How organisations can benefit from having a Managed Test Service in place
Enabling the certainty of software quality outcomes through Managed Test Services.
I have been fortunate enough to spend a large part of my IT career working within Managed Test Services (MTS). During this time, I’ve seen a number of organisations reap the benefits of better quality, faster speed to market and reduced costs, so wanted to share my thoughts and experiences.
We know that many successful organisations rely on their Information Technology (IT) functions and respective systems and applications to help them remain competitive. IT has become the focal point and enabler for growth, expansion and differentiation. It’s therefore important that the IT function is able to support the vision and strategic direction of the business, as well as being nimble when rapid change is required.
Why an Managed Test Service
Partnering with a Quality Engineering and Test partner and having an MTS in place allows organisations to focus what they do best, delivering great products and services. Quality is everyone’s responsibility, but with an MTS in place, the test partner can ensure that quality is embedded into all parts of the development process, ensuring successful outcomes.
According to the World Quality Report 2021, an annual assessment of quality engineering compiled following the interviewing of 1750 senior executives in corporate IT, the top three objectives of Test teams within organisations are:
- Custodian of Quality: Detect software defects before go-live.
- Quality at speed: Speed up software releases with good quality.
- Quality enablement: Support everybody in the team to achieve higher quality.
MTSs are delivery mechanism agnostic but feature a series of common cornerstones:
- Industrialised test processes
- Transformation, innovation, and continuous improvements
- Tools, frameworks, dashboards, and accelerators
- Test factory models
- SLA based services
- Test cost reductions of up to 30%
- Scalability and flexibility, onshore, nearshore, and offshore with a globally supported infrastructure.
Having a framework of a common set of features accelerates the MTS transition, improves efficiency and productivity, and leads to greater customer satisfaction.
MTS Service Transition
The first step on the MTS journey is transition and moving the testing responsibilities to a test partner. Transition provides project management and expertise across a number of key areas, ensuring minimum risk and disruption. The transfer and retention of knowledge is key, so detailed plans are put into place to ensure the success of this activity.
Throughout this phase, it’s important to provide the transparency of detailed and regular reporting on progress, to demonstrate that commitments are being met.
I mentioned earlier the cornerstones which typically define an MTS. Transformation is the phase where the MTS starts to drive real value. Within Sogeti, transformation utilises both TPI® to establish the current baseline for testing and TMap® test management approach offering a comprehensive and consistent approach to project and program test management.
Through constant evolution, the next generation of test transformation allows us to realise the art of the possible and experience greater levels of benefits sooner. Some examples include:
Intelligent test automation - develop the right automation test strategy for the service using the right tools. With intelligent automation, we move away from the technical aspects of the application under test, by using Testers who have more of a business focus.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning – New use cases for AI and ML are being defined continuously. With an AI and ML strategy in place, the tools support your own decision making, in helping understand what to do, when to do it and also when not to do something.
Agile and DevOps - The move to DevOps is becoming more widespread as we focus on customer experience and business objectives. Through the use of Full Stack Engineers (FSE) with an engineering mindset, we shift the focus from IT quality to production quality. The use of continuous integration pipelines allows for zero touch testing, so each release of code can be tested as soon as its deployed.
Transformation techniques and initiatives are constantly evolving and can be adapted to each customers specific needs. Outcomes of transformation are typically:
- Centralised and Optimised Quality Assurance process
- Productivity improvements
- Faster time to market
- Less rework -> Less Development cost
- QA cost saving (>30%) and cycle time reduction
- Better resource utilisation
- Functional and Technical knowledge retention
In summary, a Managed Test Service allows organisations to focus on their core business and achieving their strategic vision. Testing is a specialised activity, one which many organisations are not geared up for. Therefore, an MTS enables peace of mind, knowing that quality engineering and testing are being performed by experts in their field.
If you would like to know more about our Managed Test Services and how we can support you in realising your vision, please feel free to contact me.