Unlocking the top 8 best practices As digital possibilities evolve in the current pandemic, the world of quality engineering (QE) is shaping up to the new realities, with teams operating in a remote and distributed manner. Banking has already allied to the new normal and way of working, as part of their business continuity and resilience. Many estimate that work from home is here to stay and would possibly become a preferred choice of working in the years to come. Relaxation in location specific criteria is already being seen in talent hiring programs. So, you are possibly witnessing an unprecedented change in human resources and operations. Banking CIO’s have already won the initial battle of providing the necessary infrastructure for their staff, enabling them to connect and collaborate in a remote and distributed environment. They are ensuring their employees stay productive and keep the business running, as usual. Now, the question moves to the momentum they would need to innovate and transform while keeping quality at the epicenter. Let us take a look at some of the best practices QE teams can adopt for ensuring continuous quality engineered with speed at scale.
- Staying focused and connected in a disbursed environment
Even though QE teams are widely distributed and remote, they can bring the same amount of energy, sharpness and focus. Daily, multiple sync-up calls need to be organized with client stakeholders and QE teams to stay focused, exchange project updates and proactively control project progress. Companies are turning on to multi-channel capabilities such as video conferencing tools, emails, instant messaging chat-bots to connect and collaborate seamlessly. In the current distributed work environment, no amount of communication is an overkill. It is better to err on the side of excessive communication rather than experiencing the consequences of otherwise. A virtual stand up meeting with the entire team at start of day and end of day is an absolute must to fix accountability within the team and ensure smooth delivery. Similarly, a minimum of two catch ups during start of day and end of day with all key client stakeholders is a must.
- Building diversified capacity
Pandemic has put us in a situation which necessitates every organization to have a back-up team of QE specialists in case of medical emergencies. Mostly, it is covered as part of every organizations business continuity plans (BCP). Maveric’s vast domain and tech led competency in QE, offers substantial advantage for banking customers to easily rely. Our service nimbleness allows flexible ramp-up and ramp-down options across remote locations, which can be either in close proximity to client’s location or be remote. Location specific way of operations is much more relaxed as mentioned earlier. Regulatory and security led requirements have to be kept in mind, while streamlining the team composition and distribution mix.
- Insights led proactive decisions
A constant feedback system is highly critical for keeping the teams focused towards the targeted project goals and outcome. Project engagement dashboards can be used for keeping a constant eye on the performance and progress. Maveric’s insights-led QE dashboards are powered with predictive analytics to help QE teams arrest pitfalls much earlier in the development cycle. Proactive measures can be taken in the form of step changes and continuous improvements.
- Fuel it with Extreme Automation
Automate as much as possible when introducing new changes, thus reducing time-to-market and importantly not compromising on coverage for want of time. Extreme Automation is needed to cater to the new drivers in the digital banking technology landscape and new methods for validation. A large percentage of automated tests should be distributed across the middleware (services) and backend (unit / standalone and database) and only a small percentage of tests (mainly structured exploratory tests) at a UI level. This provides an opportunity for early and in-line automation, which will significantly reduce defects across SDLC. QE teams would heavily rely on intelligent automation tactics (backed with AI. ML, RPA etc.) to ensure a highly dependable and unsupervised automated testing.
- Rehearse the rules of Agile and DevOps
Distributed QE teams can adopt the lean testing practices of Agile, DevOps and DevTestOps approaches. These offer a great culture of collaboration, early quality validation (shift-left augmentation) and accelerate dev cycles with defect free codes. Customers can seek the help of software development engineers in testing (SDET’s) to build robust and resilient test automation cases. Continuous Integration (CI)/ Continuous Development (CD) pipelines can be architected to generate high quality software releases. Shared repositories can be maintained and monitored by developers to continuously integrate reviewed codes multiple times in a day. This way, customers can gain a competitive edge by releasing defect free software’s much faster
- Tasking more with Cloud-enabled QE Tools
As depicted in our previous blog, cloud-based innovation has gained its popularity in the banking industry. QE teams can take maximum advantage of cloud-based tools, which would be easy to access anytime anywhere. This would remove the heavy dependence on large and expensive on premise based infrastructure. Thus making it more flexible in the smartest way possible.
- The Hawk-eye on security
Online fraud and phishing attacks have been making news headlines on a daily basis. Most banks are adopting high security methods of monitoring and enabling financial transactions. Customers are also made aware of such growing security concerns through constant regular communication. Cutting edge digital security detection systems are empowering banks to prevent such frauds. Unless these systems and processes are well tested across functional and non-functional backgrounds, the presence of hidden vulnerabilities may still haunt. Every possible scenario through historical logs and future possibilities have to be considered for engineering quality.
- Adopting Continuous Testing for Continuous Quality
Continuous testing measures to retain the focus on continuous quality, have to be part of the overall QE agenda. To adopt continuous testing, the QE team should introduce automation and leverage tools for supporting it at development stage. A persistent check on all the active banking systems and processes is mission critical, which are undergoing a significant amount of stress due to the current digital growth must be performed. This way, major system downtimes, faults and possible future issues can be mitigated.
As Banking is moving away from branch led services to digital led offerings, testing is happening hand-in-hand at a continuous pace in the “Route-to-Live” to provide an exceptional, world class experience. An ecosystem of future banking innovation and transformation could thrive using some of the outlined best practices for remote-led continuous quality engineering.