Can having the right test partner save your organisation time and money, as well ensure you deliver quality projects?
Research released by the Software Engineering Institute (Carnegie Mellon University) showed that finding a defect in software post-release is 30 times more costly than if found and corrected earlier in the software development.
With the speed of software development and the increasing adoption of Agile delivery techniques, the question of quality comes into play, in particular whether quality is suffering and how much it costs an organisation to fix issues post-release.
One of the key partnerships that can enhance both rapid software development and Agile delivery is aligning with the right test partner. In addition to saving time and dollars, it’s a relationship that can become a key strategic voice at the project table.
Testing is critical but few can do it well
Whether your team is developing an internal or external system, quality is vital to user engagement and the true total cost of ownership. Poor quality not only damages the brand and organisation’s reputation, it reduces user buy-in. Testing is a critical component to ensuring that the quality of software is of the highest standard possible.
Testing is rarely seen as a core capability within an IT department and it is challenging for organisations to build an expert, in-house competency that is capable of keeping pace with the rate of change in software development.
Few businesses have the capacity or budget to maintain the focus and discipline required to build a high quality, dynamic and constantly evolving test practice. However, outsourcing and off-shoring your testing is not enough to ensure success.
Alignment with the right testing partners
Poorly planned outsourcing can lead to cost over-runs, poor collaboration, zero thought leadership and ultimately poor quality.
Conversely, the right testing partner not only offers a cost effective solution, they are often able to bring deep expertise to the table, including:
The right partner will ensure that the testing approach fits to the risk and quality profile of the client. Strategic leadership in particular is an attribute you should look for in a testing partner.
The right expertise at the table
Partnering with the right testing partner at a strategic level sets up a project for success from the outset. The testing partner is able to provide their expertise, experience and insights from the get go and then ensure that there is constant monitoring during the project, adjusting testing as required to suit an agile approach.
It takes deep experience and genuine leadership to ensure that the testing approach is matched with the nuances of the delivery DNA and risk appetite of an organisation. One of the most valuable facets of a strategic partner is that they will also challenge and provide guidance where it matters rather than blindly following their client’s instructions, which often occurs to the detriment of the project’s outcomes.
Once strategy has been set, the right test partner will ensure that the testing approach and delivery streams is dynamically adjusted as it is needed.
Effective communication and relationships
Of course, the ability to adapt and adjust as needed is linked to the ability to communicate clearly and accurately, to demonstrate a deep understanding of the client’s strengths, weaknesses, needs and desired business outcomes.
Setting clear expectations on deliverables, communication standards and escalation is part of that process. A true partner cares about the total outcome, not just about how many testers they can squeeze into the project. They will bring knowledge and experience to the table that will deliver benefits to the project over and above simply supplying bodies.
Innovation and flexibility to fit the project needs
Given that technology is evolving rapidly, so too must testing evolve and develop. Your test partner should be able to demonstrate that they not only have flexibility in their approaches but they are able to bring new methods of working that bring efficiency, accuracy and ultimately the delivery of better quality outcomes.
When this type of innovation and flexibility is backed with strong governance, exceptional talent and knowledge of the latest technologies, your test partner provides a powerful service that can help ensure success.
Capability and capacity uplift
It’s a rare organisation that is able to carry full-time test leadership roles and the capability required to dynamically manage environments required for testing. A true test partner will be enable the organisation to scale capability to the size of the project and appropriately to the gap in resources, while also ensuring that relevant and up-to-date skills are readily available.
Additionally, the test partner will be able to train internal teams in appropriate techniques and methodologies for the projects that are underway.
Good testing partnerships lead to better project execution
For any organisation that has internal or external facing software projects, having the right partners in place from start to finish ultimately results in better project delivery and better project outcomes. This is no different for test partners.
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