"Good enough" is not good enough!

This week I came across a discussion [regarding test design] in which a tester wrote, "…the main goal is having something that is 'good enough' ." Every time I hear a tester utter the phrase "good enough" my head wants to explode!

Wrapping duct tape around a splint on the broken handle on my hoe is good enough to finish the job until I can go buy a new handle. While I may sometimes temporarily improvise a "good enough" solution; I am never truly satisfied with good enough, and I personally aspire to be better than good enough. My father always told me if something was worth doing, I should do it right! He also raised me to always put forth my best effort, and constantly strive to improve myself.

I seriously can't think of any professional (in any discipline) who seriously considers good enough to ever really be good enough? The "good enough" argument is the ultimate cop out! In my opinion "good enough" epitomizes an unprofessional, apathetic attitude sanctioning mediocrity.

From a job performance perspective I suspect that if we told our employers that we were going to simply design and execute tests that are "good enough" we probably wouldn't be in a job very long. I certainly would not want people on my team who are satisfied with "good enough;" I want people who want to do their best, and to strive for better!

I spent some time in the US Air Force and we often used the phrase "it's good enough for government work" to describe slop-shoddy work. So, it amazes me that some people seem to be satisfied by consciously condoning ignominious practices. But, I guess some people are taught to expend just enough effort to be good enough!

In my opinion, good enough may be "good enough for government work" or for individuals who don't have a vested interested in helping organizations improve, or who don't really care about improving themselves; but, there is no room for the slovenly "good enough" mentality among professional testers.