The goal of Continuous Testing is to “Shift Left” instead to put the load and risk into production. It is wiser to engage testing on day one and find defects earlier in the software life cycle, enabling the release of higher quality tested and scalable software at a quicker pace. These are mostly defined in your Continuous Testing Framework.
Without compromising quality, Continuous Testing plays an important role in the Continuous Delivery ecosystem by helping take an idea from design to production at a faster speed. Every company is aspiring for greater speed to market, reduced risk, and lower costs for new digital solutions, modernize and update their core applications, and shift to a cloud-centric IT strategy. Each of these activities will require adjustments to the testing approach.
While the World Quality Report for 2020-21 shares several important in software quality assurance (QA) insights three out of those catches our attention which has increased importance in 2022 and will further gain in 2023 up to 2025
Below is the most probable journey broken into eight steps that can help transform an organization into a modern organization.
Steps to Design Continuous Testing Framework
Step 1: Establishing a Testing Strategy Framework & Baseline
Your vision of what future pipeline of upcoming applications will guide you through the process of modernizing your testing organization. This will match your application plan vision. That’s why it’s essential to get it right. To that end:
- Envision the plan over short term and long term. Approach the process of writing a vision as a chance to create your ideal world for QA and testing. Aim high and in case of probability you will be in a much better place, if you have constraints of manpower or budget.
- Short, Crisp, and Clear. Communicating your vision to your audience needs to capture attention, inspire action, and is short enough for others to remember so that they can communicate further.
- Engage stakeholders. No stakeholders should feel left out of the process of writing your short term and long-term plans. This will make the journey smooth when key interdepartmental stakeholders are required to sign off.
Step 2: Define The Strategy
|Identify the Right People||Define the Test Strategy||Choose the Operating Model||Calculate the Business Case|
|People are the key to the process transformation. Before you begin, take the time to identify your most important players.
Map out career paths for identified people and plan how you’ll train and educate them on how to carry out your plan.
|Identify the right continuous testing processes. If you’re going with an agile approach, you’ll need to align your agile testing cycle with the development methodologies – SAFe, LeSS, Spotify, or Scrum.
Define testing responsibilities so that there’s no uncertainty about responsibilities of Developers vs other team members.
Test strategy should also be matched with the right tools for every possible situation. Based on how well they support your most critical capabilities, match to the needs and skills of your technical roles, and ease of integration and use.
|Consider how your testing organization will actually run.||Test strategy must have a ROI calculation. The most obvious areas of potential benefit are the increased speed to market, reduced risk, and greater cost efficiency that a modernized testing organization can drive.
The numbers you generate here can be crucial for helping you communicate the importance of investing in testing.
Step 3: Assemble a Team of Motivated Individuals
Here is where you begin to line up your team of people who not only have the talent to help you, but also the motivation and enthusiasm to get started right now. Follow these steps:
Step 4: Establish the Testing Infrastructure
The teams will not take action and set up the processes and tools that will form the foundation of the end enterprise testing program.
|Set up the testing infrastructure||Sustainability with documented service catalog||Document and exchange best practices|
|Activate automation, virtualization, testing, and test data management tools. Automate all repetitive tasks.
Integrate these tools into your current development and deployment pipeline.
|A catalog around your activities will help make a testing program sustainable
Documents all tasks so that they can become standard services that are available to any department.
|Your continuous testing framework won’t be robust unless you set up a culture of learning around it. Share your learnings with other teams across your organization. Propagate your success stories. A good way to do this is by establishing communities of practice.|
Step 5: Empower Teams to Be Self-Governed to Excellence (Scale)
Here the testing team learning curve is evolved and the team focus is delivering excellence. While all upcoming pilot Testing projects can learn rapidly from this team delivering success from accelerated change management. Here are few actions one can take:
|Onboard new teams / New Project / New Applications||Established guidelines and tools will be shared with all existing and upcoming testing projects/teams. Potential ROI impact, and value will help determine why and how the new teams are brought onboard. Same mindset is applied for new applications that are required. e.g CRM solution and lack expertise in the department that’s implementing it, you could assign to new members|
|Enable teams||Leverage existing tools properly, work within the delivery pipeline, and interpret the vast amounts of data they’ll encounter during testing.|
|Streamline quality||Whether inhouse or outsourced to a specialist partner all teams must implement the organizational testing strategy correctly. This step includes making sure your testing strategy is integrated into your organization.|
You’ll know your testing program is maintaining an appropriate level of quality as it scales when you see greater risk coverage, lower maintenance, faster implementation, higher productivity and higher automation rates.
Step 6: Deliver Meaningful Insights / Performance Metrics
Without measuring performance and using insights, the testing program can’t be on track unless and until your decisions go haywire as you seek to enhance it. Assess the business risk of product defects and the impact of the testing strategy
Step 7: Improve Performance and Productivity with Automation
A testing organization that continues to innovate is a testing organization that will continue to improve. Every organization should integrate innovation into its lifecycle. There are three ways to do this:
Develop an automation strategy
Repetitive testing practices should be Automation. It helps eliminate delays and accelerates innovation. Team members become free and they are involved in spending more time adding value. Create a culture of adding value, and share ideas. There’s no such thing as a bad idea brought to the table
Assess and improve
It’s essential for the organization to understand that pursuing technical excellence isn’t just about teaching and enforcing standards—it’s also about listening and iterating. Teams across the organization have valuable perspectives on the software delivery pipeline. These perspectives can benefit everyone in the organization—from business users to developers and testers! The best way to gather these insights is in regularly scheduled sessions organized by the EE team. EE teams should use these insights to inspire their continuous innovation.
Above sound challenging?
In case you do not have the time, bandwidth and Resources to achieve On-time defect-free Testing excellence in service delivery, availability of automation expertise in niche technologies and lastly timely availability of skilled resources. Think again!
Engage with our experts to help you achieve just this.