In today’s digital ecosystem, organizations are adopting digital transformation at a rapid pace for providing solutions that are customer-centric and quality-driven, which, in turn, brings new challenges concerning product testing and quality assurance. This implies that organizations need faster release cycle times, lower cost, and best-in-class user experiences.
With the growing adaptation of Digital Transformation across various business domains, the companies should focus on quality engineering as well. Hence, to meet customer expectations, the businesses are outsourcing Quality Engineering Service (QES). QES companies help businesses through the entire product lifecycle from initial requirement gathering to test case building and test execution to the post-deployment support. They ensure agility, operational excellence and high product quality.
Moving from Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering
What is the difference between QA and QE? Quality assurance ‘assures’ the quality of the product, whereas Quality engineering is a holistic approach that deals with product development and quality management throughout the product development cycle. Quality engineering requires a cultural shift among the teams to provide the best in class quality products.
In quality engineering, the quality team works in tandem with business users and product owners to gather all the requirements and report any bug during the early development phase. They ensure that the quality is given priority during product development journey and remain in focus just not only up to but beyond product deployment.
With quality engineering in place, you can validate your application quickly, and ultimately you will be able to release the product to the market promptly. This results in cost savings and accelerating the time to market. In this way, you can get the customer feedback early and resolve the issue before any critical upset, which gives you another reason to satisfy your customer. So let’s discuss what quality engineering is all about.
What is Quality Engineering?
Quality engineering is a continuous process where testing is performed from start to end of the development process. It consists of a set of methods for the development of systems to ensure products or services are designed and developed to meet customer requirements.
Quality engineering is a holistic approach where the developers and testers work in tandem with each other. It requires a cultural change among the teams to adopt quality engineering as a regular practice. To implement quality engineering, the approach has to be accepted from top to bottom as cross-section and inter-departmental. With this, an actual framework should be built so that the cultural shift is seamless and consistent throughout the organization. Let’s get into details of Agile, DevOps and Shift-Left Testing approach for effective test management.
Various Approaches of Quality Engineering
Quality engineering encompasses Agile and DevOps for product testing life cycle. Agile is an end to end product development methodology, while DevOps is a cultural approach to improve the existing work processes.
In the agile model, the product quality is taken into account from the design phase itself, and testing takes place parallel to development. The automation test cases are defined beforehand so that the testers can validate the functionality during the product development stage. The product is tested for functionality, usability, API integration, and final deployment.
Enhanced collaboration between various teams drives DevOps. It includes re-training and improving the skills of the workforce. It also generates value for businesses and customers through frequent agile deployments. For successful implementation of DevOps with agility, the companies must attain a certain level of maturity.
Shift Left Testing
In the old waterfall model where the testing is performed after the product development, a small change can lead to a lot of rework and resting. Even in the agile-based project, the testers only do testing for assigned user stories without the involvement of development teams.
In the Shift left testing approach the attention to quality is paid at the start of application development and not at the end of the development cycle. During the early stages of development cycles, the executable codes are verified, and functionality is checked at every step. Once the automated test cases are ready, they are executed to validate the functionality and find bugs.
The time is to move from a quality assurance approach to quality engineering approach. For implementing the test automation, you should employ a test automation assessment approach and process that help you perform the testing activities.
Test Automation Assessment Approach
The test automation approach for assessing the test executables consist of
- Assess the product system architecture and process flow, including current automation limitations and challenges. Assess test automation environment and production environment.
- Analyze the development process, technology landscape, testing requirements, and simulation or virtualization needs.
- Plan for required automation tools, reusable components and developing in house automation tools.
- Implement a pilot project. Build a QA implementation team, and measure progress thought daily team meetings.
Test Automation Assessment Process
The test automation assessment process consists of setting automation objective, feasibility analysis, roadmap planning, framework designing, automation development, and test execution.
1. Define Automation Objective
In the early stages of test automation, the requirements are recorded based on a set of questions. The questionnaire provides the essential elements for which the product is going to be tested. Based on the needs, the objectives are defined.
2. Check Automation Feasibility
The automation objectives are checked for feasibility by performing a complete analysis of critical requirements. Based on the expertise and experience in the specific domain, the automation candidates are identified. An evaluation sheet on the required tools and technology is created.
3. Build Automation Roadmap
While designing the roadmap, short and long term strategies are planned carefully, so that set objectives are met in time. This also includes calculating ROI, investment requirements, and forecasting.
4. Design and Develop Automation Framework
An automation framework is designed and developed for executing the required test cases. The focus is given on creating re-usable components, drivers, scripts, and recovery files.
5. Automation Development
At the automation development phase, the test scripts are created, and test data is gathered for executing the test cases.
6. Test Execution
Once the test framework and test script are ready, the test cases are executed and automated. The test results are recorded and validated to provide a quality product.
Quality engineering test assessment approach emphasized more on test automation frameworks. The test automation frameworks consist of various tools and technology that help to achieve an end to end product testing at a higher speed. The dedicated automation frameworks and tools help in speeding up the testing process and improves the ROI by reducing the testing efforts.
The test automation frameworks are required for running same script or command multiple times with different builds to test the application. Whenever the application is tested, we do not test few scenarios rather we test multiple scenarios. If you create individual scripts for each and every scenario then your test suite will become very bulky and suppose if there are any changes in the application or property change of any of the object then you need to modify all the scripts. Hence to overcome the issue test frameworks are required which gives us benefits to reuse the code in different scenario i.e. code reusability. Let’s see what is a test automation framework and its various types.
