Lean Methodology for Improved Software Quality Assurance: Best Practices & Application
The main objective of lean methodology is to eliminate waste, so that time is saved to a great extent and high-quality products can be developed at a reasonable budget. When the lean methodology is applied in the software testing domain, then issue tracking tools are used to test the software product or application that is being developed. Once the bugs are reported, they are fixed by the concerned team members. The testing is performed continuously in order to identify and eliminate time wasters that do not add any value to the software development and testing process. In this article, you will get to know the significance of lean testing and some of its best practices.
What is Lean testing?
A specific software testing process would have technical aspects that may not add any value to the software development and testing framework. There should be a way through which the non-essentials or waste can be eliminated. This is exactly where lean testing comes into perspective. Waste can be described as “anything included in the software development and testing process that adds no value to the end product/customer.” These wastes will be added up in the product or service cost and thus negatively hit the profit of the company.
Waste reduction (corrosion, defects, rework) is the main aim of lean testing and this is achieved by testing the system as a whole, continuously and early in a holistic manner. Improving the quality incrementally and specific measures that need to be focused and worked upon should be one of the main objectives.
The need for lean testing:
Following are the five key reasons that depict the need for lean testing:
1. Holistic process improvement: Not only the software development process is focused and improved upon, but also the entire process right from gathering requirements all the way up to implementing the solution into production is streamlined.
2. The value of eliminating waste: Lean testing is strongly known for eliminating waste (any aspect that adds no customer value). It also focuses upon building quality products, fast delivery and setting up the best standards.
3. The significance of community: Compared to the agile community, the lean community has a longer history that strives to maintain balance despite new changes being made to the product or application on a need basis.
4. The efficacy of lean principles: Product development methods and the principles of lean manufacturing can be aptly applied to the software development methodology. The practices may be different, but, the approach and thinking remain the same.
5. The basis of constant learning: Lean methodology is more inclined towards continuous learning and experimentation. It is less focused on the concept of specifications and entirely focused on improving the quality till the required standards and expectations are fully met.
Following are the five steps required to perform lean testing:
Step 1: The waste in the testing process needs to be identified, managed and discarded.
Step 2: Specific checkpoints need to be added for both QA and development teams. Both these teams must have a level of commitment and a sense of ownership, so that products of the best quality can be delivered.
Step 3: The problems need to be solved methodically so that the time-to-market can be accelerated and functional experts can focus on the evolution and innovation of the product
Step 4: The concept of lean methodology can be observed by organizations in just a few weeks/months. Small groups and teams will develop a sort of lean mindset and apply lean thinking so that the essential waste can be identified, managed or removed
Step 5: Team and individuals must adopt the lean framework and see it as a productive shift in terms of behavioral and cultural change.
Lean testing best practices:
1. Optimum utilization of resources: The core focus of lean testing is to make sure that nothing is wasted. This will in turn make sure that each resource is optimally utilized throughout the project’s lifecycle. Assets can be conserved by utilizing minimum viable test and minimum viable process and thus making sure that the application meets stakeholder and user expectations.
QA staff would be interested in running high-impact tests with low complexity. Time will be saved through these tests and make sure that users are receiving the features and support they require from a business application.
2. Streamline Time to Market activity: Some similar values are shared by lean and agile practices when it comes to cycle times being reduced and making sure that the projects are quickly deployed. When solutions are delivered in smaller lots, more frequent releases can be delivered by the QA teams and that too quickly. With methods like continuous development, deployment and integration, applications can be improved by devoted organizations and thus make sure that user expectations are properly met by delivering reliable updates.
In order to implement faster time to market, virtualized testing environments and automation integration testing are often used. Custom instances can be created by testers through virtualization or an existing template can also be used. A testing environment snapshot can also be provided by virtualization, which will in turn help testers to develop solutions and recreate bugs faster.
3. Taking accountability for creating organized records: There is one specific issue with development teams involving remote team members and that is redundancy. Lack of effective communication is one of the key reasons because of which QA employees result in making the same changes that further add to vulnerabilities in the process.
In order to solve this significant issue, one of the effective solutions is to implement an enterprise test management solution. One of the most effective ways to streamline test environments is to use test management assets. Through this tool, teams can thoroughly document configurations and incidents, resource scheduling, along with data on changes that were being made, why and when the alterations were made as well as what was adjusted.
Through this, the time spent on testing needs will be significantly reduced and the chance for redundancies will be reduced. Accountability will also be created across the teams, which will in turn ensure all the team members are working for the attainment of a common objective.
If you are looking forward to implementing lean testing for your specific software development project, then do get connected with the finest software testing services company UK that will provide you with a detailed testing roadmap that is precisely in line with your project specific requirements.
About the author: I am a technical content writer focused on writing software testing specific articles. I strive to provide well-researched information on the leading market savvy technologies.