37 Epic Software Failures that Mandate the Need for Adequate Software Testing

37 Epic Software Failures

Disaster is an understatement for any brand/organization/institution that has incurred losses due to an overtly miniscule but catastrophic software glitch. While technology and innovative applications have been empowering brands, there have been numerous disabling instances recorded by enterprises.

In this run on top software failures of 2016 -2015-2014, we take a stock of the debacles/glitches that have changed the face of software development and endorsed the role of testing in the overall SDLC process.

This is a list of software glitches/technical issues witnessed by brands and enterprises across diverse industries. Please note that the numbers 1-37 do not signify in anyway high or low impact of the software glitch on the brand/enterprise.

  1. Yahoo reports breach

Yahoo reports breach

Amongst the most recent data breaches, on September 22, 2016, Yahoo confirmed a data breach that exposed about 500 million credentials that date back to four years. It is being considered amongst the largest credential leaks of 2016. The company believes that this was a state-sponsored breach, where an individual on behalf of a government executed the entire hack. It further urged users to change their passwords and security questions. As a relief for the users, Yahoo stated that sensitive financial data like bank accounts and passwords was not stolen as part of the breach.

Source: Money.cnn.com

  1. Nest thermostat freeze

Nest thermostat freeze

Software update for the Nest ‘smart’ thermostat (owned by Google) went wrong and literally left users in the cold. When the software update went wrong, it forced the device’s batteries to drain out, which led to drop in the temperature. Consequently, the customers were unable to heat their homes or use any amenities.

Nest claimed that the fault was due to a December 4.0 firmware update, with related issues such as old air filters or incompatible boilers. Later it released a 4.0.1 software update that solved the issue for 99.5% of customers who were affected.

Source: Cio-asia.com

  1. HSBC’s major IT outage

HSBC’s major IT outage

In January 2016, HSBC suffered a major IT outage, and millions of bank customers were unable to access online accounts. The bank took almost 2 days to recover and get back to normal functioning.

HSBC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) declared that it was a result of a ‘complex technical issue’ within the internal systems.

Source: Cio-asia.com

  1. Prison Break

Prison Break

A glitch that occurred in December 2015 led to over 3,200 US prisoners being released before their declared date. The software was designed to monitor the behaviour of prisoners and was introduced in 2002. The problem was occurring for about 13 years and on an average prisoners were released almost 49 days in advance.

Source: Cio-asia.com

  1. HSBC payments glitch

HSBC

In August 2015, HSBC failed to process about 275,000 individual payments that left many people without pay before a long Bank Holiday weekend. This occurred due to a major failure with the bank’s electronic payment system for its business banking users, affecting the individual payments. Bacs, a payment system used for payment processes across the UK, later picked up on this issue, labelling it as an ‘isolated issue’.

Source: Cio-asia.com

  1. Bloomberg cancels debt issue

Bloomberg cancels debt issue

In April 2016, Bloomberg’s London office faced a software glitch, where its trading terminals went down for two hours. This came up at an unfortunate time when UK’s Debt Management Office (DMO) was about to auction a series of short-term Treasury bills. Later in a statement Bloomberg declared that the services were restored and the glitch was a result of both hardware and software failures in the network, resulting in excessive network traffic.

Source: Cio-asia.com

  1. RBS payments failure

RBS payments failure

About 6 lakh payments failed to get through the accounts of RBS overnight in June 2015, which included wages and benefits. Bank’s chief admin officer stated it as a technology fault and there was no further detail on the real cause. In 2012, about 6.5 million RBS customers had to face an outage caused due to a batch scheduling software glitch, where the bank was fined £56 million.

Source: Cio-asia.com

  1. Airbus software bug alert

Airbus software bug alert

In May 2015, Airbus issued an alert for urgently checking its A400M aircraft when a report detected a software bug that had caused a fatal crash earlier in Spain. Prior to this alert, a test flight in Seville has caused the death of four air force crew members and two were left injured.

Source: Theguardian.com

  1. UK government’s new online farming payments system gets delayed

UK government’s new online farming payments

In March 2015, the UK government delayed the launch of £154 million rural payments system.  The system is an online service for farmers to apply for Common Agricultural Policy payments from the EU. This online service that was supposed to be up and running by May 2015 got delayed due to integration issues between the portal and the rules engine software. It was then not expected to be up even by 2016.

Source: Computerworlduk.com

  1. Co-op Food’s double charges

Co-perative Food double charges

In July 2015, Co-operative Food apologized to its customers and promised a refund within 24 hours. The reason was a ‘one-off technical glitch’ while processing the software that resulted in customers being charged twice.

Source: Computerworlduk.com

  1. John Lewis

John Lewis

Mispricing is a common headache faced by retailers due to system glitches, resulting in retail outlets offering customers excessively lucrative offers. John Lewis is a recent example, where the online retailer witnessed a price glitch on its website that erroneously advertised hardware at software rates.

Source: Money.aol.co.uk

  1. Tesco iPad pricing disaster

Tesco iPad pricing disaster

In March 2012, Apple iPads worth £650 got priced at £49.99. After the glitch got identified, Tesco cancelled the sale and did not respond to these orders, resulting in dissatisfaction with the customers.

Source: Mycustomer.com

  1. Marks & Spencer 3D TV glitch

Marks & Spencer 3D TV glitch

In January 2012, 50 inch, 3D TVs worth £1,099 went up on sale for a mere £199 on the Marks and Spencer website. Eventually, the company decided to sell the Plasma TV sets at a lowered price after it faced a customer petition. The online petition called ‘Marks & Spencer supply our tvs that we paid for’ compelled M&S to honour the orders.

Source: Thisismoney.co.uk

  1. Reebok’s free trainers

Reebok’s free trainers

In November 2013, Sports retailer Reebok trainers worth £100 were getting picked up for free from the online site, where the customers were being charged only for delivery. While the company did not honour the orders and apologised to the customer, they refunded the delivery charges and additionally gave 20% off on their next order. The pricing glitch went viral on Facebook and other sport and price deal forums, where shoppers rushed to get a grab of £99.95 CrossFit Nano Speed footwear for just £8.50 postage.

Source: Theguardian.com

  1. Tennessee County kills System Update worth $1Million

Tennessee County

After investing two years of labour and investment worth $1 Million, Rutherford Country of Tennessee, US called off a court software system update. The core reason was that the software glitches were identified right when the deal took place, where problems related to issuance of checks, errors on circuit court dockets and creation of hidden charges came up in the weeks after it went Live.

