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How Quality Engineering can aid in Digital Transformation?

Jasmine Chokshi
February 27, 2020

It is no news that Quality Assurance (QA) is no longer enough. You need Quality Engineering (QE) for Digital Transformation to get wings. As companies across every sector are fast adopting digital to improve efficiency and customer experience, the testing function has the responsibility of ensuring success in this highly competitive landscape.

This is because more customers interact with companies digitally now. This has led organizations to build a complete digital transformation to meet the changing demands and expectations. This was one of the key findings of the 10th World Quality Report where IT professionals rank customer experience as the number one priority for quality assurance and engineering activities.

In this report, the summary scores measured the importance of QA/testing tasks from senior IT and leadership professionals across 32 countries and “ensuring end-user satisfaction” was the most important priority. With a mean summary score of 5.85 out of a total 7, it meant that maintaining customer satisfaction is a high priority for most leaders.

But what does high customer satisfaction mean in terms of the quality of releases? Customers want high-functioning apps, rolled out quickly and available on an increasing number of platforms and versions.

Does the answer lie in testing apps on a permutation and combination of operating systems, devices and platforms? That is certainly bot the most efficient way to ensure optimum functionality. Instead, organizations have fast begun adopting the QE principles to focus on developing quality through the lifecycle.

But how does QE differ from the convention?

In previous iterations of QE, the focus on quality of the product was after the fact. During the design, prototype and build stages, quality is ignored or not focused on.

By baking-in QE into all stages of the development, testing is not the only time when the changes are made to a product.

For organizations streamlining their digital journey, making QE integral to all stages of development ensures a consistently functional product.

Here are some tips to embed Continuous Quality Engineering through your business transformations:

1. Integrate more often

And by integration we don’t just mean Continuous Integration and Delivery. Make room for collaboration. The earlier QA gets involved in the requirement gathering and development tasks, the more your chances of releasing a quality product on time with confidence.

2. Automate wisely

Automation seems to be the silver bullet when it comes to organizations and DevOps. However, choose what you automate wisely. The ideal candidates for automation include repetitive tests that are useful across multiple builds, tests that are highly susceptible for manual errors, tests that need multiple data sets, frequently used functionality that can introduce high risk conditions and tests that are impossible to perform manually etc.

But also pay attention to manual testing and practices such as exploratory testing that help weed out some of the edge cases that result in massive product failures.

Selecting the right test automation tool is equally important to ease this journey.

3. Find the performance metrics that are best aligned to customer experience

Each business has a unique vision and metrics to measure customer experience. After understanding a company’s unique digital transformation objectives, QE teams should run a variety of tests. These include security, functional, accessibility, functional and non-functional tests. These tests will comprehensively provide accurate information about how changes in business goals correlate with CX.

So, as an activity QE teams should develop metrics that measure customer experience in comparison to similar apps on the market. Such metrics can help monitor CX on a company’s digital environment while also being in touch with customer expectations and app development trends of the industry.

4. Testing through the development pipeline

With QE, all stages of development and deployment should be broken into their components. This is especially necessary so that testing can take place at various development milestones where problems are likely to arise. From here, development teams can identify how and where to remedy issues before they continue building.

5. Building automation techniques in communication with the other teams

QE teams must be able to collaborate with dev teams to write appropriate code that integrates with frameworks, development tools and technologies. The code must also be able to scale QE across different environments.

One example of this is an eCommerce company that experiences high load during holidays and Black Friday sales. If this business integrates performance testing frameworks into CI on client infrastructure, it enables running of load tests independently from performance services provider.

The optimization significantly helps the performance of the platform and improve performance to ensure zero-downtime even during peak load times.

6. Make plans for code revision and incident reporting

QE teams should have full control of the code. This means the ability to understand the code and make suggestions or rewrite the code when needed. However, this doesn’t mean the QE team is solely responsible for correcting every issue found. Instead, they should focus on writing incident reports that allow dev teams with the requisite information remedy the problems.

Ultimately, QE’s focus on end-to-end testing helps products to be developed and tested in parallel. This approach builds on the DevOps’s practice of (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). The successful implementation of QE can also be the factor DevOps and Agile success.

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