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10 Keys Series: The Quality Assurance Approach to Digital Transformation

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Quality Assurance Measures Amplifies Your Digital Transformation

Quality Assurance (QA) is a process-driven approach that facilitates and defines quality goals regarding product design, development, and production. Simply put, it’s the process of managing for quality.

Building a quality solution means developing a strategy and processes for ensuring design excellence and integrity. A quality build includes assessing designs, application architecture, system testing, and delivery standards. Great solutions incorporate guidance and management for multiple environments and platform orgs, paired with an effective method for monitoring and managing platform health via automated checks. QA works across all stages of a solution build to create the best possible outcomes for deployment and implementation of a digitally transformative solution.

I became passionate about QA after working on several projects early in my career that ended up having QA issues. Troubleshooting QA issues were very rewarding, but I realized that moving to focus on quality, from the inception of a project to UAT, was a key ingredient to successful projects. As the Quality Assurance Lead for Silverline, I now get to tackle potential quality issues before they start, ensuring a smooth process for development and deployment to maximize ROI for our clients.

Quality Assurance Carries Transformative Potential for Your Business

Creating a quality assurance set of operating procedures throughout the entire project cycle, from sales to UAT, ensures the dots stay connected between what our clients want and what Silverline developers build. The communication path we build keeps the project human and solution-centered because QA is committed to seeing the big picture of the project end-to-end. Silverline’s quality assurance team utilizes Scrum principles in our builds, and advocate getting our clients involved in the testing process from the first project sprint. We do this by creating test cases within each sprint, showing an aspect of functionality to the client to garner feedback, build trust, and encourage adoption. Quality assurance is the heart of the solution, kept beating by the circulation of the feedback loop established between the builders and the clients.

A client developed a project with us and included time for QA based on our recommendations and training. The project was enormously successful, in large part due to the best practices of QA. The client has continued to engage Silverline in multiple new projects globally, continuing to utilize our QA team as well as our QA test automation practices because they’ve seen the direct positive quantitative and qualitative results of making QA a priority in their digital transformation roadmap.

What Measures Ensure a Quality-Built Digital Transformation?

How can you ensure every aspect of the business is on the right page for the quality of a project, for the duration of the project?

  • Continuous Testing. A combination of manual testing and test automation such as UI and API testing with Selenium and Postman early on in your process means the team won’t have to test everything every single time you finish a portion of the project or individual feature. When a problem occurs, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact location of where an error has happened via continuous integration instead of starting from scratch each time. Bugs found earlier in the development lifecycle cost much less than bugs found later resulting in a massive saving to a client.
  • Fostering a Consistent and Frequent Feedback Loop with the Client. Touching base with the business stakeholders frequently, reviewing the project progress and features, often get laid to the wayside or are done inconsistently. Walking with the client through each sprint allows for transparency, solution adoption, keeps the project human centered and ensures the value propositions are on track.
  • Creating a UAT Plan on the Salesforce platform to ensure all parties understand the goal of the solution before wading into testing the project. The better trained the stakeholders are in the purposes of the project, the easier the transformation will be, and the business will avoid triaging issues in UAT that aren’t specific to the goals of implementation.

Risks of Poor Quality in Digital Transformation

I once engaged a client for a project where they indicated they would do all the QA. We arrived at UAT go-time and realized they had no understanding of the system or processes. The QA team had no platform-specific knowledge, no solution knowledge, and hadn’t been included in the development cycle by the client. The business hadn’t connected the dots and established a feedback loop between the build and their own in-house QA team, creating a substantial last-minute problem.

However, the build team was up to the challenge, working through UAT scripts with the client, facilitating guided deep dives for UAT, and spent whatever time the client needed to be successful. Regrettably, it cost the client money and time that would have been better spent on QA from the start. In the end, it’s always a collaborative quality approach that helps the project be most successful.

To sum up, failing to plan for quality can lead to:

  • A Solution Which Misses the Mark. This occurs when no feedback loop has been established between the development team and the client, from a micro perspective within sprints to a higher level overview. The client then gets to the end of the project and they realize there are gaps everywhere in their newly built solution.
  • Increased Cost and Loss of Time. Implementing fixes later in the project is always more expensive than while in the build cycle. At this point, the solution is complete, so any rework takes on a much larger effort. These reworks result in a negative impact on the client’s time and budget, with resources diverted to features that need to be rebuilt or completely re-architected. In many cases, I’ve seen pushed deadlines and delayed GoLives which could affect the whole transformation. In worst case scenarios, it’s resulted in pulling the plug on a project.

How Silverline Can Help

Silverline’s differentiator as Salesforce experts lies in the care and empathy we have for our clients and their success. Our team ensures ownership and commitment across all our practices and all our solutions. We embrace the values set by the client like they are our own, fostering a personal sense of responsibility and care for the success of the project with quality assurance best practices that span the entire lifecycle of the project, from sales to continuous adoption communication channels.

 

Whether you’re new to digital transformation and driving governance or you need to jumpstart your existing journey map, Silverline has best practices to help you navigate your route. Subscribe to the Silverline blog as we dive into each of the 10 Keys to Successful Digital Transformation on the Salesforce platform, or reach out to us to schedule a demo.

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