Our article last week (Bridging the Gap) talked about the results of a recent nationwide survey of QA and Test professionals – where they applied to future trends such as BI, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (to name a few) – and the barriers to making a success of them in large, complex organisations.
It struck us that while most respondents thought they would have a major impact – many felt that there were significant cultural and technological challenges to overcome such as:
· The constraints of legacy systems
· Spiralling implementation costs
· Access to skilled resources
· Lack of understanding of key benefits
In our view, many of these next-generation technologies rest heavily on software that works precisely as intended, first-time-around.
Getting detailed requirements and developing the software correct is key – but it’s important to see quality assurance and testing professionals as also part of the story as they can act as the final arbiters of an applications ‘readiness’ for release to end-users and customers alike.
In many cases however, despite its importance, testing is seen as a tactical activity – rather than a strategic imperative - and this needs to change to increase the chances of software delivery success.
It highlighted that far too few test professionals are involved;
· At the ideas stage – where the importance of quality can be best understood
· At project initiation stage – where approaches to testing and QA can be embedded into the development process
Instead they are currently engaged;
· Once development has finished – and when quality issues are hard to remedy and rework becomes a reality
· Once development is underway – limiting the ability for QA and test professionals to add value
At ROQ we advocate a shift-left approach, which leans on Agile and DevOps best practices, to ensure testing is engaged as early as possible, that an automation-first mindset is adopted and that all involved work in a collaborative way to support continuous build and deployment of code.
We have experienced, first hand, how these methods can increase speed to market, reduce wasted time and resources and amplify the quality of software applications.
Next week we’ll look at the potential that this change in approach could unlock in your businesses to help you become advocates for the necessary change.
This advocacy is just one aspect of what might be required of the testing function in the future and we’ll share more detail in our ‘Bridging the Gap’ webinar which will take place on Wednesday 6th December at 12.30pm - something we hope will be useful to those who take part.