Radically improving test outcomes and value

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Most test operations can be improved. Better targeting and smarter working can improve outcomes, save money and increase value. However, you need to avoid performing "yet another cosmetic transformation" that leaves things the same

A broad challenge

Improving the outcomes you get from testing is, generally, a broad challenge. Simply changing the “test manager” is not the answer. The performance of “testing” is bound to many wider factors. Factors such as the behaviour of development teams and other support functions. Factors such as resourcing, sourcing approaches, culture, the way prioritisation calls tend to land and the to the space and support provided to testing by executives. To improve the outcome you may need to look at and amend many things.

More than test management

The wider, cultural and organisational change, aspects of transformation make this a different problem space. It is not test management, it is not something a test manager, even a top performing test manager, will necessarily excel at. It demands an understanding of development, an aptitude for organisational design, an ability to shape executive thinking, an understanding of finance, an ability to manage suppliers and more. It demands all of this on top of a comprehensive and deep understanding of testing and the ability to help “lead from the front” during transition periods.

It is not just “test”

The outcomes of testing are not the sole responsibility of the “test team”. They are a result of many factors beyond the direct control of such a team. To improve test outcomes or to drive greater efficiency without breaking things can require changes that touch many historic practices and many parts of the organisation.

Your challenges

You see testing within your organisation as fragmented, inconsistent and unpredictable. You see it as “old fashioned”, traditional practices tagged onto the end of the development pipeline that generate long delays. You find testing “hit and miss” what it finds and what it misses is very variable. You cannot get clear reports of readiness or status. You cannot get clarity on current costs and future budgets. You know testing is ineffective, it is not preventing issues.

Your requirements

You need to raise the game whilst controlling the costs. You need to turn the delivery of assurance outcomes into a well understood business activity that is under control. You need to change the way things are done. You need to fix what is, clearly, a dysfunctional aspect of the way you operate.

How we can help

With many years of experience of building and improving test delivery practices, at all scales, we are well placed to help you to overcome your challenges and deliver your requirements for change. Firstly, we can ensure you have a clear understanding of how your operation will test and how it will be organised. Building upon this foundation we can ensure the business change activities required to put this in place go smoothly. We can drive this whilst ensuring that ongoing work continues and does not degrade due to any transition.

Getting started

You may be certain things need to change or you may have open questions. If you have questions then the first step may be a test health check. Once you are clear that something does need to change you should contact us at enquiry@sqc.co.uk. We can discuss the route to get your organisation to support the transformation agenda and an approach to starting the transformation process.

Flavours of our work

Test Consolidation - We led the move from fragmented, project oriented, test activities to consolidated testing for a tier-1 telecommunications company. The transformation delivered much greater certainty and consistency. It established effective governance of testing. It brought cost transparency, control and reductions. It created a test centre of excellence able to drive improvements across the full range of activities.

Outsourcing - We oversaw the outsourcing of a large scale multi-sourced testing service to a single “big 4” consultancies service delivery arm. This was an output based fixed capacity model. We shaped the contract, performance measures, service delivery and model and service improvement commitments. We oversaw the transition of the service to the new supplier and dealt with the early life issues that emerged once the new supplier was established.

Agile Industrialisation - This organisation wanted to go “agile” and need to take testing along the same journey. That said, they did not know how to be “agile” in their context. We dealt with both problems. We helped them shape a hybrid, agile plus release, delivery model that suited their need. Then we brought their in-house testing organisation along. Introducing embedded testing alongside development. Changing from a purely scripted testing mindset to an approach that gradually moved from structured exploratory testing through exemplar test scripts to a factory regression model.