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List 5 Important Steps To Be Taken While Building A Testing Centre Of Excellence

By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 29

The need for quality compliant applications is felt across businesses to streamline processes, increase the customer base, and earn revenue. However, the fast changing digital landscape is proving to be a tough nut to crack for the traditional QA practices. For these are not able to address the growing demands for speed and agility while developing and deploying a software.

Moreover, the growing pressure of leveraging new technologies, developing new functionalities, providing a faster response to customer queries, and enabling a faster time to market has given rise to the demand for optimizing the QA services.

Inadequacies with traditional QA methods

• Failure to provide momentum to the development and deployment of applications in terms of speed.

• Not enough QA visibility across projects, processes, systems and applications.

• Lack of response towards customer queries.

• Increase in rework and redundancies leading to cost escalation.

• Not enough shift-left QA initiatives taken.

• No reduction in the turnaround time and QA budget

Although Agile and DevOps have brought about a qualitative change in the way testing is carried out, the presence of multiple QA teams across projects or processes has not quite helped matters. This has led to the introduction of the Testing Centre of Excellence.

What is a TCoE and how does it help?

A testing centre of excellence is a centralized QA centre that works towards achieving the following quality objectives.

• Establish QA best practices to be followed across projects and processes.

• Achieve better adaption of technologies and a quicker identification of business priorities.

• Standardize the testing methodologies and metrics for better optimization of test outcomes.

• Provide validation for a comprehensive range of processes, systems and applications

• Follow test automation and achieve the desired benefits

• Reduce redundancies leading to significant cost savings

• Quick identification of business risks in mission critical projects

• Achieve faster turnaround cycles for projects and staying competitive

The establishment of Testing Centre of Excellence (TCoE) needs backing of all the stakeholders and entails the realignment of processes. The thrust of a quality centre of excellence should be directed towards improving the QA processes, reducing risks, and increasing collaboration. Properly executed TCoE solutions in an Agile and DevOps environment can achieve better quality outcomes in a shorter turnaround time.

Even though organizations are aware of the benefits of a centralized and standardized approach to testing, the need to make organizational adjustments keeps them at bay. However, a right approach can help mitigate the issues and accrue benefits.

Requisites for building an effective Software Testing Centre of Excellence

#1 Assessment of organizational requirements: The setting up of a test centre of excellence begins with analyzing the development and QA processes, and how stakeholders across business functions approach similar challenges. The latter reflects the existing working dynamics across processes – a key requisite to ensure the success of the Agile based QA initiative. The analysis is needed to understand how well the processes and stakeholders can adapt to changes.

#2 Identifying the key process indicators: The outcome of a QA process should be in line with the overall business objectives. To understand how the outcomes can have an impact on each other or what needs to be done to align them with the business objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs) should be identified. The KPIs can shed light on the effectiveness of the centre of excellence once the latter becomes operational.

#3 Preparing the TCoE roadmap: The establishment of a test centre of excellence involves phases like initiation, stabilization and optimization. To earmark a proper timeframe for these phases, a proper roadmap is needed. The roadmap can include elements such as scope, goals, cost, interface with processes and stakeholders, creating a core team, training, identification of tools, establishing channels of communication, and governance.

#4 Standardization of methodologies, tools and metrics: Each process in an organization is adept at using different tools, methods and metrics. However, it is important to select proper tools that optimize performance, which will help in standardizing practices. Also, the KPIs to measure the test outcomes in each process should be finalized as well.

#5 Automating the test processes: A suitable test automation platform and framework should be chosen for use across processes along with a proper reporting mechanism. The test automation initiative would help to conduct QA tests such as functional, performance, and security.

Conclusion

The benefits of instituting a centre of excellence for QA testing are many. Organizations are cognizant of the need to prioritize QA in their overall scheme of things. In an increasingly Agile and DevOps environment, the need to ensure quality and a quicker turnaround time of an application cannot be underplayed.

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