Quality: Software Delivery's Holy Grail

Michiel Boreel, Global CTO, Sogeti Erik Voojis, Senior Testing Manager, Sogeti
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Michiel Boreel, Global CTO, Sogeti Erik Voojis, Senior Testing Manager, Sogeti

Confidence 

Confidence. Whether your primary challenge is improving your time to market, reaching sustainable growth or using IT as a cost-cutting-enabler, confidence is key. Confidence that the path chosen is the correct one and that you are actually meeting the goals you set out to reach for this month, this quarter or year. Having early indicators of success at your disposal will help you gain that confidence. 

Confidence in this context is very closely related to quality- quality of processes followed and software delivered. The first step in reaching the next quality level is focusing on execution. Continuously improving your organization’s execution with regards to your application lifecycle, and thus quality is software delivery’s Holy Grail. Excellence in execution is your starting point to instilling this confidence within all layers of your organization.

Goals   

The aim of most goals set in IT can be divided into three ever present ones: You’ll want to improve your time to market, you’ll want to outperform the competition in both timing and quality, and you’ll want to spend as little money as possible while doing so. In short, everything needs to go faster, be better and turn out cheaper.  Glossing over these three categories is easy.

"The amount of malleable data at your disposal is vaster than ever"

Cementing these in your organization, as if second nature, however is a challenge. Grasping the scope of any major IT project can be a daunting task, let alone for a multitude of projects. Challenging yourself by asking yourself three simple questions on a daily basis is a good starting point: Am I confident that we are meeting our deadlines, are we outperforming the competition, and are we doing it at the right expense? 

Simplify, Integrate, Industrialize

The ability to answer these questions is simple once you have the right data at your disposal. This ability hinges on three different enabling elements as presented in TMap HD. First, Simplify. This is all about determining the absolute minimum of data needed to answer the three questions. Second, Integrate. The requested data is most likely not obtainable from a single source. The way forward is integrating datasets from different sources into a lean yet combined dataset. 

Once you have determined which data is needed, the data needs to be disclosed in a comprehensive and adaptive way. This is where the third element, Industrialize comes in. You’ll need to select the right tool in which your desired data set is entered and disclosed at your disposal at various levels and stages throughout the software delivery lifecycle. 

People 

The fourth element is the founding element, People. Both the gathering and the assessment of decision-ready data is something best left to those closest to the source, bypassing any and all filters associated with information rerouting.  They, forming an ad hoc data team, will know best which data is available or can be made available and which will add the most value to the insights desired. Furthermore they have intimate knowledge, or can gain it fast, on how to measure and deliver that data. 

By relaying the three simple questions to those you feel are most adequate to deliver the correct and refreshable data will empower the ones chosen as member of the data team. As the collected data starts to make its way up the information chain without a filter, suddenly (data) quality becomes a hot topic; as such this is a great step in instilling sustainable quality in all layers of the organization. As an added bonus the collaboration needed to create the combined final data set will expand your team’s awareness, which in its turn will help uncovering more potentially useful data. 

Tooling 

Disclosure of data is a task not easily bested, as not only data quality matters but it needs to be available throughout the application lifecycle and the tooling you select should be able to serve up data in a comprehensible report even if the data set isn’t complete yet. For instance, on a project detail basis you might want to know your requirements have been base lined, before you’ll even start thinking about wanting to see the number of outstanding defects on the same project.  Yet again, you might want to go up and over and be able to disclose cross-project data and compare the quality indicators you defined or their general progress or the amount of requirements shared between projects.

Combining HP ALM with their Project & Portfolio Management application unleashes its data on project finances and even related milestones such as infrastructure deliveries.  The amount of malleable data at your disposal is vaster than ever. You’ll need to use TMap HD’s four elements, People, Simplify, Integrate, and Industrialize to your advantage and discover the data you actually need disclosed to be able to stop, start, judge and steer. Helping you shape, gather and mold this data into dashboardable, combinable snippets, there’s HP’s Technology Solutions. Only one thing left to do: Answering those three questions.

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