7 min read
When teams are looking to transform, optimize, or cut costs in testing, where do they first look? More often than not, they follow the advice given...
It's a new year, and many of us in IT and testing are reflecting on how we can improve our processes and strategies. As we set our 2024 quality resolutions, let's reconsider our impulse towards ever-increasing test automation. Are we falling into the trap of trying to eat faster to lose weight? By only accelerating our efforts, we fail to confront the real root causes of inefficiencies.
Just as diet fads promise thinness through gimmicks, we’ve been sold a fantasy that more test automation will solve all problems. But while judicious automation provides value, many teams over-invest relative to the challenges they face. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail, so teams hammer away endlessly to construct vast automated architectures. Meanwhile, quality lingers at the same mediocre levels.
Teams often cite problems like:
Rather than accelerating test execution speed, we need to confront why these problems arise in the first place. More automation acts as a bandage, while quality gaps stem from deeper process and strategy issues.
Let's resolve to model these root causes and thoughtfully solve them. For example, what drives unstable requirements? Is our analysis happening too late? What drives last minute surprises? Are we integrating and testing incrementally? Do our teams have transparency to coordinate efforts? Are our tools and environments configured efficiently?
Thoughtful process analysis and improvement is less flashy than automation, but far more impactful. Techniques like value stream mapping can uncover waste and barriers. Then we can apply lean principles like limiting work in progress, optimizing flow, and amplifying feedback loops.
Rather than mindlessly generating more test cases, we should carefully curate automated checks to maximize value. Shifting left helps prevent defects, while good pipelines and test data strategies better isolate increments to fail fast. Teams skilled in exploratory testing and bug advocacy can spotlight weaknesses early.
Let’s ring in 2024 with renewed discipline against reactive thinking. Measure first, understand next, then optimize sustainably. Partner with stakeholders to align priorities. Anchor automation in business needs, not false promises of all-encompassing test suites. Spend smart to conserve budget for high-impact interventions.
Test excellence comes not from hasty automation, but thoughtful rigour, transparency, and accountability. Progress may seem slower, but leads to stable, high-velocity teams. Development, testing, and operations must come together as one delivery team, sharing data, tools, and practices.
By taking a measured, evidence-based approach, we can target the disease rather than just treat the symptoms. Just as sustainable diets come from lifestyle changes, not fad crash diets, let’s commit to curing our quality ills through systems thinking. This year, let’s fix the fundamentals.
Our automation will still be there to serve us, at sustainable velocities and capacities serving downstream needs. Set aside reactionary tactics, and instead bank quality through proactive strategies. A new year brings new perspectives if we remain open to self-reflection and growth.
To learn how Curiosity can help you drive quality across your software development, speak to one of our quality experts today!
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