Source: 99tests.com

  1. Software Security Flaws Revealed in OLA’s Mobile App

Software Security Flaws - OLA

Ola, India’s largest taxi aggregator faced major security flaws within their system. The software bugs detected helped basic programmers to enjoy unlimited free rides – at the expense of Ola and at the expense of users. The issue went public when customers brought up the weaknesses in the system. Ola tried to fix bugs when the complaints soared up and it was alarming for the brand’s reputation in the marketplace.

Source: Economictimes.indiatimes.com

  1. Leeds Pathology IT crash

Leeds Pathology IT crash

In September 2016, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of Europe’s largest teaching trusts witnessed a pathology IT crash that resulted in a delay of operations for almost 132 patients. Leeds Teaching holds a budget of a £1 billion and employs over 16,000 staff. It serves 780,000 people in the city and provides expert care for 5.4 million patients. The outage further affected Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, GP services in Leeds and a minor number of GP services in Bradford.

Now that’s the impact!

Source: Digitalhealth.net

  1. Cisco’s Email Security Appliances glitch

cisco’s Email Security Appliances

In September 2016, Cisco Systems released a critical security bulletin to announce an IT exposure that could allow remote unauthenticated users to get access to its email security appliances. The vulnerability is associated with Cisco’s IronPort AsyncOS operating system. The company further indicated that there is a way out of this that can stop this remote access to the email appliances.

Source: Threatpost.com

  1. Cisco Nexus Switches warning

Cisco Nexus Switches

Cisco again! In October 2016, Cisco Systems released several critical software patches for its Nexus 7000-series switches and its NX-OS software. Cisco’s Security Advisory declared that both the Nexus 7000 and 7700 series switches were vulnerable to this glitch. The vulnerabilities declared allowed remote access to systems that could enable a hacker to execute code on targeted devices. Cisco further declared that this bug (CVE-2016-1453) is a result of “incomplete input validation performed on the size of overlay transport virtualization packet header parameters”.
Source: Threatpost.com

  1. Cyber Attack on Nuclear Power Plant

Cyber Attack on Nuclear Power Plant

In October 2016, the head of an international nuclear energy consortium declared that disruption at a nuclear power plant during the last several years was caused due to a ‘Cyber Attack’. Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) didn’t drill the matter much in detail, but did alter on the potential attacks in the future.

This shows that disruption in nuclear infrastructure due to a Cyber Attack is not a ‘Hollywood stint’!

Source: Threatpost.com

  1. Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ scandal

Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ scandal

In September 2015, the US government in a dramatic move ordered Volkswagen to recall about 500,000 cars after learning that the company had deployed advanced software to cheat emission tests and allowed its cars to produce 40 times more emissions than the decided limit. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) accused VW for installing illegal ‘defeat device’ software that substantially reduces Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions only while undergoing emission test. The company further admitted it and announced a recall as well.

Source: Theguardian.com

  1. Interlogix Recalls Personal Panic Devices

Interlogix

In October 2016, Interlogix, a wireless personal panic devices manufacturer recalled about 67, 000 devices due to its inability to operate during emergency situations. The probable cause for this glitch in operations was that the device was unable to communicate with the security system during an event of emergency. The way out was the manufacturer replacing the devices. Furthermore, the consumers could contact their professional security system installer and call for a free monitoring and if required free replacement.

Source: News.sys-con.com

  1. IRS E-File goes Offline

IRS E-File

In February 2016, the Federal Agency suffered from a hardware failure. IRS announced that the hardware failure has affected numerous tax processing systems that went out of service, including the modernized e-file system and another related system. Majority of the folks trying to file taxes online could not complete the process. Later IRS made amendments and worked to restore regular operations to get back to the routine.

Source: Newyork.cbslocal.com

  1. 911 call outage

911 call outage

In April 2015, Emergency services got stalled for six hours for seven US states. This affected 81 call centers, literally speaking about 6,000 people made 911 calls and were unable to connect across the seven states. The nationwide outage was the third major outage in three years across telecom operators of the 911 call system. This raised worries amongst federal regulators pertaining to the vulnerability of the country’s emergency response system.

Source: Wsj.com

  1. New York Stock Exchange halts trading

New York Stock Exchange

In July 2015, The New York Stock Exchange stopped trading due to an undisclosed ‘internal technical issue’, where all open orders were cancelled and the traders were alerted and informed that they would receive information later. While responding to the shut down, NYSE announced that there was no cyber breach within the system and it resumed operations after 4 hours.

Source: Money.cnn.com

  1. UK government’s online calculator glitch

UK government’s online calculator glitch

In December 2015, UK government found out that its online calculator for estimating the spouse’s financial worth got hit with a Form E fault, where calculations went wrong for thousands of couples who had got divorced over the past 20 months. Though the issue was prevalent since April 2014, it got noticed only in December 2015. The damage caused is yet to be estimated.

Source: Cio-asia.com

 

Let’s take a dip into some of the interesting software debacles of 2014

27. Nissan’s recall

Nissan's recall

For over 2 years Nissan recalled over a million cars, thanks to a software glitch in the airbag sensory detectors. Practically, the affected cars were unable to assess whether an adult was seated in the car’s passenger seat and consequently would not inflate the airbags in case of a crisis.

Source: Computerworlduk.com

28. Amazon 1p price glitch

Amazon 1p price glitch

One of the most known glitches in history, Amazon 1p price glitch, where third-party sellers listed on Amazon saw their products being priced at 1p each. While the products got delivered, numerous small time retailers had to appeal to the customers for returning the items.

Source: Computerworlduk.com

29. Screwfix.com glitch

Amazon 1p price glitch

In January 2014, every item in the Screwfix catalogue got priced at £34.99 that included items costing almost £1,599.99. Smart customers quickly collected goods worth thousands after the news was spreading across twitter. Eventually, the website had to close down.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

30. Flipkart apologizes for Big Billion Day sale fiasco

Flipkart

In October 2014, Filpkart, India based e-commerce giant, sent a note to its customers apologizing for the glitches that took place on the Big Billion Day Sale. The site encountered a heavy rush, which it couldn’t manage, which resulted in cancellation of orders, delayed delivery, and much more that was beyond them to manage. While the sale helped the ecommerce giant garner a billion hits in a day, it was certainly a PR nightmare for the brand.

Source: Livemint.com

31. CA Technologies paid RBS ‘millions’ for role in IT fiasco

CA Technologies

In October 2014, CA Technologies paid ‘millions of pounds’ to the Royal Bank of Scotland. This payment was a part of the settlement agreement with Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) IT outage in 2012. In 2012, a failed upgrade to CA7 batch processing software by RBS IT staff resulted in breakdown of systems that affected millions of customers. The customers were unable to access their accounts or execute any payments.

