As more businesses embrace digital transformation, the demand for quality software testing and QA has grown manifolds. Software testing teams are constantly evolving to face unique challenges and demands of modern businesses. Quality-at-speed has become a norm and QA teams are constantly working towards reducing the testing while enhancing the quality of products and services. Evolved QA vendors are leveraging the Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) to enable faster delivery and work side by side with Agile and DevOps methodologies.
What is a TCoE?
A Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) offers a framework where QA testing is delivered as a centralized solution and available throughout the organization. It ensures the standardization of formal metrics, testing processes, required tools, experts, and other resources. It enables organizations to ensure the optimal utilization of all the available resources and measure the efficiency of the process.
Normally, a TCoE team comprises of QA specialists from multiple insights and roles to achieve a global vision of the goals and challenges. Their expertise should include practical knowledge and should be able to set up a unified process by dissolving complexities. The balanced combination of human resources and automation tools, TCoE enables an organization to efficiently implement test automation while supporting the productivity and outcomes of manual testing. Businesses can achieve a greater QA maturity because a TCoE facilitates robustness and scalability within the organization.
Why Do We Need a TCoE?
Here are a few reasons that will help you understand why we need a TCoE.
1. Better Optimization of Delivery Schedule
The ability to automate redundant tasks and the use of templates shortens the test execution time drastically. Also, proper implementation of the standard process can reduce the idle time between common tasks and expedite the resolution process as per priority.
For instance, QA teams can work together to build a large repository with all the documentation of processes and templates. It will enable all team members to work closely and ensure smoother delivery of projects.
2. Better Quality
Effective implementation of unified QA rules can increase product quality while reducing the impact of common project risks. This is done through an evaluation at the starting and supported by leveraging metrics that calculate the efficacy of applied methodology.
Here also, the repository created by the team can help in reducing late deliveries and identification of undetected critical bugs. Team members can rely on tried and tested guidelines to efficiently focus on product quality.
With a goal-oriented process, the team gets a bigger opportunity to develop skills and attain specialization as per project requirements. In the long run, it helps in making the process more cost-efficient by effective task optimization that was implemented by the TCoE team.
How to Implement a TCoE?
Building a TCoE capable of handling business-critical projects is not easy. There is not a set formula that can be applied to all the projects. It takes a lot of technical expertise, experience, and domain knowledge to build a highly capable TCoE.
However, here are a few essential steps that should be considered while implementing a TCoE.
Commitment to Quality and Goals: It is essential for a TCoE team to lay out clear and achievable goals. Setting up specific and pragmatic objectives in the short run can help teams to stay on track and gain perspective for the larger goal.
Reliable Documentation: Thorough documentation of the standard process reduces the deviation risk and resolution time. Also, it facilitates tighter collaboration between teammates and enables them to focus more closely on their tasks and enhance performance. In today’s agile world while this may be difficult to achieve, the right levels of documentation cannot be missed on and should be used and updated as required.
Automate Redundant Tasks: Automation of repetitive tasks can further reduce the time spent on daily tasks. Moreover, when teams start reusing test cases, the time required to collect data and create templates also reduces significantly.
Right Tools: It is crucial to decide on technologies and tools you are going to leverage for QA at an early stage. It will allow the team to figure out whether all the project requirements can be covered or not and determine the familiarity of team members with tools and technologies.
Constant Training: After the tools are selected for a specific project, the training program should follow for all the relevant team members. This will enable team members to polish their skills for the project and focus strategically on the successful execution.
Implement Shift Left Methodology: The shift left approach involves the QA team at the early stages of software development. It enables teams to significantly reduce the work time by identifying and fixing defects at an early stage before reaching the production requirements. It also allows teams to work on Agile methodology and work in synergy with other teams and members.
Right Metrics: It is essential for the TCoE teams to select and implement the right set of metrics including the number of critical defects and rejected defects percentage. It will ensure accurate validation of all the relevant variables related to desired objectives and help in identifying the areas that require more consideration.
The successful implementation of a TCoE can be a challenging task for established and large teams. However, it is crucial to achieve greater quality and reduce delivery time. Apart from efficiently handling agile-compatible processes, TCoE can eliminate quality challenges and inconsistencies in the documentation and promote overall product, people and process efficiencies on an ongoing basis, if implemented pragmatically.
In a nutshell, it will reduce the project cost and shorten the deployment time.