want that beautiful airliner that streams majestically through the sky without a sound or bump in the road.
But to get there we need to know where to start.