Source: Computerweekly.com

32. Chaos at UK airports

Chaos

On December 12, 2014, UK’s busiest airports got stranded due to a system glitch at the main national air traffic control center in Swanwick. Planes were grounded and passengers got delayed. The impact was enormous as the runways got closed at Heathrow, which is one of Europe’s busiest airports. The transport secretary called this ‘unacceptable’.

Source: Theguardian.com

33. Toyota Prius recalled over software glitch

Toyota Prius

In February 2014, Toyota Motor recalled 1.9 million newest-generation Prius vehicles worldwide due to a programming error that caused the car’s gas-electric hybrid systems to shut down. The Automaker mentioned that the problems were with the software settings on the latest Prius generation that initially went for sale in 2009 and could damage transistor in the hybrid systems. The identified problem could turn on the warning lights and trigger the vehicle to shut down the power on a fail-safe mode.

Source: Nytimes.com

34. Heartbleed the Web

Heartbleed

In April 2014, the IT gang woke up to its worst nightmare, an emergency security advisory from the OpenSSL project warned about an open bug ‘Heartbleed’. The bug could pull out a chunk of working memory from a server and run their current software. While there was an emergency patch for it, tens of millions of servers got exposed by the time the patch got installed. This left everyone and anyone running a server in a crisis mode. This notorious bug left biggies like Yahoo, Imgur, and numerous others exposed to Heartbleed.

Source: Theverge.com

35. Apple pulls iOS 8 update

Apple pulls iOS 8

In September 2014, Apple faced an embarrassment after it had to pull out its new iOS software update only after a few hours of its release. This was post complains from iPhone users about calls getting blocked post the upgrade. The tech giant pulled out the update after a storm of complaints on Twitter, Apple user chatrooms. The update further disabled the feature where people could unlock their phones with fingerprints.

Source: Mirror.co.uk

36. iCloud hack

iCloud hack

On August 2014, almost 500 private pictures of celebrities got posted on social channels and sites like Imgur and Reddit. The images were apparently sourced through a breach of Apple’s Cloud services suite iCloud. However, later it was found that it could be due to a security issue in the iCloud API that enabled the access and innumerable attempts from try passwords. However, there have been recent reports of similar hacks into iCloud.

Source: Dailymail.co.uk

37. Air India diverts Boeing 787 flight

Air India diverts Boeing 787 flight

During an emergency stunt in Feb 2014, Air India diverted Boeing 787 plane to Kuala Lumpur when the pilots noticed a software glitch while on a flight from Melbourne to New Delhi. The Engineers were flown down from Hong Kong to fix the glitch and worked with Air India to resolve the same. It has been reported that 787 has been suffering such glitches and Boeing was aware about it.

Source: Reuters.com

Gallop Solutions has collaborated with world’s leading and innovative organizations/brands across diverse industries. Enterprises globally have trusted Gallop’s independent software testing services and expertise for over a decade and have achieved speed to market, higher returns on investments (ROI), and enhanced quality deliveries in their overall QA initiatives. Connect with our experts to bring speed and velocity to your QA practices with the best ideas in the testing space.

Application and Software failures dilute the brand’s credibility that is built over the years. Together, let’s work towards further strengthening your brand’s positioning, integrity and faith by ensuring Quality @ speed.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

How to Amplify the Impact of Virtual Reality with a Robust Test Strategy?

How to amplify the impact of Virtual Reality with a robust Test strategy

Beyond the usual, today Virtual Reality (VR) is being leveraged to generate empathy. Unicef is leveraging VR to convey the quantum of work and the intensity of the crisis situation, which goes beyond just reading stories and viewing images. It is being considered as an immensely powerful tool to generate support and give human voice to the initiatives undertaken by Unicef around the world. A very recent instance is the Syrian refugee crisis and the work done around it.

This validates and establishes the impact of VR, which goes beyond mere gaming and infotainment. 2016 has been considered by experts and analysts as the breakthrough year for the VR industry. According to Deloitte, the industry is estimated to break the $1 bn barrier for the first time. Goldman Sachs forecasts that the VR market worth can grow up to $80 bn by 2025 as the opportunities get bigger and bigger.

With some globally popular brands setting their foot in the space, VR is getting its share in the mainstream. Samsung launched its Gear VR headset, Facebook is creating buzz with its Oculus Rift, HTC’s Vive has released, and there are many more to come our way. While these are some high-end options, there are some cheap options available to give that ‘experiential’ value to the interested folks.

How well it is going to be embraced in the mainstream, boils down to its acceptance levels. Any new technology when introduced in the market tends to be costly and sometimes exorbitant. However, there are brands that believe in offering the audience a test drive with the new technology.

Testing and experience goes hand in hand for Google Cardboard. It is giving users the edge to experience VR on a low-cost platform, which has been questioned by VR enthusiasts.

So be it!

Experiential approach in testing goes way ahead in the technology curve to create enthusiasm and drive acceptance for any novel concept. It is a much needed step to sustain the interest in the nascent VR market.

Interestingly, The New York Times is embracing the idea, as it will distribute over a million Google Cardboards with its Sunday print subscribers. This is a classic instance of how Media whether traditional or new always helps and propagates the idea of ‘testing the NEW’.

While testing the device is one thing, testing the applications is of greater significance. Google Cardboard has come up with some applications like, Cardboard Camera App that facilitates a stereoscopic panorama to view with Google Cardboard. Similarly, Orbulus is a must-have VR smartphone app that takes you around the globe with a massive 216MB download. These are some extremely striking examples of applications that are mostly free and out there in the marketplace to test consumer behavior and response.

Likewise, there are simple tools in the marketplace for techies to test the readiness of the PC for VR. For example, SteamVR Performance Test is a simple tool that helps evaluate your PC’s compatibility with the VR application. Alternatively, experts are considering and evaluating the use of Test Automation with required mix of Unit tests, Acceptance tests, and Regression tests of the code.

With a market that promises growth and serious investment at the same time, what makes testing these applications so critical? Specifically, how critical is testing for a VR app?

Testing essentially confirms the correct or expected behavior of any particular application or device at hand. VR applications are expected to, and are practically being implemented across various industry domains. Testing of VR applications has its own nuances, due to its complexity and aspects pertaining to human-machine interface.

