With the pressure to create software faster and with higher quality, teams are being pushed to release more often than ever.
Because of this, software automation testing has become a priority for businesses today.
With increasing client demands and the need to launch products faster, C-level executives recognize the value of adopting advanced testing solutions.
However, enterprise testing projects often fail due to various factors. Having worked for large firms my whole career, I've seen this myself time after time.
So I want to share with you four reasons why enterprise testing fails and what to do about it, based on a podcast interview with Autumn Ciliberto, a leading expert in enterprise testing.
This first one is something I see all too often.
Lack of Buy-In from Key Stakeholders
Regarding enterprise testing, it's crucial to have buy-in from key stakeholders, including executives.
Without their support, it can be challenging to adopt test automation, which is becoming increasingly necessary in today's digital landscape.
One of the main challenges to getting executives on board is that they may not fully understand the benefits of testing automation. They may view it as an unnecessary expense or something that will slow down the development process.
However, as Autumn points out, this couldn't be further from the truth.
To get executives on board, Autumn suggests involving them early in the evaluation process. This means making them a part of the decision-making process and keeping them abreast of progress and any potential roadblocks.
When executives feel they have a say in the process, they're more likely to be invested in the outcome.
Additionally, Autumn recommends demonstrating the ROI of test automation solutions to executives. By highlighting the benefits of adopting the right tools, such as faster time-to-market and reduced defects, you can help them see the value in testing automation and get them on board with the program.
Providing concrete examples of how testing automation has benefited other organizations can also help secure buy-in.
Also connect quality efforts to valuable business outcomes like customer satisfaction, brand reputation, cost reduction, increased productivity, and revenue growth.
This helps ensure that quality is seen as a strategic investment rather than a cost center.
End-to-End Testing Complexity
End-to-end testing complexity is a significant challenge for many organizations that can lead to the failure of enterprise testing projects. This complexity can arise from the need to test both legacy systems and more modern technology stacks and the sheer volume of testing required for complex systems.
When testing complex systems, open-source solutions may not always be up to the task. These solutions sometimes miss gaps in the user experience, leading to errors and other issues that can impact the overall success of a project.
To address these challenges, Autumn recommends that organizations evaluate the complexity of their testing needs and choose a test automation solution that is robust enough to handle all required testing.
This may mean opting for a commercial solution over an open-source one, as commercial solutions tend to have more features and better support for complex testing needs.
In addition to selecting the right testing automation solution, Autumn suggests taking a phased approach to testing.
This means starting with critical testing needs and building from there. By prioritizing testing needs and beginning with the most essential tests, organizations can ensure that they address the most pressing issues first and make the most efficient use of their testing resources.
Lack of Collaboration and Visibility
Enterprise testing projects can also fail due to a lack of collaboration and visibility. The entire team needs to be involved in the planning process to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the primary objectives and priorities. Additionally, QA teams need to have visibility into their testing efforts and results to enable them to make data-driven decisions.
Autumn suggests that organizations must invest in the correct methodology and testing tools to provide visibility into all testing efforts. She recommends evaluating the organization's testing needs and selecting a test automation solution that can meet those needs.
I also recently heard Quality Thought leader Erika Chestnut who recommended that you need to break testing and quality out of silos.
Her approach is to cross the aisle and partner with product and customer teams. Ensure that quality is embedded in the work of these teams by helping them understand and align with quality standards. This partnership can take various forms, such as providing documentation, training, or collaborating on UX design and user stories.
Also make quality more approachable (and hence more visible) by not only discussing it in negative terms. By fostering a positive, collaborative environment, organizations can better cultivate a culture of quality.
This alone will greatly enhance collaboration and visibility.
Lack of Technical Resources and Coverage
A lack of collaboration and visibility can undoubtedly contribute to the failure of enterprise testing projects.
When teams aren't working together and don't have visibility into each other's efforts, it can lead to miscommunication, duplication of effort, and missed issues.
To prevent these issues, Autumn recommends involving the entire team in the planning process to ensure that everyone understands the primary objectives and priorities of the testing project. This means involving both QA and testing teams and developers, business analysts, and other stakeholders who may have valuable insights and perspectives.
In addition to collaboration, visibility is crucial for enterprise testing projects' success.
QA teams need to have visibility into their testing efforts and results to enable them to make data-driven decisions.
This requires investing in the right methodology and testing tools to provide visibility into all testing efforts.
According to Autumn, organizations need to evaluate their testing needs and select a test automation solution to meet them.
This may involve investing in commercial solutions with robust reporting and analytics features or developing custom solutions to provide visibility into testing efforts.
What should you do next?
Enterprise testing projects can fail for various reasons, but with proper planning and execution, you can prevent many of these issues.
It is essential to involve all stakeholders in the planning process, evaluate testing needs, choose the right test automation solution, and provide the necessary technical resources and training.
By following these steps, organizations can increase the chances of success for their enterprise testing projects.
Enterprise testing is essential to ensuring software quality and reliability for large organizations. However, many enterprise testing projects fail to meet their goals despite its importance.
Downloading the following checklist resource is an easy way to remember these four points and ensure you and your team are on track to meet your c-suite enterprise objectives. By following this checklist, software testers can increase the chances of success for their enterprise testing projects and ensure software quality and reliability for large organizations.