As companies struggle to keep up with today’s increasing pace of digital transformation, Agile and DevOps practices are becoming standard to accelerate software development. With the rising popularity of scaling frameworks (LeSS, SAFe, etc) and enterprise DevOps, iterative development is no longer considered an experimental methodology reserved for use by smaller teams. Agile has achieved maturity and is ready for enterprise use.
As a natural consequence, delivering quality at speed has become more important than ever. But antiquated processes and legacy tools are making the QA & testing function a bottleneck that calls for modernization in several organizations.
Delivering Quality at Speed in an Agile & DevOps era
Market competition and new methodologies are pushing to accelerate product delivery. And as today’s end customers have limited tolerance for product errors or subpar performance, quality is fast becoming a top priority for product developers. All this is unfolding against the backdrop of an Agile/DevOps transformation, forcing the Quality Assurance and testing function to adapt to this changing and accelerating environment.
Companies choose various strategies to cope. The drive towards QA maturity is fueled by the realization that testing can delay innovation, directly affecting business success in a shifting product landscape.
As Capgemini’s World Quality Report 2017-18 finds, the three primary areas that mature Quality Assurance has to focus on are:
- Intelligent test automation and analytics
- Smart test platforms
- Agile organization of the QA and test function
– Capgemini World Quality Report 2017-18
Achieving QA & Test Maturity
As a direct consequence of the DevOps approach, QA needs to become an automated and continuous process. Rather than an isolated phase toward the end of the lifecycle, testing processes should now run parallel to and intertwined with development. Automation plays a key role in enabling this integration of QA into development.
Development teams increasingly rely on smart testing tools that both enable automation and provide analytics on automated processes. These tools help make the transition to intelligent Quality Assurance, where automation is extended past simple tasks.
Despite their main promise of providing unlimited integration across the lifecycle, legacy development suites (IBM, HP, etc) fail to keep up with this pace of modernization. Since they were built in the times of manual testing, their architecture and functionality were not able to follow up with Agile/DevOps practices. Therefore, they in fact deliver the exact opposite: rigid processes that throttle collaboration across development functions, therefore limiting the pace of innovation.
Tooling Decisions to Modernize QA
More and more development teams find that making the transition to modern Agile tooling does not disrupt working processes, but actually provides advantages that are becoming invaluable in an accelerating market. Adopting modern and mature processes and tools are no longer differentiators – instead, they are becoming necessary to stay in the market. The mounting popularity of Agile ALM, and the acquisition of HPE’s toolset by MicroFocus aptly shows that teams choosing legacy tools are investing in aging technology.
Instead, developers are looking to transition to next-generation platforms that provide smart functionality and baked-in best practices to weave automated QA into Agile development processes. As a key example of modern testing tools, codeBeamer ALM provides comprehensive quality assurance functionality and general Agile/DevOps support across the development lifecycle. Rather than delaying, it drives innovation by unlocking new means of collaboration and efficiency in product quality assurance.
Replacing legacy testing tools with a modern solution helps adapt Quality Assurance to today’s increased speeds of deployment. As an added bonus, next-generation software platforms deliver an integrated environment designed for flexibility and collaboration support. For instance, codeBeamer ALM is used successfully by both American medical startups, and major German carmakers, both applying a lean Agile approach to product development. The inherent flexibility and integrability of the tool makes it fit for use in any context and in conjunction with any development methodology.