Manual Testing is considered for evaluating the application’s user interaction and automated testing is implemented for internal application components. Manual tests specifically help to gauge the user’s interaction with the applications and whether it leads to the desired outcome.

User interfaces for VR applications are much more complex and must consider a different testing approach. It does not implement usual interaction handler to process the data from the device; alternately, it processes the device’s input directly. The purpose behind this is to comprehend the overall impact of the environment on the device and how all this assimilates for the user in the virtual environment. In order to process such high degree of interaction and weigh the input and corresponding output, automating a chunk of tests is absolutely indispensable.

Experts say that there is no specific or accepted pattern for automated testing of VR applications. Currently, the industry is implementing existing software engineering practices and applying them for testing VR applications. Considering the high intensity of human-machine interface, conventional testing processes can fall short of meeting the requirements.

What is recommended, is a comprehensive testing architecture that addresses specific issues concerning the testing needs for VR applications.

A number of companies across sectors are integrating their VR applications within their sphere of work. For instance, Ford designers and engineers are leveraging VR to test elements of new cars and have been saving around $8 million in a year. Airbus is using it for showcasing Demo for customers. On the critical end, Surgeons at UCLA are implementing Surgical Theatre’s medical VR technology and Oculus Rift to test-run some extremely sensitive surgeries before the actual operation.

All thanks to the diverse and widespread application of VR, today it is being leveraged by leading global institutions like Unicef to showcase their work to corporate partners, foundations and philanthropists to garner the required support for a much larger cause.

Gallop Solutions has been empowering enterprises and brands to increase release velocity, reduce time to market and cut overall testing effort, resulting in higher return on investment (ROI). Gallop Test Automation Accelerator Kit (GTAAK) comprises of pre-built test automation scripts, utilities, process assets and frameworks, and has helped enterprises to implement successful test automation initiatives. Contact us to know more.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Is Implementing Digital Transformation an ‘Olympic’ task?

Is Implementing Digital Transformation an ‘Olympic’ task

Rio Olympics 2016 enthralled the global audience and brought together a ‘connected’ fervour. Media across the world and across diverse communication platforms was flooded with scores, interesting updates, candid photographs and records of exemplary performances by participants. Whether it was Usain Bolt’s radiant smile, Simone Biles’ spectacular performance or a standing ovation for the Refugee Olympic team, Rio 2016 proved to grow way bigger than a Sports event that touched every individual and every household.

Thanks to the seamless and consistent flow of information from various media channels, online portals, and social media posts, Rio 2016 has helped create the larger canvas of ‘Olympic’ victory for each one of us.

The changing nature of managing, executing, and transmitting international sports events has digitally connected each one of us in terms of ‘information accessibility’.

Creating a connected environment is no less than a herculean task. For instance, one of the major challenges with Olympic Games is to orchestrate the activities of 200,000 employees, addressing 4 billion customers and operating 24×7 in a new country every four years. With all its global appeal, it involves over 15,000 athletes, 30,000 media, and flowing registrations. Most critical is the kind of attention it gets globally, which justifies the overall ‘stress’ factor.

What if the results pouring in from various sources are lost? What if there is an issue in terms of online bookings for a match? These software glitches have no space in an international event that draws high-octane energy from the global viewers.

Disappointing the global audience is just out of question!

A report released by IDC mentions that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wanted to bring about Digital Transformation with the sole purpose to transform the overall experience of these games into a connected and digitally-enabled holistic experience for the global audience.

Digital Transformation in all possible ways endeavours to digitally enable your customers.

The term Digital Transformation brings a lot of social implications, where the digital needs of the customer drive the transformation process and bring about the required paradigm shift for an organization / event. This exactly determined the focus for Olympic Games this year; the need of the global audience.

Digital transformation process for any business revolves around 2 basic aspects – Customer experience & Customer journey.

From an IT partner’s perspective, what does Digital Transformation for a global sports event imply?

  • The core IT infrastructure does not collapse and cannot be a reason for delay in announcement of the results anytime during the games. Importantly, critical information about the results cannot be lost.
  • Better flexibility, agility, reliability, scalability with the processes, resulting in overall cost effectiveness.
  • Automated transmission of results within seconds across the world and across diverse media platforms.
  • 24*7 support for portal that supports the recruitment and training of 70,000 volunteers, and the application that processes lakhs of accreditation passes for the event.

An IT partner is expected to make all this possible in an environment where numerous IT systems integrate and are connected to a virtual system to deliver the desired customer experience. This implies implementation of Cloud, Analytics, Mobility solutions, and Social Media technology to enhance both customer experience and the IT infrastructure supporting the overall action.

When multiple systems need to team up and work peacefully, Integration Testing plays an important role in IT testing and helps achieve major milestones related to delivery on time and on budget. For instance, during the Olympic Games 2016, the IT partner changed its testing approach. Instead of building IT systems at centralized locations and later moving to the host city, the virtual servers were utilized to test the systems centrally and were later deployed digitally to the actual venue.

This resulted in increased availability of time for test systems, boosted flexibility to shift virtual servers between the central location and the host cities rather than shipping them physically. It further improved the availability of testing environments by almost 10%. Synchronously, setting up the Integration Testing Lab at a centralized location led to further cost reduction. This resulted in reducing the dependency on physical infrastructure for ensuring flawless performance.

As known and acknowledged, Mobility solutions in various shapes and sizes have offered a transformed experience to viewers during the recent Games. Billions of connected devices were used to watch real-time events and monitor results. This resulted in increasing demand for ‘over-the-top content’, which triggered the need to partner with local Internet service providers and physical facilities like WiFi. Ultimately, all these arrangements had to get tested for its performance and functionality to provide uninterrupted experience to the receivers.

Apart from the scalability and flexibility factor, Cloud was leveraged to bring cost effectiveness, Analytics were implemented as part of security monitoring, mobility solutions helped deliver event results in real time, and social technology was used to improve the workflow related to collaboration.

All these aspects together enabled Digital Transformation, which was ultimately possible with rigorous testing of systems for seamless integration and smooth functioning.

While testing various aspects for Digital Transformation it is important to collaborate with a strong testing partner who is capable of offering a complete Digital Assurance platform. The testing process can be automated with re-usable assets and set frameworks. So, the comprehensive testing process covers every component in the chain that is meant to bring about Digital Transformation for the business and serve the customer better each time.

