Mayank Sarup, QE Practice Head, Movate
These are testing times for businesses. Today’s customers, employees and partners demand memorable experiences delivered seamlessly across channels and interaction points. With rapidly evolving customer expectations, it becomes critical to ensure the quality of the experience, and as a result the quality assurance function needs to evolve and transform to Quality Engineering (QE).
In this first blog of the two-part series, we look at the need to evolve the traditional QA to QE—from a cost center to a value center—and what it takes to meet the heightened business demands of today’s market under the onslaught of economic headwinds.
Traditional QA Fails to Deliver Quality of Experience at Speed & Scale
Traditional QA fails to meet the demands of today’s market as emerging technologies, paired with the need for evolving existing technology architectures for future readiness, add significant complexity to the testing scope. According to Gartner, cloud, social, and differentiated experience scenarios have considerably raised end-user expectations for application quality and delivery.
“Quality” now entails UX, Quality of Service, Availability, Performance, Security, and more importantly, business impact. Customers demand personalized experiences from brands in real time across channels. Loyalty to the brand is how customers repay the superlative experience. A positive mobile experience raises the odds of getting recommended by a user by 89%, according to Think with Google. New technologies coupled with evolving customer expectations demand consistent UX that stands out.
Traditional QA has not kept pace with the rapid transformation in the market. Here’s why sticking on to the traditional approach fails:
- The dearth of qualified talent with the right mix of skills aligned to business & siloed knowledge with reliance on SME’s. High training costs as finding testing resources with desired technical & domain skills is a challenge.
- Lack of standardized QA process and need for sharing best practices and tools across the board. Inconsistent automation coverage that doesn’t go the whole yard. Decentralized setups that drive high maintenance cost where everybody reinvents the wheel.
- Fragmented governance that works in silos, which is further complicated by various approaches and methods of working. Lack of metrics-based ROI tracking and a single pane of view on quality across projects.
- Lack of focus on adopting emerging tools, technologies, and frameworks to test new technologies.
- QA processes and systems not updated to align with organizational goals—The need to reduce testing time without compromising quality and managing the issues of defect leakage and missed delivery deadlines.
Moving Beyond Traditional QA Focused on Cost of Quality
Gartner states that traditional testing-oriented software quality methods fail to drive innovation swiftly and lack the agility to respond to defects. Enterprises traditionally look at the QA function as a costs center focused on the following areas:
- Optimizing the technical debt from rework on the testing cases.
- Improving automation coverage to bring expected benefits on quality, time & cost.
- Ensuring testing is not an afterthought in the development
- Improving delivery speed and testing is not the blocker.
- Increasing reusability or sharing between teams.
Across the stretch of product development, testing, and deployment cycle, the new age QE charter is imperative for enterprises to embrace the high-cadence demand for quality.
How do you ensure quality while minimizing costs & maximizing delivery speed?
Transforming QA to QE focused on Value of Quality
Now is the time to transform traditional QA from a cost center to a value center focusing on adopting new age methodologies, domain, talent, automation, and innovation. The transformed quality engineering function will deliver value with the following:
- Mature Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs) who engage early in the cycle.
- Automation-first & scaled test execution across SDLC.
- Full stack testing in legacy & cloud environments.
- Focus on CI/CD, Agile & DevSecOps.
- Use domain-aligned expertise.
- Continuous Innovation & Improvement at the core.
The differentiator—Movate’s new age digital QE orchestrates consistent & personalized omnichannel experiences in real-time at speed & scale.
Leaders Struggle to Shift to a Value-focused QE
Let business objectives be the guiding north star. Drive value by aligning QA teams and their goals to business objectives. Besides driving down costs and improving efficiencies, enterprise value entails engagement levels, customer loyalty and advocacy, acquisition, retention, and leading the charge in competitive differentiation. However, enterprise leaders contend with critical challenges that impede the shift to new age QE.
- Deciding on apt technology choices based on the alignment with skills and requirements.
- Driving technology transformations with the right team: diverse skills, processes, and tools.
- Standardizing diverse methods of working and measuring output and success.
- Adopting an objective analytics-based approach to identify the best fit and roadmap for enhancements.
- Performing a holistic assessment and understanding wherein lies the problem and what’s bogging down time to market, efficiency goals—QA, Dev, or the Product?
- Validating traceability between product quality, automation, functional, and Non-Functional test coverage.
- Ascertaining the right automation approaches for “broader automation coverage” vis-à-vis maximizing automation coverage.
- Bolstering capabilities around security, data, and performance early in the cycle.
- Actionizing AI/ML approaches that would be feasible for implementation.
Leaders need to consider a holistic organizational view that factors in every aspect.
The skills & capabilities that cohesively align QA teams to business outcomes are more critical now than ever.
Adopt Movate’s Holistic QE Transformation Approach
A holistic QE approach is the way forward to address pain points such as customer escalations, dwindling CSAT, cratering QA team productivity, minimal automation coverage. The holistic transformation approach is focused on five pillars – People, Processes, Governance, Tools & Innovation. The approach includes 1) Domain SDET driven testing approaches, 2) Scaled automation—Early on and E2E supported by standardized tooling, 3) upgrading processes and skillsets, 4) defining the right success criteria and governance aligned with business needs and 5) continuous assessment and innovation.
Watch out for our next blog (part 2) to learn more about this holistic approach and how to evolve the QA paradigm from a cost center to a value catalyst that drives business outcomes.
With tectonic market shifts underway, you need a partner with relevant capabilities to meet current and future needs.
Mature your quality engineering function to deliver consistent experience and value. Movate’s QE transformation offerings cut horizontally across a host of Digital Engineering Services (DES). Decision makers see Movate as the right value partner to embrace new trends, put QE initiatives on hyperdrive, and deliver consistent experiences that matter.
About the Author
Mayank Sarup, QE Practice Head, Movate