The Art of Explaining Continuous Testing to Management
As a developer in an organization that utilizes Agile development methodologies, it is easy to see how your team could benefit from re-thinking testing to ensure a higher level of quality in a fast-paced delivery cycle. And in many cases, you may need to leverage continuous testing practices to achieve this goal.
But while it may be simple for a developer who lives in the technical world to understand the ins and outs of continuous testing strategies, it is often more difficult to explain them to non-technical managers.
What are some of the best ways to explain the concept in a non-technical manner and get management on board with the implementation of continuous testing practices in your development process? This article explains.
Continuous Testing from a Non-Technical Perspective
In order to get anyone on board with utilizing a new concept, they must first understand what it is they are signing up for. In the case of continuous testing, upper management is most likely concerned with what will be achieved through its use and what it will take to get there.
With continuous testing, the response to those issues is simple. Through the use of continuous testing principles you will achieve a state of maximum test coverage, and this test coverage will be utilized at all relevant points in the delivery pipeline. To state it in a more non-technical manner, as development is taking place, the application is being tested constantly to provide as much assurance as possible that no major issues exist within the application.
This is all achievable by getting the development team to commit to writing and automating tests for each feature as they develop the application. The cost to the development team is the overhead of developing and integrating the automated test scripts into the delivery pipeline.
Who Wants to Save Time and Money?
The answer to this question is just about everyone. Most likely this includes your boss. And continuous testing can save both significant time and money for your organization.
The earlier a bug is identified in an application, the easier it is to fix, and the less time it takes to fix it. So it makes sense that leveraging continuous testing would save time, as you would almost certainly catch bugs earlier in the development process, just by nature of testing all throughout the delivery pipeline. Few bugs (and likely minor rather than major bugs) will make it to the end of the delivery pipeline and into production.
Testing early and testing continuously also serves to save the organization money—first, by helping to stay on schedule with an application’s targeted release date. No major refactoring to fix bugs at the end of the development cycle means no major impact on the projected release date. This leads to a quality product getting to market earlier, allowing the application to lead to revenue. Furthermore, with no major bugs making it to production, there will be no need to divert resources to assist in a release to fix major issues with the application in production. This limits time maintaining the production version of the application and gives the organization the flexibility and resources to focus on other projects that could be making the organization money (maybe even a v2).
Avoid Damage to Reputation
Continuous testing can also assist in helping an organization avoid damage to its reputation. By ensuring quality code is being written and integrated throughout the development process, you have assurance that your application has a certain level of quality necessary for success when going to production.
This helps your organization to avoid the potential embarrassment of major issues with the application after its release. And the simple idea of having this level of peace of mind and confidence in your production release is most likely music to your boss’ ears. Good reviews of your application can only mean good things for the future of your organization.
Continuous testing is a term that describes what can be a very technical process for testing an application thoroughly. However, the term can be simplified: Continuous testing means constantly testing through the use of test automation at all phases of application development. By providing the means for early bug detection and an assurance of quality from stage-to-stage in the delivery pipeline, continuous testing can serve to give your organization several benefits, such as saving your developers’ time, saving your organization money, and preventing potentially reputation-ruining bugs from getting into production. With a clear explanation of these benefits, it is quite easy to get non-technical management to see what this concept brings.
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