Global enterprises of various shapes and sizes have worked with Gallop experts to automate and transform their business processes and reach out effectively to their end customers. Digital Transformation in the current context implies business transformation, which is possible with a comprehensive test framework. Connect with Gallop Solutions and revolutionize your testing process for delivering desired customer experience.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Need for Innovation in Digital Quality Assurance

Need for Innovation in Digital Quality Assurance1

Going Digital is no more a new word in the technology arena as most of the IT organizations have assimilated themselves to the new trend. The wheels of digital revolution have pulled every organization towards it, as it leads to continuous, consistence interaction with customers across the multiple channels leading to consumerization of services.

Digital transformation involves mobile, customer experience, social media and big data. Most of the organizations unraveled the ‘apps race’ as a part of their digital transformation strategy focusing on delivering high quality, secure user experiences, with assured business outcomes. This led to growth in IT spend allocation to QA and Testing to 35% till 2015 and might increase to 40% by 2018 according to World Quality Report 2015-16. Demand for greater agility, shorter lifecycles of device and services, and integration of services across platforms increased the importance on quality assurance testing

It might be easier for the “Born Digital” organizations to view QA as an integral part of their growth graph. But for the organizations performing testing on legacy and web application, and who are currently in the transformation stage, digital testing unless until coupled with innovation would be difficult to achieve the desired goals of customer centricity. Therefore, it is essential for the existing QA organizations to understand the current testing trends and innovate ways to provide effective testing solutions.

Digital Quality Assurance Challenges include:

Continuous Delivery: The need to meet end user expectations made continuous delivery essential. In continuous delivery environment, testing is done in small increments at frequent intervals with code integration as its being build. This would help in early detection of problems and determines the effectiveness of change.

Complete coverage: Identifying the end-user requirements and defining the right coverage of their expectations would be a major hurdle where it requires a constant communication or interaction with target segment.

Test Case Design Strategy: Use of agile scrum methodology to develop the custom apps might be an efficient way to achieve fast time to market, but a test case design following a similar strategy will have to be assessed and defined such that it accelerates the test life cycle.

Test Automation: Test tools should complement the agile development process of the application. The test automation scripts should reflect the latest version of system for which they have been developed. When the system changes, there is a need to change the tests to suit. Otherwise, the maintenance of automated test scripts outweighs their effectiveness in an unstable environment.

Mobile Labs: Demand for digital testing exploded as the use of mobile devices have become an integral part of customer existence. Although most of the organizations agree that time is one of the important factors for QA and testing in mobile development, testing across plethora of mobile devices and enhancing the customer usability is a challenge in itself. Even though organizations tend to have set up real mobile device labs as test environment, this just adds to fixed cost of maintaining them as the life cycle of mobile has been changing exponentially.

Establishing of test environments: To provide effective customer experience, the solutions have to be consistent across different channel interfaces. As the channel interfaces gradually increase, testing and maintenance of those environments would be a huge hurdle. In view of ever changing test environments, use of cloud technologies in the establishing test environments might seem a plausible option to avert the infrastructure costs and diversity of mobile devices.

Generation of dynamic test data: Static test data is an element of past! As more and more mobile applications are being built, the need to test the software components as they build has become an existential need. To accelerate testing across the latest applications, there is a need to generate dynamic test data to stabilize the applications and bring a close proximity to customer behavior.

Non Functional testing: As the goal of consistent customer experience across the channels has to be achieved, there has to be a special emphasis on performance and security of the customer data, which flows across channels. The risk of losing customer data across multiple channels and multiple platforms is huge, therefore the Security assessments, vulnerabilities, and performance audits of the environments are essential to boost the ability of applications, infrastructures and end-points. There has to be a holistic view of performance from server to front-end applications.

The challenges in digital testing is pushing the QA organizations to innovate ways to address them and provide the best in class solutions. With customer experience as the core pillar, organizations needs to deliver on the following aspects to stay relevant: Customer centricity with analytics based assurance, agility with faster time to market, stability with best in class QA practices and future ready applications with enhanced performance.

Are you looking to know more about our Digital Assurance services? Then, don’t miss the Digital QA Webinar on 14th July,2016 to know how to accelerate your Digital transformation journey.

About the Author:

gallop-software testerAbout the Author: Naresh is a Solutions Lead , part of Enterprise Solutions Group at Gallop Solutions. Naresh supports Sales and Delivery teams in creating technical proposals and supports bid process. He hold a PGDM degree from T.A.Pai Management Institute, Manipal and graduated(B.E) from Osmania University, Hyderabad in the stream of Electronics and Communication Engineering. He has keen Interests in latest technologies, Psychology and Philosophy.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

SaaS Testing: Challenges and How to overcome them

SaaS Testing: Challenges and How to overcome them

SaaS or Software as a service is gaining a lot of momentum and wider adoption by organizations as they are realizing the real benefits by using SaaS over On-premise installed applications. In SaaS model, the organization need not pay for the software or hardware itself, it’s more of a rental scheme where they pay as they use. This is what makes SaaS attractive compared to the On-premise option.

It’s a tough decision for the organizations to choose SaaS, as there are lot of factors like complexity of system, application stack, and operational aspects which needs to be considered. Especially for the enterprises with legacy applications, it’s a very tough decision considering the investments they have made in their own datacenters. Few of the factors which comes into play while choosing SaaS applications are Security, Return on Investment, Platform suitability, Compliances and Integration.

These factors coupled with other challenges necessitates the need of SaaS testing.

So what is SaaS Testing?

SaaS Testing refers to the set of testing methodology and processes used to ensure that applications built using the software as a service model of development, functions as designed. SaaS applications entail thorough testing for their integrity, different from that of on-premise applications. This involves testing of data security and privacy, business logic, data integration, performance, interface compatibility, Optimization of testing, and scalability, among others.

SaaS testing also have shorter testing cycles because of the architectural model of software delivered as a service, as compared to traditional software delivery. SaaS testing methodology thus does not require test cases for client or server installations, multi-platform back-end support, multiple version support or backwards compatibility usually. But there are many other different test cases which comes into play for SaaS Testing because SaaS applications function in a cloud computing environment that incorporates SOA (service oriented architecture) and Web Services into the fold.

Also agile methods are typically part of SaaS testing because of the speed of delivery. The use of test automation tools for building regression suites in this agile model helps organizations bring in business value and quickly validate the impact of upgrades also.

So let’s have a look at what needs to be tested for SaaS Applications?

