To be very clear, business assurance is about providing companies with increased confidence in their business environment; meaning that they maintain improved quality and efficiency of their business processes and ensuring a high calibre of assurance that they’re in control of their business at all times.
As we all know, quality will generate business value and business value is priceless in ensuring both internal and external customers of systems get the best possible experience from applications used at all times. Failure to provide a working system can result in loss of revenue, brand reputation damage and ultimately loss of customers.
Companies must now work extra hard to maintain and improve their brand quality to a variety of platforms and devices to ensure that not only employees are provided with a perfectly working system, but also customers who must have the best possible user experience along the way. It is not acceptable to provide a system that purely just works, but instead businesses must know precisely how all new functionality will affect existing business processes and whether this will affect costs and revenues, but still ensuring that the customer experience is as best as possible, if not the absolute best.
There is a shift away from the standard testing processes of just testing an application that works to specification. Companies now look further and a lot deeper within their business to understand new drivers that affect how business assurance is achieved. Companies now look to understand those factors and once all parameters are known, then present back the quality intelligence at the beginning of a project so that a focused approach on business assurance can be taken.
Business assurance testing emphasis is on all the points at which new programs and initiatives interact with existing business processes. This is a rigorous and proactive approach which puts business success first, and technology second. Testing beyond the conventional.
Any companies which want to achieve their business goals depend on their capacity to keep risks under control, to maintain compliance with ongoing regulations and to exercise effective quality assurance governance in all aspects of the SDLC, from validating requirements to signing off User Acceptance Testing.
The first steps in Business assurance is the set-up of a robust and practical assurance framework that will control all the known risks, but at the same time have enough flex in it’s design to change when required on the demands of the project of work. Having this framework in place early in the project allows companies time to address these challenges in a controlled and sensible manner.
This assurance framework should be structured to provide reliable evidence to underpin
the assessment of the risk of the current business environment, and to provide timely and reliable reporting information on the strategic risks of the project, along with being able to escalate the risk
by providing a comprehensive view of assurance across the environment. This will present an opportunity to identify gaps in assurance needs that are vital to the company, and to fill and de-risk them in a timely, efficient and effective manner by creating robust and structured tests to address all of the above.
By understanding business risks and gaps you are then able to provide a project risk profile, mitigation plan and who is accountable to take ownership of each of the areas of concern, this will prevent duplication and highlight any issues that overlap with one another. With each point raised, you are able to either mitigate the risk with a set of actions and associated tests or choose to accept the risk based upon its profile score, although care should be taken when accepting known risks with any mitigation.
It also goes without saying that when you understand the full scope of the project along with its risks and gaps you are then able to facilitate the best use of your resources and their quality assurance skills.
To provide an end-to-end solution and to help companies meet today’s demanding product delivery challenges there is a need to address quality. Poor testing, as you know, will drive up the costs and defects will flow freely through the testing phases and eventually into live, this creates customer uncertainty, impacts employee efficiency and can result in lost revenue.
If you address quality right from the start of any project, and ensure you look to maximise business assurance by adopting all testing best practices, looking further than the application under test but the business as a whole then you will see the benefits.
Your time-to-market will be accelerated as less defects will pass from phase to phase, the software under test will be of a greater quality leading to more satisfied users and a greater customer experience. As quality is better, then there will be a reduction in rework costs effort through early defect detection which could lead to a significant reduction in testing costs.
To conclude, business assurance testing is here to stay, conventional testing needs to evolve to meet the ever-demanding market and expectations of companies and their customers. Right first time and full testing across the application landscape is a must to ensure businesses provide the quality that is expected of them.