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When quality professionals discuss siloed workflows, they’re usually talking about the “throw code over the fence” mentality that continues to keep developers and quality teams disconnected. These siloes often result in product delays and last-minute scrambles to fix software defects, creating unnecessary stress for nearly everyone in the organization. 

But there’s another persistent silo that also inhibits full quality engineering and DevOps adoption: the disconnect between testing success and business success. Though software testers are the in-house product experts and best positioned to advocate for the end-user throughout development, their expertise is often buried in the amount of data produced by testing. As quality teams take on a leading role in managing product quality, testers need solutions and metrics that can guide the quality conversation all the way into the C-suite. 

Quantifying quality

In the modern enterprise, a statistic is worth a thousand words. The first step to breaking down the silo between testing success and business success is understanding what other teams are concerned about, what metrics can track those concerns, and where testing data can be used to build a case for why testing success contributes to business success. 

Engineering Leadership

The development team is the quality leader’s closest partner and the best place to start when building a case for the importance of testing success. These leaders are most likely concerned with product velocity, the number of defects caught in production, as well as the severity of those defects. They’re also likely concerned with DevOps adoption, managing digital transformation, and how test automation can be used throughout the development process. 

As the eyes and ears of bug hunting, QE is in a prime position to track and manage these challenges in tandem with engineering, elevating the importance of testing in the entire product division and connecting their work with better results for the entire team. 

QE data points that resonate with engineering leaders: 

  • Number of defects detected
  • What stage of development defects are caught
  • The severity of the defects
  • How the team is improving over time to mitigate or resolve defects 

Engineering leadership teams are also concerned with morale and overall job satisfaction among developers, particularly as more organizations have open conversations about mental health and work/life balance. Software testing contributes directly to managing team stress, especially as more organizations embrace a shift-left strategy that ensures defects are caught earlier in the development cycle. 

Siloed teams find release days more stressful 

Based on this data, it’s clear that better collaboration between QE and engineering makes release days easier for everyone. Testing quantifies the quality of each release, reducing the stress on release days and improving team morale even as the number of releases increases. 

Sales, Marketing, and the CEO

On the other side of the enterprise: sales, marketing, and the CEO, all of whom are concerned with customer satisfaction, growth potential, and the product roadmap. The modern consumer now considers their digital experience the make-or-break factor in their purchasing decisions, including industries like financial services, insurance, and healthcare that weren’t known for their customer-centric approach. That means the C-suite in every industry that uses software to connect with users (also known as every industry) is now keeping an even closer eye on the digital customer experience. 

More testing means happier customers!

Testing strategy and the quality teams that manage product quality are the best defense against a poor customer experience. The better a product is tested before each release, the less likely it is that a customer is confronted by the dreaded 404 page. 

Working with customer success and marketing, quality teams can easily connect testing success to customer satisfaction with metrics like: 

  • Number of issues reported by customers
  • Time spent on a website or app
  • Customer sentiment
  • Number of referrals from existing customers

However, customer satisfaction isn’t just their current experience, but also how quickly a product can evolve to meet their needs. Being able to shorten sprint times, release new code more frequently, and fully test new features is critical to ensuring customers continue to love a product. The better each new release is, the more testing can prove their worth to the C-suite as they track company growth and customer loyalty. 

Making the most of test data

Test data is an increasingly valuable resource that can be directly tied to an organization’s ability to innovate faster, maintain a positive working environment, and build a loyal customer following. By collaborating across the product team as well as with marketing and customer success, quality leaders can connect testing success with business success, ensuring that quality engineering remains a central part of DevOps adoption and software innovation. 

Looking for more insights on testing, DevOps, and the state of quality engineering? Share your expertise in the 2021 State of DevTestOps survey!