  • Performance Testing: Performance is the most critical factor for the SaaS applications. Each module of the application needs to be performance-tested along with the workflow. It’s also up to testers to determine the throughput expected in the workflow. Also by stressing the system with load tests, the team can determine the application’s ability to handle unsteady loads and find the maximum supported levels. SaaS testing, with a focus on ensuring performance, is imperative to a SaaS provider’s success.
  • Availability Testing: Making sure that the application is available at all times for the users is very important for successful testing. The SaaS application should not go through any downtimes.
  • Security Testing: This is major concern and sometimes also a deal breaker if you are opting for SaaS option for applications. It is vital that proper security testing is carried out and any threats to the data, privacy does not exist.
  • Interoperability Testing: Every SaaS application must be able to function seamlessly in all different environments and platforms so that users from all backgrounds can use them.
  • Stress and Load Testing: SaaS application needs to be tested for various amount of stress and load beyond its usual operational capacity in order to evaluate how it responds to and gives results.
  • Integration and migration tests: There are many API’s to which your SaaS application might be integrated with. The data migration and integration should be checked and tested while ensuring the data privacy and security.
  • Business workflow tests: Business workflows and other competent functionalities needs to work as planned. Knowing the different configurable and non-configurable components of the application makes it easy to test and get the best out of the application.

Though SaaS testing comes with its unique set of challenges, the right skillset and planning can help mitigate risks associated with it. Gallop’s SaaS testing methodology ensures that right strategy, automation & best practices are followed throughout for your application on cloud.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Testing Machine to Machine interactions in IOT World

Testing Machine to Machine interactions in IOT World

 

M2M or Machine to Machine interactions have been around for quite some time now and with IoT getting into mainstream, the machine to machine interactions are at the forefront again.

So what makes IoT and M2M so interesting?

As per GSMA Intelligence, there are now more than 7.82 billion devices, including M2M devices, which is way above the number of humans pegged at 7.4bn. We are working in a world where the importance of connected devices is getting more relevant and with the amount of automation happening, we are going to see a huge jump in the connected machines by next decade. As per Cisco, “the Internet of Things (IoT) will have up to 50 billion things (or devices) that will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet.”

Though M2M has been there since 1930s, when the British military first invented radar to detect aircraft, it is getting into every household these days. M2M is at the heart of Internet of Things and with connected devices getting so common, in future, it might be at every corner of your house. IoT is all about connected devices communicating with each other in form of data which is being analyzed and action being taken in real-time with/without human intervention. Given the current pace of things, human intervention is going to get less every year.

As more and more devices start taking decisions without human intervention, testing and certifying such devices will become more critical for the organizations. Some of the factors which needs to be considered are:

  • Skill set:

This is going to be the most important factor for testing M2M/IoT applications as the resources are supposed to have domain knowledge as well as systems engineering understanding. Having the right resources with good skillset is going to be critical for success of IoT projects.

  • Test environment management:

Having the right test environment for testing the devices, applications around it, communication between machines is going to be difficult as the number of devices rises. Once the devices with different versions and upgrades emerge, mimicking and simulating the test environment will be a challenge.

  • Test data management:

Here comes the real challenge. M2M usually generates terabytes of data for different processes, and which may also be behaviorally different. And given that there will be different types of devices which will be communicating and generating different types of data, getting it right becomes even more important.

  • Security testing:

Data privacy and application security are the non-avoidable types of testing, given that there will be lot of loopholes when multiple devices interact over multiple channels. This becomes even more important because m2m devices usually don’t have specific identities (currently), and testing thus them for vulnerabilities is must because the amount of data which gets exposed.

  • Compatibility testing:

IoT has given rise to different operating systems, devices and messaging protocols. Making sure that different devices communicate properly while maintaining the standards is key to success of the IoT.

  • Performance testing:

Performance becomes critical in the case of IoT as the response time between machines is critical to the success of the business scenarios which run over these devices. At the same time, measuring the vital statistics of devices like power usage, memory usage, endurance testing, disaster recovery testing is also important.

  • Accessibility testing:

Testing for accessibility is going to grow as we see more interconnected devices around us. With smart cars talking to smart buildings and in turn passing the information to smart wearables, this is going to be compulsory type of testing to be considered.

  • Regulatory compliance testing:

We are going to see standards, protocols and compliances emerging in the IoT space and making sure that regulatory requirements are adhered to will be crucial.

These are few of types of testing which we feel are important. But there will be many more types of testing which needs to be considered to cover the end-to-end functionality of the IoT devices.

It is going to be interesting to see how this space evolves and if any new standards, tools and, processes becomes part of the IoT software delivery pipeline. Whatever it will be, we will keep you updated with the latest in IoT testing world.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Successfully Implementing TDD/BDD to Enable Shift-Left Testing Approach

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Today, when developers are using tools like J unit/N unit for testing their code, approaches such as test driven development (TDD) and behaviour driven development (BDD) focus on improving the quality of the code that is being written. Though the approaches require a different mind-set, the objective remains the same.

Usually Behaviour driven development is focused on the business behaviour of your code: the “why” behind the code. The focus is usually on the intent rather than process. It supports a team-centric (especially cross-functional) workflow. BDD works really well when a developer and either the agile product owner or a business analyst sit down together and write the pending specifications:

  • The business person specifies the exact functionality they want to see in the system.
  • The developer asks questions based on their understanding of the system, while also writing down additional behaviours needed from a development perspective.

Ideally, both parties can refer to the list of current system behaviours to see if this new feature will break existing features. This way quality comes first and the entire product is understood which decreases the defect entry into the development related to requirements or functionality of the system.

Test Driven development on the other hand focuses on implementation of the system. For example, writing a better quality code that helps in maintaining the health of the code with no nonsense into the system.

Approaches like TDD/BDD are used to understand the requirements clearly without any ambiguities and help developers to write tests in a way that makes code execution successful. These methods enable testers to think of solutions using a bottom up approach that helps prevention of defects in the later stages. This approach also helps clarify any ambiguities in the requirements early on in the software development lifecycle, before coding actually begins. With an increased level of understanding of the features and requirements, developers know what exactly needs to be coded, as also what needs to be included or excluded in the code, thereby preventing leakage of defects into the code in the later phases of development lifecycle. The mindset and ability to focus on producing quality product with minimum to no defects from inception/upstream process is enabled by these methods that complement the shift left approach.

While the development teams like this approach, the project teams blame the TDD/BDD process for slowing down the software development process. However, it has been realized that implementation of TDD/BDD practices in the initial development phases enables organizations face lower defects in the later stages. This helps in the maintenance of the code, increases the defect removal efficiency, and also reduces the time to market of the product. The TDD/BDD approach is also best suited for applications where the requirements undergo progressive elaboration. The frequently tested code has lesser defects and enables faster delivery of working software to the clients.

