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Top 7 ways to reduce time to market-->
1. Clear requirements from the outset
71% of failed software projects can be traced back to poor, incomplete or ambiguous requirements1. When the requirements are not clear or logical it leads to software being delivered with limited features or the wrong functionality entirely. As a result the project overruns causing costly delays. However, if you ensure that you requirements are unambiguous and everyone working on the project is on the same page, you mitigate the risk of costly overruns caused by rework.
2. Reduce the number of test cases
With fewer test cases that have better coverage you will spend less time in testing and consequently reduce time to market without compromising quality. When Agile DesignerTM was used in a well-known financial services company the team were able to create 19 test cases in 40 minutes, with 95% coverage. Previously it had taken them 5 hours to create 150 test cases with 80% coverage. It turned out that the team were testing 6.5 times more than was needed and performing 130 extra tests. This was taking up a massive portion of testing time and delaying the time to market2.
3. Automatically create test cases
When you have the ability to automatically create test cases from the requirements you will save time in testing as there will be no need to manually create them. With Agile DesignerTM you even have the ability to import test cases from HP ALM, deduplicate them then export them back into HP ALM. This saves testers from over testing the same feature and as a result, shifts testing left.
4. Effectively manage changing requirements
By effectively managing your changing requirements you can significantly reduce the amount of time testers spend manually repairing existing test cases in response to change. Manually checking all of the test cases after a change is made can take days, Agile DesignerTM can do this in a matter of minutes. Agile DesignerTM automatically detects broken, duplicate or new test cases saving time and helping to deliver the product to market earlier.
5. Find and make test data
Having rich sets of test data that is easily accessible will give you the ability to perform more rigorous test cycles. Finding and making data manually can take a long time and rarely offers sufficient coverage. Agile DesignerTM integrates with DatamakerTM which allows you to find and make the correct data from multiple systems. You can also synthesize missing data and ensure 100% coverage and remove delays in provisioning test data.
6. Make testing measurable and understand when it is ‘done’
If a tester does not understand the requirements then how will they know which functionality to test? This often leads testers to over test and rely on ‘gut feel’ to tell them when they are done. Testing in this way can lead to delays to the project with too much time spent in testing.
7. Avoid inefficiencies
When ambiguous requirements are passed down the development lifecycle the vision of what was required can be lost. This leads to re-writing code and costly re-work. Rewriting code is a huge inefficiency which results in project overruns. With 80% of technology projects costing more than they return it is important to ensure that the SDLC is efficient3.
About the Author: Huw Price
Huw Price has been the lead technical architect for several US and European software companies over the last 30 years.
Huw is Managing Director of Grid-Tools, a leading test data management vendor and Chief Technical Architect at Agile Designer.
Huw has been guest speaker at many conferences including Oracle, HP, Star East and the IIBA’s UK Chapter. He was awarded “IT Director of the Year 2010″ by QA Guild and is an adviser to Kings College KCL.
Huw also has experience offering strategic advice to large corporations like Deutsche Bank and Capgemini.
Grid-Tools will exhibiting at the 2014 EuroSTAR Conference.