A successful transition requires adaptation.
The first initiation and impulse phases of Quality Engineering are now behind you. After this inflection point, your priority is to secure the expansion of Quality Engineering in the organization, increasing value delivery.
You need to succeed by reaching an adoption rate similar to that of smartphones: everyone wanted one right now. This requires lowering barriers to adoption, clear communication and support in accessing the Quality Engineering practices.
Quality Engineering is the paradigm for constraining software chain activities to continuous value delivery. Achieving it requires acting on the pillars of MAMOS: Methods, Architecture, Management, Organization, Skills.
You must therefore act in the various areas of Quality Engineering to accelerate its deployment. This article shares the best value-added practices to help you in this pivotal stage of expansion.
This first transition guide offers an incremental approach to develop Quality Engineering in your organization. Each of the transitions contains the actions from the framework to optimize your transition effort.
Follow the QE Unit for more exclusive content from Quality Engineering.
Disseminate, accelerate and maintain this new ecosystem
After the tipping point, your priority is to accelerate the adoption of Quality Engineering. Care must be taken to maintain harmonization of activities to facilitate collaboration and the dissemination of good practices.
The propensity to extend software practices requires containing their entropy. Additional measurements of value creation must be put in place to maintain a strong link between the outputs and the outcomes in the organization.
“Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together everyday.”Frances Hesselbein
The skills of the actors make it possible to solidify the acceleration provided by passing the tipping point. Management must therefore ensure to develop and recruit the necessary skills for the various Quality Engineering units.
Care must also be taken to reduce adoption barriers to accelerate the expansion of practices. Continuous investment in architecture and technologies will allow you to facilitate the deployment of standard and maintainable practices.
Extend the culture and remain responsible for processes
Culture supports the collaboration of a large number of actors with a minimum of coordination effort. It is a fundamental element in the dissemination of Quality Engineering practices in the organization to be continuously animated.
The definition of a quality culture plan sets a framework for monitoring your action plan. This must contain actions of communication, exchanges and promotion of new practices within the organization.
This sharing of experience carried out beyond organizational silos will allow you to build common best practices. Use mechanisms such as communities of practice or documentation portals to spread the knowledge across the organization.
To support this culture, management remains responsible for ensuring the methodological framework. The Definition of Done must be systematically followed and enriched by continuous improvement, such as the Testing Notes or the Blitz Test.
The following methodologies must be implemented:
- Quality Culture Plan (eg Quality Culture Guide)
- Blitz Test
- Community of Practice (CoP)
Accelerate change by increasing the level of skills
Delivering software at the high standard requires contributions from actors meeting this level of requirement. Their skills are therefore fundamental to the performance of your Quality Engineering software delivery chain.
The skills useful for this transition must support the dissemination and maintenance of practices. We find there the advanced skills of Testing, facilitation in the form of coaching, and architecture to guarantee your foundations expansion.
At the start, you were able to use the skills available internally or externally by acting on a small perimeter. On a larger prism, you need to both accelerate your development and recruit the necessary skills to sustain the changes at scale.
To develop your internal skills, you can change the team of specific people to speed up other units. Communities of practice, training plans and personal development remain your best options in the mid and long-term horizon.
For external skills, it is necessary to combine strategic partnerships giving access to a pool of skills, while accessing team extensions with on-demand profiles in the form of gig economy, communities or freelancers.
You will find the following skills practices useful:
- Hiring the missing skills
Complement the measures of value and productivity
The swarm of activity generated must remain channeled on the creation of value. To do this, you must enhance your performance measurement methods to continuously measure the link between your outputs and your outcomes.
Value-stream makes it possible to optimize processes by focusing on the flow of activities under the prism of value creation. This visualization helps identify unnecessary round trips and eliminate waste from the value-chain.
Speed of code delivery is at the heart of continuous value delivery. Development processes are therefore a priority to be improved relying on the Developer Experience and by focusing on Engineering Productivity as an investment.
Finally, the ability to support the business is partly measurable with the 4 metrics aiming at the Elite of Accelerate study: deployment frequency, lead-time for changes, time to restore service, change failure rate.
The following methodologies will help you to complete the measurement of value:
- Developer Experience
- Accelerate metrics
Continue the investment in architecture and technologies
The good integration of your software components directly impacts the level of quality of the customer experience. Investing in their composition, replicability and deployment allows you to effectively extend Quality Engineering.
Technological interoperability results from an upstream investment allowing decoupling at a defined level of abstraction. A system oriented in APIs, or APIs-driven, allows to speed up the composition of services with flexibility.
Replicability is the second investment to be made. Teams with different challenges will benefit from harmonized development, deployment and code practices. The coding bootstraps and testing bootstraps are essential.
Finally, the expansion of Quality Engineering will accelerate software changes at the cost of an increased risk of downtime and instability. We must counterbalance this strength with gradual deployments and other safer deployment methodologies.
These architectural practices are necessary for the expansion transition:
- Coding bootstrap
- Testing bootstrap
- Progressive Deployment
Anchoring and guiding continuous improvement until the ascent
The expansion of Quality Engineering requires ensuring the dissemination of practices to the greatest number while containing entropy. As the change takes hold more widely, this need for balance becomes necessary for the future.
Like the technological adoption curves, the next transition will consist in deploying Quality Engineering on the few perimeters not yet covered. When you get there, the final ascent of Quality Engineering will be achieved.
However, there is still something to do to maintain a harmonized ecosystem for continuous value delivery. The constraining pressure of Quality Engineering will remain by building software at the high-standard with continuous improvement.
Follow the QE Unit for more Quality Engineering.
AB Testing – Episode 93: The Quality Culture Transition Guide, Modern Testing.
Luis Weir, Enterprise API Management: Design and deliver valuable business APIs, Packt.
Value Stream Management in SAFe, Scaled Agile Framework.