11.3. Process Maturity
With all these different variations of life cycles, schedule and budgetary considerations, and other context issues affecting testing, surely every project is a unique beast, huh? Well, every project is a new thing in the sense that it's an endeavor to fill a heretofore unfilled need with a product or service. But, as King Solomon is said to have written, "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun." While Ecclesiastes is often seen as a disheartening poem, perhaps this is good news to us? Since the days of the great Egyptian Pyramids and even before, people have been working together to accomplish spectacular things, to implement useful tools, to make life better for each other. Perhaps there are lessons we can learn from the past, and from each other?
11.3.1. "But We're Different...": The Commonality of Solutions
In the opening sentence of his novel Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy observed that "all happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." In commenting on this passage, the historian Paul Johnson disputes Tolstoy by claiming that, in reality, the sources of unhappiness in families—alcoholism, infidelity, violence, poverty—are tiresome and common and lead to tiresome, common, and sad results. This might be a blessing in disguise, however, because the commonality of the afflictions allows common approaches to alleviating dysfunction, such as the 12-step ...