Practices like unit testing and adopting TDD/BDD provide high code coverage coupled with faster feedback regarding unexpected defects/surprises/issues and thus becomes an additive element in the reinforced process.

TDD/BDD practices also enhance practices like requirement management for covering the finer topics like requirement elicitation, requirements acceptance criteria, and requirements review prior to the development process. Requirement traceability is also enhanced when test cases are traced back to the requirements giving a picture of test coverage functionally.

A seamless implementation of both approaches identifies defects early on in the SDLC process, reduce risks, and reduce cost of rework which is a significant cost in software development process. TDD/BDD helps align the mind-set to the left focussing on quality from concept-to-cash for building the right product with the right intent in the best possible way.

In a nutshell, the BDD/TDD practices enable the following:

  • Move defect identification and prevention to the left (early stages of SDLC)
  • Reduce issues/surprises/incidents in the production
  • Help teams stay focused on Continuous Delivery
  • Compliment the agile/iterative development
  • Improve the overall build deployability by reduced lead times and increased quality
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Digital Assurance and need of Omni Channel Testing

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Assurance refers to a positive declaration that instills confidence or a sense of surety.

In today’s world where everything is being digitized or automated, it is very much necessary that the end users of the products get a feeling of security and assurance that their data and other personal information that they might share on the web is safe. This is what Digital Assurance is all about. Digital Assurance refers to assuring the customers that none of their personal data is vulnerable to being exploited by hackers. This in turn ensures maximum customer satisfaction.

Now a days as digital technology is covering all spectrums of business solutions there is a rising demand for almost a completely flawless customer experience and safety. Digital Assurance aims at meeting this demand. Organizations providing a holistic assurance strategy not only ensure successful digital transformation but can also optimize their IT budgets.

Digital Assurance refers to Q&A practices that ensure the relationship between the various components of Digital Ecosystem remains smooth. The Digital Ecosystem includes various interconnected people, processes & things cutting across the Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud stack.

Here are the few reasons why organizations need to take up Digital Assurance.

  1. Need for being Agile: Being agile through continuous quality assurance initiatives, and automating processes to ensure shorter delivery cycles become highly critical in a highly dynamic digital landscape.
  1. Make or Break the Customer Experience: Delivering enhanced customer experience while leveraging a variety of components of Digital Ecosystem becomes challenging. Ensuring each component delivers optimum performance leading to customer delight becomes difficult as the organization becomes more digitally matured.
  1. Organizations are vulnerable to Security Threats: Security is of paramount importance specifically in an interconnected world. The smart interconnected ecosystems on one side enable an unimaginable world of possibilities, but it makes the entire system highly vulnerable to security threats, if not properly configured and tested, on the flip side.
  1. Performance of Organizations Legacy Infrastructure needs to be maximized:This is an important challenge specifically with those enterprises who are not born Digital. They need to change their organizational DNA both from a cultural perspective and from legacy IT infrastructure standpoint. Ensuring their core functionalities are not impacted as they chart their path towards Digital Infrastructure can be much challenging.
  1. Complexity: The most difficult challenge comes from the complexities arising from the nexus of forces –Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud, to ensure that they work in synchronization with organizational goals.

We need to consider the following important points while implementing Digital Assurance: 

  1. Omni-Channel Assurance: Omni-channel testing is based on preparing a test strategy with a view of all the channel and user interaction patterns.
  1. Users spread across the globe: Internet users are spread across the globe with around 46% of the population having access to the internet. The region wise statistics are: Asia-48.2%, Europe-18%, Latin America-10.2%, Africa-9.8%, North America-9.3%, Middle East-3.7%, and Australia-0.8%. Irrespective of these statistics the users should find similar functionalities, semantics and experience. Therefore Digital Assurance strategies should include both localization and globalization tests.
  1. Validating business scenarios:The Digital Assurance strategies must ensure that the business functionalities and expectations are met by the application.
  1. Customer experience and social integration: The Digital Assurance strategies must ensure a good user and brand experience irrespective of the channel and the other factors.
  1. Security Assurance: Application are being hosted on multiple platforms which has increased the risk rate thus having to necessarily perform security testing for these possible vulnerabilities by focusing on application profiling, authentication, data validation and encryption algorithms.
  1. Lifecycle automation: Let me discuss more about Omni-channel testing in detail.
    Omni-channel is a multi-channel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.What distinguishes the Omni-channel customer experience from the multi-channel customer experience is that there is true integration between channels on the back end. For example, when a store has implemented an Omni-channel approach, the customer service representative in the store will be able to immediately reference the customer’s previous purchases and preferences just as easily as the customer service representative on the phone or the web chat. Also, the customer can check inventory using laptop by store on the company’s website, purchase the item later on with a smartphone or tablet and pick up the product at the customer’s chosen location.The main difference between Omni-Channel and Multi-Channel lies in the process being tested.
    If you want to test a single process that spans across multiple devices, you want OMNI-CHANNEL testing.
    If you want to test the same process on a range of devices, you want MULTI-CHANNEL testing.Omni-channel testing is not just about consolidating testing across channels but designing a test strategy with a view of all the channels and real user behavior.

So what are the top advantages for businesses due to Digital Assurance:

  1. Customer-centric business: This is done by ensuring flawless customer experience.
  2. Agility in business: Automation and virtualization ensures quicker time to market.
  3. Stability in business: Finding out errors in advance and modifying the tests accordingly to ensure the best testing cycle.
  4. Future proofing the business: Anticipating the future and developing methods of minimizing the effects of shocks and stresses of future events.

Are you looking for Digital Assurance services and leverage the advantages listed above for your business? Then, reach out to our digital testing experts for a free assessment.

 

gallop-software testerAbout the Author: Dheeraj Kumar M is a Software Consultant at Gallop Solutions. He is part of the Innovation Vertical which primarily transforms an Idea into an actual product. Part of multiple Technical workshops right from his college days has helped him shape up his skill sets. His Core Skill is with Core Java, HTML5. He is also an avid shutterbug capturing the picturesque Mother Nature in his spare time.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Why Digital Testing Requires a Different Approach?

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In this world of digital transformation, testing new products is getting more and more complex. The testing processes can be long and costly because of the increasing number of mobile devices, smart appliances, media channels, developmental environments and business applications, all of them demanding faultless connectivity. Companies need to launch their products in the market faster than ever before by covering all the possible testing challenges.

