Digital Assurance - how to set up testing for your digital transformation project

Posted by Phil Edwards on 29/05/2019
Phil Edwards
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At the heart of every Digital Transformation project or programme lays digital assurance, and within that quality assurance function hosts a team of able testers, but there’s always a fear that digital transformation will prevent businesses from fully committing to the process due to lack of resources being available. Most companies undertaking this exercise will set up a dedicated team to deliver the digital transformation allowing existing staff to continue with business as usual. Organisations can set up a test team and associate processes to accelerate digital transformation without any significant impact to existing projects by following key steps.

Digital Assurance

Assess and create an overarching test strategy
Before you start to assemble your digital assurance team and choose the most appropriate tools for testing, it’s best to assess any existing processes or tools being used elsewhere in the business. Once you have determined if anything can be reused you can then begin to create a programme specific test strategy, this strategy will outline the approach to testing, the team required, and the technology and tools needed including the test management tool solution.

The person creating the test strategy must understand the goals of the project and be acutely aware of budget and timeline. Understanding these will allow the appropriate approach to be taken along with detailing the level of risk required to deliver the project to quality, time and cost.

Once the strategy is written it must be agreed and fully understood by all associated teams; from the the requirements writers to the people who implement the solution because quality assurance is required at all stages of the project. Once all teams have agreed the approach and understand their role and how it impacts the QA solution, then the document is ready to be signed off.

Build a core digital transformation test team
The test team lead is the most critical hire you will make when building your test team, because the leader sets the tone and drives quality assurance. The ideal tester will have a track record of delivering similar projects and be well seasoned in ensuring quality is at the forefront of the project.

The test lead will use the test strategy document to determine the rest of the team dynamics and tools to be used, from that you can align to budget and the specific project goals.

Typically, you will need a mix of manual, automation and non-functional testers across the life-cycle of the programme.


Create a Test Centre of Excellence (TCoE)
Traditionally, project test teams typically have different test managers that operate differently and use different processes, they also use separate test resources, and often have a different business focus. As a result, quality is often unpredictable and end users can be left disappointed with the quality of the application. Testing cycles are generally longer, releases are often delayed, and the lack of shared resources and knowledge increases the costs.

A TCoE provides the right level of governance and control, so you can safely scale your digital transformation projects as and when required, the TCoE allows a consistent approach and assured outcomes, as approach, tooling solution and best practices are always followed across all releases and these aides to reducing costs and provides predicable outcomes.

The TCoE also allows other teams to take advice on what steps they must take to ensure that the entry criteria are met for all stages of the programme from writing requirement in a testable way to implementing the developed product.

Test planning and execution
It is advisable that for each phase or go-live of the digital transformation that you create a separate test plan, within this plan will detail what is to be tested and when by whom. This document will be linked closely to the test strategy and ensure that it sticks to the policies and approach defined within it.
All tests that are written will be stored centrally and linked to the appropriate requirements document so that any defects discovered during execution can be seamlessly linked back to assist in the defect triage process.

All tests executed that pass or fail should be reported as required, usually during test execution a report should be produced daily to show test progress vs expectations. During non-testing periods a weekly report should be produced to show overall test progress, this would include items like test preparation, test planning, test scripting, any issues or risks that need to be brought to the attention of the project manager etc. These types of report also should show a RAG status, detailing the overall status of Testing.

The outlined steps will provide companies with a great insight into making the digital transformation journey a success. As companies continue to adopt a digital approach, the overall success of the approach can assist in supporting further successful projects. This will in turn, help to deliver a greater consistent project delivery.

nFocus Testing is a leading UK based digital assurance organisation. If you require assistance or help in understanding testing for a digital transformation project and working out what will be best for your organisation, then do visit our digital assuranceUAT and outsourced testing sections of our website. Alternatively feel free to contact our friendly team on 0370 242 6235. 

 

Topics: Digital Transformation, Test Teams, digital assurance

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