Building a truly Agile enterprise with QA

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies.

The clarion call to embrace digital transformation is accelerating the pace of software development. Development teams are under pressure to deliver software quickly in response to increasing customer demand. However, going to the market as a first-mover can backfire if your software is not quality-compliant. In a technology-driven world where customer experiences have become the final differentiator in staying competitive, QA is integral to the development pipeline. If your enterprise is not delivering digital experiences of high quality, you risk becoming alienated from the end-users. Further, your market reputation can be damaged and market share lost should your software turn out to be bug-infested. Surprisingly, to beat the competition, enterprises often resort to transforming their software development and delivery processes without prioritizing software quality assurance.

As a result, QA teams are often stuck with ineffective and legacy solutions that are part of the waterfall model. So, as long as enterprises use the waterfall model, their digital transformation journey is bound to remain incomplete. This is due to the fact that in the traditional software development process where software QA testing is done at the end of development and integration, there can be issues galore. The reasons for the issues to remain entrenched in the software are as follows:

  • In the waterfall model of quality assurance and testing, bugs often remain unidentified due to the constraints of manual testing.
  • Since manual testing is taxing for the software quality assurance services, especially concerning repeated regressive testing, testers can falter in testing every piece of code.
  • The scope of testing gets reduced, especially when it comes to testing the code on a slew of platforms, browsers, devices, and networks.
  • In case any bugs are identified, the cost and time required for their removal can be huge. This is because the process would then entail unscrambling the integrated software suite to reach the right bug-infested unit.

To overcome the inadequacies of the waterfall model, enterprises should adopt the agile testing approach. In this, the software development process is shifted left wherein QA is conducted alongside development and not afterward. Let us understand the process better and find out as to what it takes to build a truly agile enterprise with QA.

What is the agile testing approach?

In agile, enterprises aim at becoming robust and flexible to prepare for unexpected events, challenges, or even opportunities. It incorporates policies and procedures that are focused on driving speed and transformation. This way enterprises can achieve continuous delivery of quality software products and services, quickly and consistently.

Any agile testing service has automation at its core. It helps testers by allowing a test automation suite to conduct repetitive tests saving time and cost in the process. Moreover, since the test automation suite can run tests under various test conditions for any number of times, the chances of identifying bugs are significantly high. Besides, running test automation can release manual testers to be deployed for other critical jobs.

How to build a truly agile enterprise

Agile can truly be transformational, provided it follows certain procedures. Let us discuss them in some detail.

Involvement of stakeholders: Since every organization follows a typical ‘work culture,’ which may not be congruent to the agile scheme of things, stakeholders must be taken into confidence. This is important as status quoist working in silos may challenge any change. This can create roadblocks for initiating the change. To overcome such a situation, the management should articulate a clear vision and enable the organization’s culture to be aligned with the vision.

Break the silos: This is a follow-up to the entrenched ‘culture’ where people working in departments or processes (read silos) may not follow a similar process across the organization. The agile process should take explicit steps to get rid of such silos and streamline the overall working environment. This entails better communication that is aligned with the vision of the organization.

Communication at the heart of scrums: In agile methodology, teams are supposed to follow processes that are transparent. To achieve the same, purposeful communication should be established across the scrum-led value chain.

Responding to change: Agile entails quick response to changes instead of following a fixed plan. The changes can come from customers’ feedback, the advent of new technologies, growing competition, or within the organization. So, in a ‘perform or perish’ landscape, agile will allow your enterprise to remain adaptable, sustainable, and result-oriented.

Conclusion

Agile has become a critical requirement for enterprises to remain competitive and cost-effective. It is arguably the way forward to address the changes that are driven by technology and customer preferences. QA has become the ultimate lynchpin upon which enterprises can ride their way to success or oblivion depending on the efficacy of their agile transformation.


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