As QE leaders, we are navigating a rapidly shifting paradigm: the surge of emerging technologies, new development technologies and methodologies and data-driven imperatives. The pressure to increase product lifecycle speed — among other macro forces — has presented newfound opportunity as well as challenges for us to navigate.
Suddenly, we are expected to have moved our departments and teams well beyond the initial QE eras of 0.0 and 1.0 and be firmly entrenched in 2.0 — leveraging Agile development, continually releasing and delivering code, and strengthening end user feedback loops. At the same time, we cannot get too complacent, as 3.0 is right around the corner.
Click here for last week’s blog to review where we’ve been and where we’re headed
Building off of last week’s post, today I want to explore a few things we need to do to ensure we are well positioned to have success in 2.0; next week, I’ll share some strategies for preparing for the rapidly approaching 3.0 paradigm.
Invest in Velocity
2.0 is all about increased velocity, continuous integration and shift-left, shift-right testing paradigms that allow QE to impact the business in positive ways where previously we could not. Thanks to methodologies like Agile, the introduction of devops, the surge of virtualization, containerization and cloud hosting, as well as many other disruptive innovations, we can play a more integral role in steering and affecting a holistic SDLC, directly impacting go-to-market, product experience and revenue generation.
To fortify our 2.0 impact, we need to ensure our organizations are continually improving, accelerating and increasing velocity. This means actively thinking about things like continuous testing, build and release, and development, and continually influencing quality of product and process… in other words, “continuous everything.” Agile has become the new normal. Embedded in the methodology is the belief that we need to be continually improving and examining ourselves every two weeks and remaining adaptive to changing circumstances. As such, in many ways, QE leaders are best positioned to be the champions who can shift culture to one that is more centered on immediate wins, swift momentum and continuous improvement; after all, that mindset is already embedded in our DNA.
From Reactive to Proactive Measurement
Every department faces mounting pressure to measure efficacy, output and impact, while also ensuring data is available immediately and presenting in real time. In QE, we are experiencing a similar transformation to other departments as we start shifting away from reactive measures of quality to become truly data driven.
In the 0.0 era, accounting dictated the data needs and engineers would respond to orders. Data had a negligible role in QE. In 1.0, we took a few steps forward and began leveraging static, single-threaded data for operational management to measure, observe and decide. From time to time, IT would introduce some new data points they wanted us to track and present back.
But now we are in 2.0, fueled by the big data era and realization of business intelligence tools – which means we have to elevate the role of data and understand what data tells us about quality of product and process. Perhaps more importantly, we need to understand the insight data provides about end users’ desires so we can effectively shape what comes next. QE is now responsible for everything from end user satisfaction to reports on production to outage information. Therefore, it’s on us to help the entire IT organization raise the visibility of the data and have our data start to work for us.
Think Total Experience
At the end of last year, Gartner named “total experience” (TX) as the No. 2 strategic technology trend it predicted will have the greatest impact on business in 2021 (more on that here). TX is focused on improving overall experience and getting even closer to end users, customers, employees and business partners through feedback loops. QE can play a huge role in accelerating the shift to TX — from understanding user expectations and desires for product experience to addressing business desire for increased speed and agility, among other things.
QE 2.0 requires us to have stronger integration with the business, as the QE and IT circles of influence have become one and have started to overlap with that of the business. The business is counting on us to reach across the divide and bring them along into 2.0 where we all work together to drive experience in a powerful way. The work we do now will prepare us for 3.0 which is the point at which all three influencing circles — QE, IT and business — will overlap completely.
So… what can you do this week to strengthen your approach to QE 2.0? How can you shift your approach to technology, automation and data? Join me next week as I dive into how best to prep your organization for QE 3.0.
Questions on how to fortify your impact in 2.0? Interested in bringing a strengthened approach to lifecycle velocity, emerging tech and product quality? Click here to schedule a complimentary 20-minute chat with me where I will ask questions about your existing paradigm and offer immediate tips on how you can drive greater business gains.