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Steps to testing transformation – Adopting lean through catalog based testing models

Innovations are all around us today, and as part of our content webinars, we brought yet another interesting concept to you on Thursday.

Having been around for several years now, catalog based testing models are not truly a new-new concept, but Nischal’s session on Thursday presented catalog based testing models in light of testing transformation.That was the link I thought we may have been missing in our discussions on portfolio management strategy.

I took away the following takeaways which also were brought up by the attendees. If any of them is reading this blog, thank you! These takeaways bring up the indirect strategic benefits of catalog based testing models.

  1. Interconnected parts: Think about it. An enterprise is like a machine with interconnected parts, glued together by pipes and data that flow through it. If one part changes, others should at least evaluate the change, even if they don’t eventually make a physical change. Catalog based testing models enable that capability to review impacts and cascade them within a portfolio and across the organizations. Ask yourself: If traffic to one feature of your web site changes, how long is it before all the applications and infrastructure that support the entire website come to know of the change and take corrective action.
  2. Co-existence with other models: You probably have several models of application development, maintenance and IT operations – managed services, outsourcing, distributed, RAD, agile etc. All of these benefit and show improvements if you create a catalog based testing model for quality assurance. The key is to ensure that the default mode of demand management is through well-defined catalogs. Service intake is better defined, expectations don’t show large variations, and governance focuses on improvements rather than fire-fighting.
  3. Architecture and design improvements: Nischal demonstrated a sample catalog and explained that with the example of a fortune 500 consumer good company. As I read through the catalog, it became obvious that certain drivers of cost such as number of scenarios to test immediately become the subject of analysis and improvement. And improvements could be by way of changes in architecture, design and even the platforms being used. Thus the entire portfolio comes under natural inquiry and positive scrutiny.
  4. Process maturity improvements: Rome wasn’t built in a day. We weren’t born as adults, and catalog based testing models are not different either. As you get started, you’ll continue to refine and improve the models. MS Word based intake documents will become web-forms enabled, data captured will be analyzed and presented as reports, more portfolios will be on-boarded and so on. Each such step will help improve the capability of your organization. And this will feed into the natural inquiry process to constantly improve the portfolio.

I didn’t mean to present catalog based testing models as the best invention after sliced bread. But they are indeed an effective model to improve QA performance. And a must have in your toolset as you progress towards testing transformation. I recommend looking at them in light of our overall testing transformation model, which maps well to IT strategy imperatives. If you haven’t already, do review the recording and download the slides to the webinar on catalog based testing models. And while you are doing that, also download the slides and recording of our testing transformation webinar.


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