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Metrics can be a double-edged sword in software development. Identify the right ways to measure progress, and your organization has a strong foundation for success. Select the wrong metrics, however, and your team will likely waste time chasing counterproductive goals. 

This pressure only mounts as software testing takes on an elevated role in digital transformation, DevOps maturity, and overall business success. As more organizations recognize the impact of quality engineering on customer happiness and engineering productivity, quality teams need metrics that help measure testing success for themselves, developers, and company leadership. 

“Good” Metrics Start with Empathy 

Fortunately, identifying useful metrics starts with a core trait for quality professionals: empathy. What goals define success for developers, product managers, or executives? What data points will help each quality contributor succeed in their role? Starting in a place of empathy helps quality teams develop metrics that are consistently meaningful and actionable for quality contributors across the software development organization.

Measuring Quality Engineering Success for Quality Assurance and Software Testers

The best starting place for creating actionable metrics is within the quality assurance team, then amplifying testing impact throughout the rest of the organization. To start identifying metrics that will help your team maximize their impact, consider the mission of quality engineering: integrating testing throughout development pipelines to improve the customer experience. Meeting this wide mandate demands metrics that capture how well testing is embedded in CI/CD pipelines as well as QA’s impact on the user. 

Metrics to understand shift-left and continuous testing progress: 

  • When bugs are identified during development
  • Time spent on test maintenance 
  • Time needed to perform testing 
  • Time needed to resolve issues

Metrics that measure the impact of testing on the customer experience: 

Building a Culture of Quality with Software Developers

Software developers are close partners for quality teams as they build a culture of quality and integrate testing into delivery pipelines. Identifying metrics that help developers understand the impact of testing on their own goals is critical to building closer partnerships and improving testing practices. 

Developers are chiefly concerned with product velocity, the amount of time spent on rework, and improving engineering productivity. Metrics that showcase time saved are the most likely to resonate with them. 

Metrics to share with developers:

  • Time spent on testing
  • Time spent investigating failed tests
  • Time spent fixing bugs
  • Bugs caught in post-production 

Elevating Software Testing for Engineering Leaders

Engineering leaders must balance engineering productivity with improving customer satisfaction. They realize that in order to keep winning digital consumers in an increasingly competitive landscape, they need to build engineering organizations that can quickly introduce new innovations to the market without disrupting the user experience with defects. As such, they’re concerned with high-level indicators like the DORA metrics that measure engineering performance. 

Testing metrics to share with company leadership:

  • Time spent on re-work
  • Time to defect resolution 
  • Bugs caught post-production 
  • Tickets created by customer service teams

Maximizing the Value of Software Testing and Quality Engineering 

The right metrics ensure that your organization is aligned on testing goals and progress. When quality teams have the ability to track and share software testing milestones, they’re able to elevate the impact of their work and build cultures of quality. When software organizations have strong cultures of quality, they’re better prepared to innovate and win over the digital consumer, even during unpredictable economic times. Pro tip: use mabl’s reporting API to easily share the right data across your team for a stronger culture of quality. 

Start elevating testing with the test automation platform designed for quality at scale. Sign up for mabl’s free trial and see what a difference two weeks can have on your product quality.