Over the last decade, the advent of Agile development methodologies has fundamentally altered how organizations conduct quality and test activities. Organizations have transitioned from siloed independent test centers and test teams to autonomous, multidisciplinary high-performance teams, where quality is ensured by all.
The basic objective of these teams is to achieve results quickly. Quality and test operations are therefore often less stringent in Agile operations and teams are given considerable latitude to develop their test methodology and test automation technology. Many organizations have encountered disadvantages in this engineering focused approach – not least, unintended consequences in production, insufficient testing coverage prior to go-live, inefficient test operations, difficulties with successful test automation and an over-abundance of tools and test techniques.
The causes of these difficulties are a lack of a strategy, insufficient rules, a lack of Agile-compatible assessment methods and a lack of professional testing skills within teams. As a result,,, many organizations are returning to a more balanced Agile quality approach with a combination of centralized quality support functions and individual quality engineering support integrated into feature teams.
We have captured the current best practices in an Agile Quality Orchestration model named ‘Quality for DevOps Teams.’ This contains four key elements:
- The injection of Agile quality engineers into high-performance teams
- An Agile quality enablement Center of Excellence (CoE) to provide teams with a standardized base test automation platform and agile test guidelines
- A quality squad to ensure end-to-end business scenario and customer journey testing across multiple feature teams
- An Agile quality architect at the business domain level to oversee quality strategy and quality assurance
Effective implementation of our model paradigm has enabled businesses to achieve a >20% improvement in test velocity, >30% increase in test cost efficiency and less than 1% defect leakage to production.