"Where has our test gone?" – Quality and the importance of IT and Automation are the main topics of conversation nowadays. Is Lean Quality Management the solution when asking where the future of testing is headed? Yes, definitely! The work in our quality departments has evolved steadily over the past years and decades and is now on the verge of reaching a new threshold.
Testing in the course of time
We see three levels that have been reached in many programs to date, and a fourth level that we are currently confronted with.
Level 1: We initially worked in testing silos in waterfall constellations or similar. The focus was on pure testing: Predefined requirements were given to a team and were regularly implemented and executed - mostly with manual tests.
Level 2: In the 2000s the agile journey began for many departments and testing moved closer to Development, Requirement and User Story Management. Here it became apparent what challenges it entails to target the transformation away from pure testing. In many departments a change of the mindset as well as technical understanding and knowledge had to be built up first. Likewise, the participation in the team and the handling of the human aspects and challenges in these departments became more visible.
Level 3: The challenges above have been tackled successfully and we have managed to establish a common understanding of quality across several teams. When reaching Level 3 the role of the tester has increasingly changed from pure testing to coaching, to the development of the Quality Management Strategy and finally to Quality Engineering. At this point, questions mostly concern the scaling and compliance requirements process.
Level 4: In today’s age of disruptive technologies, the need for successful IT system developments has increased enormously. Taking the wide range of software solutions into account, the time available to develop IT systems must inevitably become shorter – in addition there is a growing need to guarantee customer satisfaction in the best way possible. To be successful here, further professionalization of the quality units towards Level 4, Lean Quality Management, is required.
Now that we have gathered these insights, let us use Lean Quality Management to take testing to a new level and make Business Agility reality!