Is your QA strategy like Atlanta Traffic?
Slow and Frustrating
Driving in Atlanta (9th worst traffic in the USA) from either home to work or going on vacation is just like a chess game. There are plenty of variables and decisions to be made. Such as – What time do I leave? Will there be traffic? Which route should I take? What happens if there is an accident or weather delay? All typical daily events that happen to us all.
It’s no different in delivering a new software application for your company. The evolution of software development has been tremendous in the last 5 years due to the proliferation of mobile applications and rapid development tools. In the past software developers would build their applications and send the code to QA for testing. This usually took a long time, not due to poor QA but more on the lack of tools and integration. Today software developers are faced with testing their mobile applications on the two dominant platforms from Apple and Android. So, the challenge becomes how do I test this application for all the variables without spending numerous hours manually testing every option or can I automate the standard features?
The ability to get instant feedback to your team is very similar to how navigating the roads of Atlanta has changed. The old process was drive, look ahead and jump off the next exit if you saw a stream of red brake lights. Then came Google maps and the red and yellow lines highlighting speed and accidents. Now you have WAZE an interactive real-time application that provides excellent guidance on how to avoid traffic jams. Do you have a WAZE to build your QA strategy and process to deliver zero critical defects for your next application release? IT must deliver new applications quickly and error free.
The concept of continuous delivery and testing is here to stay to enable rapid deployments.
Over 77% of software developers say they are striving to incorporate continuous delivery to save time and drive efficiency. However, many teams are trying to implement continuous delivery too quickly. Becoming more continuous is a gradual process. As paper maps to the digital WAZE there are some key strategic decisions you need to make to achieve effective continuous delivery.
Your first step: What’s your goal for Continuous Delivery (CD)?
The first step in creating a strategy for CD is to identify and communicate a goal to your team. Some goals of CD are obvious (reduce the risk of shipping broken code, shorten production cycles, etc.), but what do you want your specific project/team to achieve? Do you want to make the best use of your small team’s time, increase flexibility in delivering features? Recently we worked with an e-commerce team who wanted to shorten the feedback loop so they could deliver features to their customers faster. Once we understood their goal we helped them build a SMARTER™ continuous delivery pipeline by choosing the right tools and automation testing platforms to begin the process. Here is a flowchart on how to build CD decision process.
Second Step: Track your metrics
Once you have your CD goal and custom pipeline you need to track your results. Do you know your daily execution rates? Do you have full requirements coverage? Have you increased the number of deployments, decreased the number of critical defects, and are your KPI’s trending the right way? With a SMARTER strategy in place, the e-commerce team went from one deployment to eight deployments per day and they’ve had no rollbacks.
There is nothing more frustrating than taking the wrong exit off the highway and then having to retrace your route back to the highway because everyone else took the same exit. By developing a clear plan and objectives using a defined QA framework (SMARTER™) will help you avoid mistakes that many organizations make when under pressure to deliver on-time no matter the plan. Just like driving in Atlanta, having the right tools and strategy will help you avoid those long traffic jams. You may not avoid all accidents but at least you are prepared and have alternative plans.
Getting real-time feedback from your customers just like WAZE will help you improve and deliver Zero Critical Defects, so start today and upgrade your strategy.
See you on the autobahn of Atlanta or maybe not! I know my WAZE.
About the Author
Kelly Kierans has provided sales and marketing leadership to national companies for more than 12 years. Kelly currently serves as President of Celtic Testing Experts and is responsible for driving marketing initiatives, company culture, CTE’s aggressive business development, and operations expansions. CTE has provided software Quality Assurance (QA), thought leadership and software testing to a wide portfolio of global clients.