One day, Development (Dev), Operations (Ops), and Quality Assurance (QA) met at the water cooler and got into a discussion.
Dev: “I have to get the most features out of the gate quickly. That’s the only way my app will create a real ‘wow factor’ in the market.”
This really rattled Ops’ nerve and he retorted instantly.
Ops: “Take it easy, Dev! Stability is what we need; don’t push it in your quest for speed.”
Dev was annoyed at Ops’ lack of support, and was about to respond angrily, when QA intervened just in time.
QA: “Don’t you see? You need to do justice to both. Do your homework on Cost of Quality (CoQ) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), manage them both effectively, and voila, agile apps will be created!”
Dev, Ops, and QA then went their separate ways, but the moral of this little story is that QA can play a big role in bringing Dev and Ops together for greater synergy and gain.
Another aspect is that most often we seek point solutions. And, in doing so, we miss the opportunity to step back, see the larger picture, and analyze what we need to do.
This is not only pertinent to quality assurance but to other fields as well. We need to constantly remind ourselves to: think big picture and think big…
While conducting customer enquiries, we primarily focus on meeting customer needs and expectations, and resolving queries. While this is important, in today’s highly competitive marketplace, it is certainly not enough.
The need of the hour is critical, holistic, big picture thinking, which will allow us to tackle the problems from a market and customer perspective. The ability to put oneself in the customer’s vantage point and visualize the problem statement from a business, process and technology perspective is paramount to lending a competitive edge to the customer.
Identifying the problem’s big picture, dissecting it, annotating each node with solution elements, and then aggregating the solution elements to compose the big picture demands utmost rigor, both at a node and macro level.
The big picture in assurance envelops the business/IT ecosystems that shroud enterprises today. It demands greater understanding of requirements, design, architecture, engineering/instrumentation, test processes, metrics and analytics. By doing so, you can eliminate business risks upfront in every facet of software, thereby elevating customer experiences and optimizing cost of transactions (not just CoQ or TCO of apps).
So all you Assurance folks out there – think big and think big-picture all the time!
Learn more about how Agile and DevOps are reinventing QA, at the 10th TCS Innovation Forum – North America on May 21 – 22, 2014.
Siva has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Mysore, India. A prolific writer, Siva’s love for writing is second only to his passion for software and business assurance. His articles appear regularly in international testing journals and magazines.