Building a Quality Platform From The Ground Up

Feb 4, 2020

Sauce Labs employee working on a computer

In a world of agile development, testing all the things in a fast-paced development environment is challenging. What to do about it? You want to acknowledge where you are on the quality maturity curve. If you understand your maturity curve, then you know your quality goals, needs, and interests.  Do you have the experience and knowledge to increase your maturity curve to the elite level? Let's explore why building a quality platform from the ground up will help achieve your elite status and drive more value, accountability, and shared responsibility. 

What is it?

The quality platform is a group of quality components that are based on data insights, processes, sustainable delivery practices, and technologies developed for quality excellence and efficiencies. It helps you understand how well, or even if you are meeting your quality goals, and where you can optimize. As you know, every project is different! It's a self-service platform from which you pick and choose only components that you need, and discard the others. 

Still have questions? The team is here to help by conducting training to enable a better understanding of the components and ownership required.  The platform provides a common structure for quality across your organization, with flexibility for customization, and the potential to bring value instantly. 

Understand the purpose behind the quality platform

The purpose of a quality platform will assure more reliable engagements with the necessary audiences to build a culture that embraces quality at every stage (how you make and test things) from intake and discovery, to execution, and release. It's an enabler and driver of continuous improvement and adaptation of quality practices, tools, and the right types of testing required from collaboration among team stakeholders. 

The quality platform gives teams the ability to lead with a sense of purpose, openness, and trust;  without the risk of reducing quality. Teams are receiving more information and insights from various data sources faster than ever. The data insights expose your successes and failures. 

The quality platform begins defining the culture of quality by increasing accountability and emphasizing ownership from actionable insights. Further, it exposes deficiencies within your team. It also empowers anyone—from developers to business analysts—to pick and choose the right quality components that are right for their projects. 

The platform is committed to understanding teams better and building for the future through quality innovation. No doubt, it will move faster than your traditional automated counterparts. Let's take a closer look at the quality platform and each of its components. 

Quality platform components

The first step is to help development teams understand the type of guidance, tools, and support required in a quality platform. This can be done by involving them in a quality assessment; familiarizing them with where they are on the maturity curve and where they need to be. The following quality components will assist in this journey toward elite status: developer solutions, data insights, ambassadors, and turnkey solutions—functional and non-functional. 

Developer Solutions

The core component of the quality platform is the dedicated-developer solution squad. The squad of developers is the foundation for automated testing and for building quality solutions for the future. They're developing things they believe to be valuable to their customers and business. 

  • Technology stack alignment

  • Bring it to life – such as open-source, in-house, or vendor solutions

  • Developing extendable and maintainable solutions

  • Committed to creating a knowledge transfer plan for customers

  • Support

  • Intake request 

Data Insights

Bring your data to life, from data to action. It creates instant visibility across the organization. It will require building or finding a solution to collect multiple types of data sources, then pushing all the data to a centralized solution. 

  • Aggregate and analyze actionable insights 

  • Emphasizes accountability and drives ownership

  • Uses multiple types of data sources from Github, JIRA, Testing Results, CI/CD Pipeline, and more

  • Visibility into the application quality coverage

  • Less time invested in building and testing failures

  • Quicker response times 

Ambassadors

An ambassador is someone who represents quality practices and endorses effective change within the organization. He/she provides credible information and trustworthy improvements. They are trusted partners who are an extension of the quality team and understands the mission of quality excellence. Quality ambassadors are invaluable to your business.

  • Ensures everyone understands how things are made and tested 

  • Defines best practices and standards, from code to quality

  • Defines service-level agreement between development squads

  • Operates according to transparent strategies

  • Mentors and coaches

  • Supports the use and development of documentation

  • Conducts lunch-and-learn sessions

  • Holds customer success meetings

Turnkey Solutions

A turnkey solution is a pre-made and ready-to-use solution, and takes very little time to enable the function or process. Here are a few of the advantages of having good quality turnkey solutions within your organization. 

  • Vendors provide a pre-made solution such as Sauce Labs, Applitools, and Wonder Proxy to enable the function faster. 

  • Quality solutions allow developers to iterate tests more quickly, with confidence.

  • Provide internal APIs for data collection, release notes, and more

Functional

Functional (NextGen Mindset)

It is making testing better and easier for everyone.

  • Transitions to the model-based testing methodology 

  • Accelerates the authoring of automated testing through test generation

  • Enables machine learning for testing

  • Tests the right things, NOT all the things

  • Improves developer productivity 

  • Stops manual testing; does more exploratory charters as development squad

Non-Functional 

You are simulating user behaviors by monitoring critical paths within your application. You want to ensure those paths are working correctly. 

  • Test, monitor, and validate network calls such as analytics or web performance.

  • Detect and screen outlier points.Ensure they are highly configurable 

  • Improve user experiences before issues reach the production environment.

Closing

The quality platform functions as a self-service model. You are responsible for developing customer relationships that promote retention of the components, reliability, and transparent strategies moving forward. You continue to focus on being the voice of quality to build better software by improving speed, efficiency, and collaboration during the development lifecycle. It's your responsibility to bring it to life now that you understand the purpose and value of the quality platform.  

Greg Sypolt, VP of Quality Assurance and Fixate Contributor, maintains a developer, quality, and DevOps mindset, allowing him to bridge the gaps between all team members to achieve desired outcomes. Greg helps shape the organization's approach to testing, tools, processes, and continuous integration and supports development teams to deliver software that meets high-quality software standards. He's an advocate for automating the right things and ensuring that tests are reusable and maintainable. He actively contributes to the testing community by speaking at conferences, writing articles, blogging, and through direct involvement in various testing-related activities.

Written by

Greg Sypolt

Topics

Software Testing

Categories