Over the last few weeks, I have been talking about the rapidly shifting QE paradigm, or the notion that as QE leaders we face a new set of challenges — and opportunities — fueled by rapid advances in emerging technology, integrations, advanced analytics, and hyper-automation.
What began as a 0.0 era for QE has quickly advanced to today’s 2.0 paradigm, characterized by commitment and investment to Agile development, devops-driven continuous release and delivery of code, business resiliency, and near-real time feedback loops and analytics. And, before we know it, 3.0 will be here.
Click here for Part 1 of my series in which I explore what defined each paradigm.
Last week, I dove into actionable strategies you can leverage today to have greater impact in today’s 2.0 paradigm, including investing in velocity and continuous integration, shifting from reactive to proactive measurement, and beginning to think total experience (click here for more detail). But today, I want to look ahead and offer ideas on how you can prepare for QE 3.0 now:
Understand 2.0 is Table Stakes
If you have not yet advanced to QE 2.0, you are not where you need to be. Simply put, we can no longer afford to be in the 0.0 and 1.0 eras; if we are, our deficiencies and limitations will be even more glaring by the time companies and leaders around us have arrived at 3.0. QE 2.0 is the expectation, not the aspiration. So, ensure you are well within 2.0 approaches to velocity, quality and technology.
Prioritize Emerging Technology
QE 3.0 is going to be the most technologically-driven of the eras, fueled by AI-driven systems, extensive robotics, and virtualization and cloud, among other influences. But three technologies that will be most revolutionary and impactful are:
- Expanded Devices: The definition of an IT network has changed. It’s no longer just boxes, computers and systems that run on computers. Now, there are all sorts of things that have embedded processors that are taking inputs from traditional IT systems and sending inputs and data to traditional IT systems.
- Big Data: The ability to extract data and use it to make intelligent decisions about quality of process and product is here. QE 3.0 will be the age of predictive data, AI-based modeling, and automated algorithms, and this intel will allow us to introduce new standards of excellence to the SDLC.
- Continuous Everything: We are entering the era of seamless integration of the various factors that make up successful IT, and it’s going to be the new normal by the time we get to 3.0. The idea that you have separate development and IT support teams is dissolving. Just as the division between development and test dissolved from 1.0 to 2.0, we will continue to dissolve at points of silo and enter a period characterized by continuous everything.
The need to stay curious and regularly examine the nature of the industry, the nature of technology and where and how that moves people will be critical. As leaders, we need to understand that IT is broader and will continue to be broader than it ever was before. That means that our involvement in both IT and product development is only going to increase. We need to be thinking about the way computers and systems work, and the way people work with them, because democratization becomes a bigger thing in the 3.0 paradigm. Increasing pressure will mount for QE and IT leaders to think more like the end user than in previous eras, because 3.0 will be completely defined by business’ abilities to drive compelling user experiences. It is no longer enough to think about experience throughout the development lifecycle; instead, we need to be thinking about it in every part of our organizations.
If the progression from 0.0 to 2.0 is any indication, 3.0 is coming fast. As QE leaders, we need to resist refining outmoded means of operating and instead be actively challenging all the previous paradigms because the biggest shift is coming right at us. That begins by proactively examining all the things that determined where QE fit, how it was done, and what was QE’s responsibility. Then, most importantly, we need to embrace a “willing suspension of disbelief” and open our minds to the possibility of new ways of seeing our jobs and positions.
Finally, we need to make sure we are bringing our teams along and upskilling — if need be — to ensure we have support structures in place to fortify 2.0, while advancing to 3.0 quickly.
In which paradigm do you think you are today? I’d love to sit down with you and plot where you are today and offer specific tips for advancing quickly to the next. Click here to schedule a 20-minute call with me, and we can discuss some tangible approaches.