The disruption of digital transformation is the biggest fear across all industries. Today’s connected world has unified multiple aspects of businesses such as multiple customer channels, supply chains, interfacing devices, application touch points, etc. Hence, the QA organizations are in urgent need to assess customer experience capabilities as well as to ensure the functionality of each and every application applying the developments in quality, cost, and agility.

There is a need to focus on the disruptive nature of digital technologies with an emphasis on customer experience testing. In order to achieve it successfully, more attention should be paid toward service offerings with an integrated test delivery platform which encompasses channel and tool agnostic test automation framework, a structured mobile testing strategy and proper crowd testing.

There is also a need to provide more niche expertise to the customer with the realization that as testing teams comprise of a co-located team with a combination of Onsite, Offshore, and Nearshore teams, there is a need to bring better quality, improved communication, and a structured and layered approach with reduced cost and enhanced values. There is also a need to prioritise and place more emphasis on niche services at all the locations in order to capitalize on defined values and speed and meet the growing challenges to be fulfilled in Digital testing.

There is also a need to adopt Centralized and Decentralized approaches while organizing QA and testing functions as the development process comprises of critical integrations and transformations. In order to perform the testing smoothly, a structured approach will prove to be very fruitful. Also, multiple approaches should be tested before arriving at a final conclusion as one size doesn’t fit all. While searching for a testing partner, the emphasis should be to find a partner who has expertise in multi-layered operating approaches, continuous integration and governed by real-time dashboards.

Successful integration in the digital world also demands adoption of swift practices and a proper platform engineered to meet the testing needs efficiently. This kind of fast and responsive QA and testing needs can be better met by integrating it with agile development. The QA organizations also need to integrate the upstream as well as downstream approach and create a Test-Operations concept to stay ahead from others. This could also be achieved by successfully adopting risk based techniques and testing, Test Driven Development (TDD), Service Virtualization, etc.

With the migration of a lot of applications to Cloud, there is also a need to gain expertise in Migration Testing to Cloud along with keeping an eye on the security as well as the performance aspects that may be hampered during the migration process. Focussed Migration testing techniques focussing on multi-channel and Behaviour Driven Testing (BDD) models will prove to be of great use in these situations.

Hence, we can conclude that with increasing complexity and competition in this Digital world, there is an extreme need to analyze the trends, examine them, and follow the right steps to enhance one’s testing capabilities and implement the right testing practice that will help in managing the testing activities and complexity seamlessly and achieve the standards required for Digital Testing.

At Gallop, we cover all the bases and ensure that effective testing is performed by the right set of experts. We ensure the best quality for your product and that your customers are happy. Our tool agnostic test automation frameworks ensure accelerated testing so that you get higher productivity and an enviable time to market.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Practical Approach for Improving Agile Testing Maturity – Part 2

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Continuing from where we left off in Practical Approach for Improving Agile Testing Maturity – Part 1, let us deep dive into the remaining critical factors for improving an organizations’ agile testing maturity. As explained, the 5 steps to improve your agile test maturity are:

  1. Discover and Document
  2. Analyze and Benchmark
  3. Develop a Roadmap
  4. Transformation Approach
  5. Continuous Process Improvement

We discussed the first two steps in the previous blog. Let us now see what the remaining steps entail.

Develop a Roadmap

Based on the results and inferences that can be made from the Analyze and benchmark phase, a transformation agenda can be generated. This agenda, if adopted, will act as a roadmap to convert your goals into reality. The Vision and Mission must be clearly drafted and put in place. The roadmap should contain both long-and-short term strategic objectives that are aligned with achieving the business goals.

At a very high-level, the roadmap should include the objectives being targeted, the low-hanging fruits, quick wins, and the potential benefits. Usually a roadmap must be proposed against a set of focus areas or business objectives governed with a strategy, reference models, and enablers that complement the mission. In a testing environment, the organizations can focus on the following focus areas including, but not limited to Testing in Agile Environment, Test Coverage Enhancements, Improving the Testing Lead times, and focusing on the elements that enable the transformation. Organization can do a quick cost benefit analysis, prioritize the areas for improvement based on the value proposition, the business impact, and return on investment (ROI). Categorizing the improvement areas will help teams to stay focused and resilient. Usually efforts invested in enhancing customer satisfaction, quality, and product alignment take precedence over efforts being made on improving the operational efficiency.

That said, a roadmap without a proper transformation approach is as useless as trying to reach a destination without a proper route map to reach there.

Transformation Approach

Transformation approach is another vital aspect for converting Vision to Mission. A Target Operating Model has to be designed that sets the tone for transformation. This model can be developed with all the intended and implied needs of customers or clients. For an organization invested in, is following agile development, and is focused on improving its testing maturity, the following focus areas may be considered:

  • Test Organization
  • Functional and Non-functional test coverage
  • Test Efficiency
  • Test Tools Management
  • Transformation levers such as Knowledge base, Skilled resources, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), infrastructural needs etc.

In essence, the Target Operating Model is a low level framework and a workable solution with the finest of the details in the transformation strategy.

In the later stages, transformation can be noticed in the re-baselining of processes, training the associates on improved process, piloting the improvements in a phased manner, collecting the feedback and then re-optimizing the processes. This is an everlasting, continuing loop that organizations should tend to adopt for meeting the ever increasing demands and needs of their clients/customers.

Continuous Process Improvement

Having discussed the roadmap and transformation stages, let us get now get an insight on the process improvement journey. A continuous process improvement requires formal self-assessment/Independent audits/Third party audits to be put in place with the help of industry accepted frameworks, or customized and home grown frameworks.

The incessant demands and needs of the customers force the organizations to adapt new changes and improve existing processes. Hence, the entire ecosystem we spoke about earlier comes into scope and is again applicable.

Audits and assessments give us ample opportunities for finding the shortfalls in the system against the current business needs or prevailing conditions, thus enabling us to focus on the new improvement aspects. The shortfalls are addressed by taking corrective actions that enable improving the existing agile testing environments. This never ending journey helps organizations keep on their toes and motivate them for making continuous improvements to their process according to the changing demand scenarios created by their customers. These changes and improvements help come up with better, and user friendly features that make the product more popular and stable, thereby bringing about a much desired increase in the demand.

Organizations that try to follow and implement these 5 steps to improve their agile test maturity will definitely see a marked positive impact in their business outcomes.

If you are a large organization trying to implement an Agile test automation strategy, contact Gallop’s team of test automation experts. Our tool agnostic test automation framework consists of a huge library of keywords that help you build your tests quickly and efficiently, and seamlessly integrate with leading commercial and open source tools.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.