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7 Ways Value Stream Tool Integration Can Improve Your Software Quality
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7 Ways Value Stream Tool Integration Can Improve Your Software Quality

It's no secret that businesses struggle with software quality assurance majorly resulted by the lack of single source of truth. The QA teams need the ability to track changes and monitor the status of the specs as they undergo development. Without which, the software's quality suffers, delays product releases, lowers support and service to customers, creates misalignment with customer requirements and business objectives, and can even result in errors during production. It's fortunate that when lean methods like Value Stream Management (VSM) are adopted, teams can get rid of manual handoffs through emails, spreadsheets, and meetings. A VSM allows businesses and their teams to track, evaluate, and improve software delivery processes, which in turn boosts productivity and efficiency. In this article, we will discuss how value stream integration can help you create high-quality software and how to successfully implement it in your organization.

7 ways value stream tool integration benefit quality assurance and testing

The capability of a VSM platform to integrate tools can significantly enhance an organization's quality assurance and test management duties. Using of the insights collected from the most effective test management tools, the QA team will be able to observe needs as they are planned, designed, and documented. This improves test coverage and helps QA teams find flaws faster. Here are seven ways tool integration and automation can enhance the QA or testing team.

  1. Better Software Quality and Delivery Velocity through QA Awareness

    Software development is a complex process that requires different teams and roles working together to create a product. Quality Assurance (QA) is an essential part of the process and can often be overlooked in the rush to get products out the door. Speed Vs Quality is a balance that digital businesses are still figuring out. The value stream integration process ensures that QA has the visibility and control it needs to provide meaningful feedback on product quality throughout SDLC so the teams can save the time they’ll otherwise have to spend on fixing unforeseeable issues.

    Value stream integration gives QA the ability to assess and provide feedback from the earliest stages of conceptualization through the design and development stages, allowing them to take more informed decisions that improve the overall quality of the final product. It also gives QA access to data points, such as individual tasks, project status, and change history, which can help them identify potential issues early on and make sure that any changes or modifications are properly addressed. Software quality, time-to-market, and client satisfaction can all benefit from value stream integration.

  2. A Significant Boost in Defect Detection Effectiveness (DDE)

    Integrating IT Service Management (ITSM) and Application Development Management (ADM) solutions into your value stream tool can provide with a more comprehensive picture of the development process, enabling them to calculate DDE, also Known as Defect Detection Percentage (DDP) which is the percentage of the total defects detected during the testing phase of the software on-the-fly.

    DDP measures the effectiveness of the organization's regression testing in trapping bugs before release and can provide valuable insight into software quality assurance.

    Using value stream tools, teams can now view which code changes can cause defects in applications, as well as how well those defects were detected and fixed. This helps organizations move closer to their desired end state of delivering high quality software products within established timelines.

  3. Better Change Impact Analysis, Management, and Control

    The ability to trace change requests to the relevant artifacts and quickly assess the impact of changes is critical for efficient software development and quality assurance. Organizations have traditionally tracked Change Requests (CRs) in a Microsoft SharePoint list distinct from their test case development tool for Unit, System, Integration, Regression, and UA Testing – Not connecting CRs to artifacts can be disastrous.

    Value stream tool integration can help bridge this gap and ensure that changes are analyzed and managed in an efficient way. By connecting the CRs with the artifacts, it’s easier to quickly identify how changes will affect existing code or features and adjust before they’re implemented. This helps teams stay on top of changing requirements and respond to customer feedback more quickly.

  4. Improved Real-Time Feedback Loops

    Value Stream Tool Integration can be helpful when intervention or output in one value stream element initiates a response in another value stream element, creating a real-time feedback loop. For example, an issue found in QA can be quickly identified and communicated to the relevant development teams, allowing for a quicker resolution. With value stream tool integration, it is possible to automate these notifications, ensuring that everyone involved is aware of any issues. It can also provide in-depth analytics on the process as a whole, which can aid in the identification of growth opportunities and keeping track of satisfied customers.

