A word that resonated throughout the Tricentis Virtual Summit conversation between Ann Lewis, Former Head of Quality Engineering at ExxonMobil, and Chris Rolls, CEO Americas at TTC, was “change.” While you’ll find a few definitions for change, one particularly stands out as it pertains to this discussion: to make a shift from one to another. Specifically, shifting away from what Ann refers to as the” not so sweet” stories where testing inefficiencies are costly and cause project failure, to the sweet spot – successful enterprise transformations.
Embracing the idea of change is just as important as actually implementing changes into your daily testing practice. Here are some of Ann and Chris’ insights into what better testing practices look like and how it is possible to achieve 80% test automation coverage and 90% cost savings on end-to-end testing while improving test execution time by 60%, as some of Ann’s previous clients have.
Planning for change
- Understanding the reasons for change – Before adopting a mindset of change, it’s important to discern why there’s a need for change. This means getting a grip on what the company’s key business drivers are, and how they impact the IT department. What percentage of your testing is manual vs automated? Do you need to address high redundancy rates? Is risk coverage too low? Are there untapped opportunities for cost savings? Taking the time to perform a proper change impact analysis will help to align senior management and other stakeholders across the business.
- Study the industry – Once you’ve defined your “not-so-sweet stories” and developed a snapshot of where you are, the next step is deciding where you want to go. Based on industry data, what is possible when it comes to testing speed, quality, and cost savings? These are the metrics that will help you develop the foundation upon which to build your plan of attack; however, Ann warns not to “over-metricize.” She further explains that we need to “not only use the right metrics, but also be smart about it and keep looking at those metrics.”
Adoption & Execution
With the critical prep stage behind, crafting your strategic plan to guide you towards the sweet spot of enterprise transformation success begins. Our speakers break this journey down into four phases:
- Initiate – As many of Tricentis Virtual Summit sessions echo, the key to success is rooted in having the right people on board to help execute your plan. Ann refers to them as your high performers – the ones you want to partner with both internally and externally, such as TTC. “You start looking at your innovators…the cheerleaders within your organization…some early adopters that get excited about new stuff. Those are the ones you want to start getting involved with… they want to eat the candy,” she states.
- Promote – For the next phase, Ann reminds us to promote the early wins and to talk about the lower number of defects, increased cost savings, faster time to market, and the other successes as you move towards a more agile approach. Keeping project stakeholders engaged and excited about these changes will be crucial in being able to achieve enterprise transformation.
- Scale – From Chris’ experience helping large organizations transform the way they deliver software testing; he asserts that this phase tends to be the most challenging. You’ve proven that your strategy works based on the early successes, but how do you maintain this momentum and push beyond what you’ve known to be possible? He explains, “It’s important to have people who’ve been there, done that… [You] have to focus on getting results, making it scalable, which means getting those best practices in place.”
- Optimize – Here is where the fun begins, but the learning never ends. According to Chris, “You need to focus on continuously getting better.” This includes defining and re-defining best practices, revisiting key metrics, process improvements – all are to be considered as you execute your strategic plan.
The Sweet Spot
The sweet spot isn’t necessarily a place you reach, but the result of what happens when you make the decision to change and commit to the change mindset – which means continuous improvement and innovation.
For more information on the critical success factors for continuous testing transformation, check out Continuous Testing Transformation: 7 Critical Success Factors. This white paper takes a deep dive into how several leading organizations have implemented Tricentis Tosca to quickly scale their test automation.