The check sheet is, by far, the easiest report to produce. The only thing required is an Excel-type application for columns and rows. The header should be a fact for the dimension you are tracking. This fact is usually something like a day of the week, week of the month or another time-based milestone, but it doesn’t have to be. The row dimensions are the defect types you are tracking. So, as an example, let’s say we are tracking defects on a web application that’s under development.
The defects we are tracking may be something like this:
- Misspelled Words
- Wrong Colors
- Page Not Found’s (404)
- Application Errors (500)
Now, obviously, you could add to this list and, perhaps, even break this list down to be a little more specific. But, for our example, this list is sufficient. Our reporting facts will be the day of the week.
Based on this, our check sheet report may look something like this:
(click on image to enlarge)
Next, by examining the facts (i.e. the header columns), we see which days are more prone to defects. In this case, we see that Wednesday has the highest number of defects, followed by Monday, then Tuesday. This leads us to ask the question, why does Wednesday have so many defects as compared to Thursday or Friday? If, like many companies, we have deployments into QA once a week, say Monday or Wednesday, this may make sense. If we are engaged in continual integration, there may be other issues contributing to the high defect rates. Again, it may be a great time to have a conversation.
Finally, from a team management perspective, this chart helps us determine human resource requirements and allocation. From the report, we may determine that the development team might benefit from a more senior front-end developer and an experienced copywriter. By investing in specific human resources, we can minimize initial defects in our application, thus reducing code churn, delivering the product sooner and, possibly, even increasing sales.
- Ishikawa (“fishbone”) Diagram
- Check Sheet
- Stratification (alternatively, flowchart or run chart)
- Control Chart
- Pareto Chart
- Scatter Diagram