  5. “Shifting Left” to Reduce Costs and Improve Team Morale

    Shifting left is a strategy that allows organizations to reduce costs and improve team morale by involving Quality Assurance (QA) very early in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The goal of shifting left is to eliminate the “throw it over the fence” mentality, where QA is only consulted after development is complete, and to root out defects at earlier stages of the process.

    The concept of shifting left requires that QA and developers collaborate closely throughout the entire SDLC. By involving QA in the early stages of development, any potential issues can be identified and addressed much sooner. This will help avoid costly rework down the line. Involving QA early in the process also creates a culture of transparency and accountability which will help to boost morale.

    Utilizing test automation helps ensure that tests are run quickly and efficiently. Additionally, organizations should consider adopting modern value stream tools to gain better visibility into the entire SDLC and allow for real-time feedback loops.

    By involving QA early in the process and utilizing value stream tools, organizations can be confident that their software is built with quality in mind from the start. Once you do this, your organization is moving from Quality Assurance (QA) to Quality Engineering (QE) mindset.

  6. Elimination of the “Ping Pong Effect”

    The dreaded “Ping Pong Effect” occurs when developers and testers must communicate back and forth to identify a bug. In this instance, the developer and tester are essentially bouncing the bug back and forth to identify its cause. This can be an arduous process, often taking a long time to arrive at the correct resolution. Value Stream Tool Integration is the key to eliminating this inefficient process. By connecting the tools used by developers and testers, they can have a direct line of communication and eliminate the need for constant back-and-forth.

    Value Stream Tool Integration also increases test coverage, as QA Analysts can quickly alert developers when a bug has been discovered. This real-time feedback loop allows for bugs to be addressed much faster and more efficiently, leading to improved software quality. The improved communication between development and testing teams also leads to better team morale, as there is less frustration from constantly having to explain the same bug over and over.

    Value Stream Tool Integration allows developers and testers to work together in harmony. With an integrated toolset, developers and testers can work together more efficiently, resulting in higher quality software with faster time to market.

  7. Accelerated Buildouts of Global Testing Centers of Excellence

    The importance of Testing Centers of Excellence (TCoEs) for managing quality is rising in tandem with the popularity of distributed software development. While it’s important to have a unified source of record for all working artifacts (releases, requirements, tests, defects, and reports), it’s not necessary to have one tool across all lines of business. Having multiple tools can be beneficial in some cases, as each tool may provide different features that better serve certain lines of business.

    For example, having separate tools for bug tracking, project management, and test management could be advantageous when working with distributed teams. Having distinct tools allows each line of business to focus on its individual tasks without worrying about other teams or projects. With the right integration strategy, multiple tools can be unified into one model of communication that is easy to understand and use.

    Integrating value stream tools into your TCoE can improve team collaboration, accelerate builds, and reduce costs. Value stream tools provide real-time feedback loops that ensure that every step taken in the software development process is followed properly and accurately. This level of visibility makes it easier to identify issues earlier on in the process, and it encourages team collaboration as everyone works towards a common goal.

    With the right integration strategy, you can significantly reduce costs associated with the development process. Value stream tools can help automate testing processes, and reduce the amount of manual work needed, to make your software development process more efficient and cost-effective.

Accelerate Your Software Delivery Processes With TED

With value stream management, many businesses have been able to successfully plot out their long-term goals, allocate resources efficiently, and adjust to rapidly shifting objectives. Having a clear picture of what needs to be done and being able to get things done quickly and efficiently are both consistent with better software delivery and help programmers get the outcomes they were aiming for.

Qentelli's AI-based value-stream intelligence system, TED is a value stream intelligence platform that is designed to help organizations understand, track and improve your software development processes. This tool provides comprehensive visibility into the end-to-end software delivery pipeline, allowing for better decision-making, control and management all the while ensuring your compliance needs are met. It integrates with existing tools and processes, including task tracking systems, requirement systems, version control systems, and build systems. If you wish to expedite and establish every aspect more efficiently with a value stream management platform or wish to learn more about how a VSMP can help you improve software quality; Reach out to us at [email protected] and we'll help you with a Proof of Concept (PoC) involving your tools and your data so you can see value first hand!