A partnership for Transformation: our expertise and experience, your vision

September 15, 2019

A partnership for Transformation: our expertise and experience, your vision

SQA partnered with a major dental healthcare provider to enable our client’s vision of a high-velocity IT department. The ultimate mission was to implement a suite of capabilities resulting in daily production code promotion. Leveraging SQA’s Wave, Capability, Reinforcement Model, a multi-year phased transformation program was launched. The result: a shift from an average of 143-day lag in undeployed code to 136 code deployments weekly.

The client had originally approached SQA to examine their test automation and performance testing disciplines with the objective of improving their capabilities in both areas. This client was in the latter stages of an Agile transformation and in need of a strategy to integrate testing into their new Scrum processes. Previous attempts at introducing functional test automation and performance engineering practices were not meeting predictability and velocity expectations.

SQA conducted an assessment and discovered the following:

  • Agile transformation was progressing well – especially for Development – but it had not extended beyond theory with regards to QA.
  • The performance engineers were competent toolsmiths but lacked certain foundational knowledge necessary to perform effective Application Performance Management (APM) in the ITIL sense.
  • A roadmap of staged implementation was necessary and required minimal to zero disruption of current team core responsibilities (at least initially).

SQA’s capability-building team of test automation, performance testing, IT/QA methodology and build/release automation engineers was deployed to accelerate the ongoing transformation:

  1. The team launched a series of tool evaluations, and established criteria for selection including a prototype/POT decision making process.
  2. SQA conducted a workforce survey and skill inventory/gap analysis against current and future state technologies.
  3. The SQA Build Automation Architect defined and refined a Continuous Integration (CI) capability through execution of a Theory of Constraints-based build and release overhaul.
  4. A custom-built C#/Selenium Page Object Model framework was designed and expanded to cover an increasing proportion of the application portfolio.
  5. Automation was integrated with Specflow BDD tooling, (initially) for the more mature Scrum teams – thereby realizing shift-left testing with in-sprint automation.
  6. SQA conducted training and mentoring programs for our client’s performance team in workflow analysis and model-based testing.

The synergistic effect of these growing capabilities improved code quality, build reliability and supported increased velocity. With tools selected and implementation plans socialized and established, SQA imbedded engineers worked tightly with client QA resources to train them in agility and technical advancements.

Morale in the QA team – and IT as a whole – continued to skyrocket as the client’s resources gained confidence and credibility. By the end of the SQA engagement the entire IT organization (including QA) was operating in a full Agile model with varying but increasing levels of maturity. The goal of transformation – the ability to deploy code to production in one day – had long since been surpassed.

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