Let’s be honest. Calibration isn’t always the most pleasant experience in the QA process. In fact, I’ve found it quite common for people to prepare for calibration sessions like they’re going to battle. Once the session starts they feel like ducking for cover, and they leave the session feeling like they’ve gone 15 rounds with George Foreman! Nevertheless, calibration is necessary – and when it’s done properly, it does produce more consistent and objective QA results. And it doesn’t have to be contentious!
Take one of our clients, for example. When our group began calibrating with their QA team a couple of years ago it was an absolutely brutal experience for various reasons. Their QA scale wasn’t as objective as it could have been, there were far too many people involved, there was a leadership vacuum, and the entire QA process was cobbled together without discipline. It’s taken some time, but the team has slowly applied successful calibration basics.
What have been the results?
Calibration sessions take half the time.
The session is more constructive.
Managers are – well – managing.
In the past year, the average score differential dropped from 11% to 2% (and 11% was an improvement from previous years!)
If you’re going to do QA right – then you’ve got to do calibration right. Be encouraged, and come on out from under the desk. It can be done!