Test Automation Framework
Test automation is one of the fundamental principles of quality engineering. Test automation is a procedure that uses automation tools to execute test cases. The platform which provides the test execution environment is called Test Automation Framework. The framework is consists of a set of protocols, rules, procedures, and guidelines for test scripting, association, and implementation.
There are several test automation frameworks developed by various test automation companies. Let discuss them in brief.
1. Data-Driven Framework
The framework follows a process in which test cases are developed in a spreadsheet and imported into the test automation tool. Using this framework, we can build positive as well as negative test cases into a single test.
2. Linear Automation Framework
Using the linear automation framework, you can generate scripts in no time. It doesn’t require any specific knowledge in executing test cases. The liner automation testing tool is easy to understand and use. This framework is also called as “Record & Playback Framework.”
3. Table Driven Framework
The table-driven testing or keyword-driven testing is used for both automation and manual testing requirements. The testing is performed based on keywords related to the application that needs to be tested.
4. Modular Based Testing Framework
It is an essential automation tool where testers divide the application under test into separate units or modules so that each of them can be tested individually. Hence it is also called the ‘Test Script Modularity Framework.
5. Library Architecture Testing Framework
In the library architecture framework, a shared library is created that contains the standard functions for the application that needs to be tested, and these libraries are available to use whenever required. This framework finds applications where everyday activities are repeated, such as inventory management systems.
6. Hybrid Testing Framework
As the name suggests, the hybrid testing framework consists of more than one framework. The framework is set up to moderate the weaknesses of all the associated frameworks and get the advantages. This framework can be easily adapted to get better results.
Advantages of Employing Automated Frameworks
The automated framework provides the following benefits.
- Consistent Testing Throughout The Product Development Cycle
- Low Operating and Maintenance Cost
- Reusable Codes for Future Testing
- Distinctive Programmability and Shelf Life
- Minimal Manual Intervention
Benefits of Outsourcing QE Services
Outsourcing to a Quality Engineering Service Provider not only helps in reducing operational costs but also add value throughout the product development journey by adding new skills, methodologies, and testing technologies. The growing demand for customized smarter and sustainable products forcing enterprises to invest in agile-based testing activities.
The significant advantage that a Quality Engineering Service Provider can provide lies within the quality of the end product. Let us discuss a few of the significant benefits that a Quality engineering service company can provide
1. Latest Tools and Technology
An experienced quality engineering partner can help you throughout the product life cycle. With their dedicated quality engineers, they can map the testing requirements and create various test cases. Based on the project requirements and data available, they can help in designing the test automation framework and choosing the best suitable tools and technologies.
2. Seamless Communication
The quality assurance team help you in establishing the lines of communication that keep all concerned stakeholders informed at each stage of product development. Starting from testing requirement gathering to framework selection, and deployment, the team operates in an agile environment. The digital communication channels like video conferencing and remote monitoring make testing operations seamless and efficient.
3. Test Automation Frameworks
QES can provide you with the dedicated test automation framework suitable for the application in order to create a desired test environment. Test automation framework not only offers code reusability but also operates less manual intervention. So that there is less probability of errors. This ultimately reduces the number of release cycles and hence improve the test efficiency, ensuring highest end product quality.
4. Technical Capabilities
The essential advantage of outsourcing a quality engineering service provider is its core technical capabilities. The quality assurance team defines the necessary guidelines to develop a testing framework and test case execution to ensure quality excellence across the organization. The group conducts a quality audit regularly to ensure all quality parameters are correctly executed. They also communicate with the clients for their specific quality requirements and process compliance.
They can also help you with the right set of tools and technologies to create a desired testing environment. This will help your development team to focus on core development activities leaving behind the quality work to the QE team. This is how you can save development, testing, and deployment time, which ultimately saving much money.
5. Technical Support
In addition to domain experience and resource benefits, the quality engineering service provider can offer continuous support for performing quality checks as per the requirement. When your developer’s rest, the QA team is running extensive tests through the night and build test reports to make any advancements or bug fixes. This continual effort from the dedicated quality engineers helps to deliver products faster to the market without incurring any automation cost.
Quality Engineering Success Stories
One of the leading medical device manufacturers in the USA had developed a ventricular support device to assist cardiac circulation. The support device consisted of multiple variants and controllers for monitoring the device performance and functionality. However, the client was facing challenges with time to market as the testing process was manual, and that led to a higher number of product release cycles for each product variant.
Team eInfochips helped the client with implementing the test automation to test variants of the medical device. The test automation helped the client to automate test cases by 52%, and they were able to save about 62% of efforts. The team also helped with cloud integration by the deployment of the Azure cloud. With this, remote diagnostics and media streaming from device to portal were also implemented for 24*7 patient monitoring.
An integrated quality engineering approach is essential for reducing the production expectation and delivery gaps by continuously validating the product attribute throughout the product development life cycle. eInfochips provides end to end engineering services throughout the product development lifecycle. We offer testing services from test consulting, implementation to deployment, and after deployment support through our open-source tool expertise, Shift left, DevOps, and agile approach.
Connect us today for Product & IoT Testing, Device to Cloud Testing, Cognitive QA, Mobile & Web Testing, and Quality Process Consulting Services.