Following on from our introduction to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), we can zoom in on a detailed review of the role of software testing within this framework.
In their SAFe case study video, Tricentis make the critical point that although testing is a key component it's not actually covered in too much detail within the framework. This is why working with suppliers like 2i can prove invaluable, we support SAFe implementations from our foundation of testing expertise.
Tricentis begin the presentation with a set of very important insights. SAFe is part of a trend to adopt the latest 'cool' Agile practices but for large enterprises making this shift if they're not careful when doing so they can incur a number of painful organizational costs, from losing key skills baked into their previous waterfall team structures as they are diffused across new teams, and losing a long term strategic focus as short term delivery becomes the goal.
In particular traceability and measurement becomes an issue as multiple teams become autonomous and there is no central ownership, so identifying and tracking defects can be a challenge. To address this they recommend a testing leader who spans all the workstreams and to centralise and make testing a prioritised feature of managing the streams.
From 10:45 they explain how to bring all this together into a single holistic framework as they did so for one client, to achieve an integrated end-to-end approach for testing. Using the main tools of QTest and Tosca they've achieved a highly efficient, fully automated system. Defects are delivered directly back to the developers, the tools are integrated with their CI/CD pipeline so that automation is triggered as part of their development workflows, and all the data is rolled up to a central dashboard for a single source of truth reporting.
Continuous Testing Maturity
In their Youtube video presentation 'Business Value Roadmap and Continuous Testing Maturity Assessment' they offer a general framework for how other organisations can achieve the same type of enterprise-wide testing capability. To do this they set a goal of achieving and improving Continuous Testing maturity and articulate a Business Value Roadmap for defining and realising this journey.
They begin by reporting on the current levels of testing automation within enterprise organisations, which is surprisingly low, only between 14-18%. The primary reasons for this low level include a lack of skilled resources, the constantly changing nature of the application and the difficulties encountered in test environments.
Their roadmap articulates a journey and business case for enterprises to address this, accomplished across four main phases of 'innovate', 'promote', 'scale' and 'optimise'.
They assign a team of digital transformation strategists who are tasked with establishing the Continuous Testing at scale practices. These experts follow standardised methods and models in order to create the customer-tailored solution satisfying all the requirements laid out by the customer, and by mapping current capabilities to the maturity model. The types of challenges they address include lack of investment, lack of training, lack of collaboration and incorrect usage of tools.
This scale of change can present many risks for large enterprise organisations. 2i’s AssureRMF framework can help customers identify and address these types of risks, and as a Tricentis implementation partner, we can accelerate the successful adoption of their range of solutions described here.
We offer training and certification in SAFE 5.0 Scaled Agile for Teams, which develops the qualities, practices and approaches that your people need to form high-performing Agile Delivery Teams.
This requires a holistic understanding of a large, complex enterprise environment, including multiple technologies, departments and workflow interactions. 2i specialises in mapping this complexity and from that defining a DevOps blueprint that synthesises them together to achieve faster throughput of successful code deployment.