How Test Automation Can Help Quality Assurance Keep Pace
with Accelerated Digital Transformation
In their annual World Quality Report, Capgemini and Sogeti acknowledge that digital transformation is accelerating everywhere and “QA is implicit in the success of DX.”
So how can quality teams facing an ever-increasing pace of change along with tight timelines and even tighter budgets achieve their goals and ensure QA is in lockstep with ongoing innovation? Here are five ways to engage automation to deliver the efficiency-boosting time and resource savings necessary to do more with less, without sacrificing quality.
1. Maintain Quality at an Enterprise-level to Ensure Business Continuity
In the days of waterfall implementations and uncomplicated IT landscapes, QA was a siloed, independent role relegated to debugging software before it moved into production. Those days are over. Now, quality plays an ever-increasing, critical part in keeping the business running and living up to the high expectations of teams, supply chains, customers, and consumers.
As organizations worldwide continue to embrace digital transformation, it’s essential that QA, and the technologies that support it, be managed at an enterprise level. When the average enterprise has more than 100 SaaS apps, each with at least three annual upgrades, your systems are facing a constant barrage of change with 300+ updates every year, plus your own custom app developments and deployments.
To maintain quality in these ever-evolving environments, your test automation platform must be capable of operating with a big picture perspective. It’s insufficient to test only point solutions when your business processes span desktop, mobile, web applications, and beyond. End-to-end testing that provides continuous automation across your enterprise applications and everything they touch is the only way to ensure continuity, and quickly identify and resolve failures before they impact the business.
“The quantity of releases that our customers have to manage is overwhelming. Change is thrust upon them, which can create unintended consequences. Every application that gets added to the mix is going to be dependent on everything else that’s there. It’s all of those interactions, those process-specific interconnections your business relies upon. You have to make sure it’s all functioning as intended and validate on a continuous basis.”
– Rick Goad, Worksoft Vice President of Customer Success
2. Understand that Agile is Epic (and Stories and Features)
The World Quality Report also noted that Agile+DevOps continues to be an increasingly popular approach to software development, thanks to the inherent benefits of reduced time to value and a global push to expedite digital transformation in light of the pandemic. But with pockets of siloed development going on throughout an organization, each pushing into production separately, what’s the potential impact to quality?
Nearly one third of an Agile project is devoted to testing according to 40% of World Quality Report survey respondents. Are they testing the right things? Remember, enterprise applications like SAP have numerous interdependencies that make automation for Agile testing of packaged apps significantly more complex.
The benefits of Agile can be epic. Just be sure to test the stories and the features too. Since Agile efforts are driven by a need for speed, engaging test automation tools for Agile can be an ideal way to keep a project on time, without sacrificing quality.
“In past Agile projects, we’ve either struggled to complete all of those regression tests or do it to the depth and quality that we wanted to. One area where we’ve already seen value with Worksoft is that automation of regression tests.”
– Clara Palmer, Senior Director of PLM Transformations, The Hershey Company
3. Employ Automation That’s Codeless and Easy to Maintain
Test automation has been proven to deliver benefits in the form of control and transparency of test activities, as well as the reduction in test cycle time. But not all automated testing platforms are created equal and only 37% of World Quality Report respondents have experienced ROI from their automation. So how can you get more from test automation?
Worksoft automated testing customers experience a five-year ROI of 548% and additional revenues in excess of $3 million annually as a result of improved quality and speed. How? Our platform is 100% codeless, which makes it easy to create, build and maintain automation, engaging both technical and non-technical users alike. Plus, our object action framework adapts seamlessly to ongoing change, allowing users to dynamically update and reuse automation objects through a single touchpoint.
In an environment where all teams, including QA are expected to do more with less, proven test automation can remove a significant burden from your testing teams. For Carrier, using the Worksoft automation platform reduced their labor by 93% for a recent project.
“Quite frankly, we would never have been able to do all of that testing. We would have had to engage a minimum of 28 people, and it would've taken them a minimum of eight weeks, and we still would not have been able to do all of the tests."
-Judy Zeman, QA Manager, Carrier Global Corp
4. Run to the Cloud, But Make Sure Your Plan Isn’t Nebulous
According to the World Quality Report, enterprises with supply chains are responding to the heightened need for digital transformation by rapidly migrating to cloud-based architectures like SAP S/4HANA to create fast, flexible and comprehensive supply chains to optimize their operations.
Shifting an intricate SAP operation to the cloud is an undoubtedly daunting and complex migration. For quality assurance teams, there are many potential points of failure. In fact, a recent ASUG survey revealed that nearly 40% of S/4HANA users underestimated the complexity of their migration. Engaging automation and change intelligence can help you establish a clear plan to navigate the maze of your journey for S/4HANA testing and beyond.
By automating business process discovery, documentation and testing via a single Connective Automation platform, Worksoft enables enterprises to accelerate S/4HANA projects and minimize risks by eliminating manual effort, providing comprehensive insights, and dynamically supporting ongoing change management efforts. And our partnership with Panaya enables us to deliver seamlessly integrated change intelligence to help customers futureproof against change.
“With so many unknowns in today’s climate amid an increasing number of pivots and tightening IT budgets, ensuring zero defects during critical business process change while optimizing on cost and quality is a huge challenge for our SAP customers. With Worksoft, we’re giving strained IT teams the power to do more with less, reducing the time, cost, and risk of any S/4HANA system conversion, new implementation, or ECC optimization project by up to 50 percent.
- David Binny, Panaya CEO
5. Establish a Testing Center of Excellence to Support Standards and Scalability
As organizations embrace digital transformation and the pervasive, persistent change that comes with it, instituting a formal approach to testing can create much-needed consistency and checks and balances to ensure ongoing quality. A Testing Center of Excellence, or TCOE, can provide a framework to manage test environments, test data and test automation libraries.
Quality is everyone’s job, but someone needs to own it. When your testing and QA teams work within the framework of a TCOE, you can eliminate redundancies, ensure high business process quality, and reduce risk to the organization. For many Fortune 1000 firms, it’s the best approach to reduce IT costs, accelerate innovation, sharpen testing competency, and improve quality – all at the same time.
How does centralizing test automation resources impact speed-driven Agile development efforts? TCOEs can take on a variety of forms and many enterprises have adopted a “federated with distributed Agile” approach, which allows testing to be distributed out to various testing projects from a centralized resource, effectively injecting the expertise of the modern COE into projects. They bring the tools and expertise to the project with testing resources moving in and out of the project teams, which creates centralized control without diminishing speed and flexibility.
View the full World Quality Report 2020-21