The pressure is on for digital initiatives to deliver more within shorter cycles. Software pros need a helping hand with today’s unprecedented challenge of creating awesome customer experiences faster, while managing spiraling complexity. That’s where Quality Engineering (QE) can help. QE is a new approach to quality control where the emphasis is on improving the SDLC process to lead to a better product. Here’s how QE will accelerate your software development.
1. It’s not either/or; you need quality and speed: In a QE environment, continuous development and integration are key and will provide the backbone to your initiative. More frequent integrations throughout the process enable organizations to release more often and more confidently, secure in the knowledge that defects are being reviewed and fixed continuously.
2. Tear down barriers between Dev and Ops: Smaller teams comprised of cross-functional members can feel unusual, even unnatural at first. Just wait. Implementing a DevOps culture takes time. Team members need to get used to understanding the product’s requirements from a different perspective. Once the collaborative process is underway, however, team members quickly find a common language and develop a set of goals that serve the needs of all the business stakeholders. Shared goals lead to faster development.
3. QE reduces assumptions throughout the SDLC: QE improves clarity in other ways as well. Continuous improvement reduces the implicit assumptions that developers need to make, since their work is integrated continuously into the actual application, which reduces the amount of backtracking required later.
4. Bake-in security features: “DevSecOps” is how people sometimes refer to an approach in which you involve security at every stage of the SDLC. Bringing in security at the development stages makes all kinds of sense, but there are many other checks and balances that will help strengthen your digital initiatives and speed up its time to market.
5. Quick fixes: In QE, the aim is to improve the process so as to improve quality while speeding up product releases. As soon as code is checked from a developer’s separate pipeline, a unit test is run over that code. If there is a problem in the code, it gets reported and fixed immediately, before the code gets merged into the main pipeline. The probability of defects occurring at a later stage is therefore reduced, saving a great deal of time and headaches in the long run.
6. Accelerate integration testing: Improving customer experience (CX) means embracing digital, social, cloud and IoT. Application architecture becomes dizzyingly complex, as does the challenge of ensuring full interoperability between the different systems. It’s time to look at more efficient processes for integration testing. The QE model really helps deliver better, faster CX.
7. Shorten feedback loops: In the CI/CD process, extracting value from interactions between customers, products and other stakeholders becomes an imperative. Frequent integration shortens the feedback loop, which provides the opportunity for real competitive advantage as organizations release and react faster.
8. Unleash the power of automated testing: Switching to a CI/CD model involves relinquishing some of those old habits, like manual testing. Enterprises are coming around to this viewpoint and there have been real improvements in the levels of automation. But these are often in isolated pockets rather than across the testing cycle. Automated testing boosts the possibilities of all areas of testing: performance, visual, functional, etc. End-to-end automation is key to releasing software faster.
9. Better inputs equal better outputs: “It doesn’t matter how effective a test process is or how much effort you spend on test automation if you don’t feed testing the right data,” according to the Forrester report, Agile Test Data Management: The New Must-Have. Shifting to QE helps address the quality and management of test data and environment provisioning, which in turn accelerates the quality of digital initiatives.
10. Dare to dream: A smooth-running QE process is fundamentally not just about releasing the same product faster. It also increases the scope of what’s possible. That means enterprises can realistically target software advances like integrating voice interfaces, chat bots or developing wearables and IoT initiatives within weeks of a QE transformation.
Tempted? If these issues resonate with your particular digital initiative, but you don’t know where to begin, we can help. We provide the full range of services to accelerate your digital initiative. We offer advisory services to ensure your digital strategy can deliver, while our deep platform and tools expertise will ensure that your QE transformation is tailored to your situation. If you would like to find out more, get in touch.