RE: More genteel than "Sanity Checked"

Subject: RE: More genteel than "Sanity Checked"
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "'quills -at- airmail -dot- net'" <quills -at- airmail -dot- net>, Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 10:48:00 -0400

I just saw this post when going back through my inbox, and it requires a
response. I gave it a lengthy cooling-off period, and (with the exception
of one word - which you may consider to be roared at you) this is my calm
voice speaking.

I take exception to your characterizing me or my company as having messed up
and then tried to hide anything.

In fact, I said the OPPOSITE. I said I was looking for a _word_ or a small
phrase to tuck into a table (where space is tight) to make the situation

The whole point (as I said) was to get a word or phrase that most customers
could be expected to recognize, so that I would not have to get into any
long-winded explanation in a document that is supposed to be short and

Taking that and twisting it to suggest that I was trying to find words to
HIDE a situation or defect is a tactic that I would not even expect from our
most intense competitor. They, at least, have had that sort of thing beaten
out of them in the marketplace.

Meanwhile, as to the actual situation, support was requested late in the
game by a customer, which would have screwed up delivery for other customers
if we'd reset our testing schedule to include the request in the full suite.
Since _some_ testing was done - enough to satisfy the customer that made the
_late_ request - it was decided that the particular platform support should
be offered to all, but with a proviso.[*] In-house, we called it Sanity
Check, but (as I said) certain influential persons from a different culture
had objected to that term. Thus I went looking for a more acceptable term. I
got lots of them, but no consensus... so it turns out that I had to asterisk
the item in the table and add a note anyway.

[* By the way, this practice is commonplace in many industries, and is
perfectly acceptable to many customer companies that want to head-start
testing/integration of their own, in order to advance their own future
roll-out plans. They want a preliminary indication of support from the
vendor, just so they can get started on their own lengthy development
activities using the vendor's product. Either they expect to be doing enough
of their own qualification to feel assured, or they expect to be still
integrating and developing around the time that the vendor's next release
(with fully integrated testing of the desired _thingie_) is coming out. But
they accept a less-than-perfect, less-than-complete test regime, in the
interim, for the configuration that interests them, in the interest of
getting under way. When it's a new platform being introduced, the reason
for incomplete testing might be as simple as that there has not been time to
include it in the test automation, so somebody performs selected tests "by
hand". As it happens, this incident went in the other direction and revived
a platform we were nominally dropping - but the principle is the same.]

Now, as to your wanting readers of this forum to think the worse of me and
my employer: Why?
If you even had doubts, why not clarify privately before going public with a
pseudo-morally-superior smear?

"Why not be honest and clear..." Indeed.

Kevin (me, irate? hell no...)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: quills -at- airmail -dot- net [mailto:quills -at- airmail -dot- net]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 15:37
> To: Kevin McLauchlan; 'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'
> Subject: Re: More genteel than "Sanity Checked"
> At 11:52 AM -0400 5/30/07, Kevin McLauchlan wrote:
> >Anybody got any suggestions for a more politically-correct phrase than
> >"Sanity checked" or "Sanity tested"?
> >
> >
> >
> >It might be for, say, a late addition to the offering that is quickly
> tested
> >for basic/common functionality, but not subjected to the full, rigorous,
> >multi-day suite of automated testing and stress-tests.
> >
> >
> >Kevin
> >
> Sorry, but what you are asking for is not Sanity Check.
> What you are asking for is a politic way of saying your company
> screwed up a bit and this is a solution to it.
> Why not be honest and clear? In the situation you cite, saying that
> it is being tested and this is offered in the interim because you
> recognize the importance of the feature for your customers is a good
> way of apologizing for your inattention to detail, and planning
> mistakes, but shows your good-faith and demonstrates you are taking
> care of your customers.
> Trying to not say what is going to be recognized by your customers
> for what it is, will only alienate them and cause them to mistrust
> you.
> Scott

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