A need to bridge the gap
Digital devices, applications, machine learning, automation, cloud and much more enrich our lives today. The radical change in markets and business models through digitalization is not on a decline in the post-pandemic, pro-growth world. In fact, disruptive innovation technologies will be worth $200 trillion + by 2030. Disruptive innovation technologies such as artificial intelligence, digital consumer, digital wallets, metaverse (AR/VR/Blockchains), web3, DNA sequencing, robotics, energy storage will cross the tipping point this decade. The scale of disruption to industries will be difficult to predict or gauge.
Trillions of dollars are flowing into “digital transformations”. However, the digital transformation efforts of reputed organizations have failed because of their inability to flatten risk and cost curves. Many enterprises need to future-proof their digital quality engineering (QE) strategy that is fully capable to address risks and opportunities that emerge.
However, in businesses that acknowledge this need for digital transformation, we often observe a jarring gap between their future-ready digital quality engineering strategy and their existing “standard” quality engineering operating model. There is a lack of speed, innovation, risk management and modern digital skills. In other words, there are isolated ad hoc quality engineering initiatives with some level of influence on business.
The big shifts
What’s more, these disruptive technologies have caused big shifts in digital quality engineering expectations of customers.
- Big shift 1: Value proposition - From problem solving for mitigating customer issues to predicting problems for unlocking customer value
- Big shift 2: Focus – From achieving quality through control on the value chain to achieving quality through orchestration across the ecosystem
- Big shift 3: Governance framework – From top-down governance optimized for stability, standardization and centralization to open governance optimized for speed, customization, and democratization
- Big shift 4: Strategy implementation – From supporting the business with very few people with primary digital QE responsibility, that are embedded in business with automation (not just test cases), intelligent technologies, and multiple people owning few digital QE activities as one of many responsibilities.
Three horizons of digital QE strategy
With these new digital ideas being introduced into the marketplace, enterprises need to future-proof their digital QE strategy to adapt, compete, and survive in this era of digital disruption. A future-ready digital QE strategy starts by asking 5 basic questions:
- Where were you yesterday?
- Where are you today?
- Where do you want to be tomorrow?
- What’s the benefit of getting you there?
- What are you going to do to get there?
We help businesses design their digital QE roadmaps with our “Three Horizons of Capabilities”.
We leverage our “digital QE horizons assessment approach” to identify 3 horizons of future-ready digital QE strategy planning.
- Horizon 1 (Quality.NOW) – Establishing shift-left quality processes early in the lifecycle
- Horizon 2 (Quality.NEXT) – Enable integrated approaches for automated and intelligent quality. .
- Horizon 3 (Quality.BEYOND) – Establish predictive practices to bring about autonomous decision-making
The right digital quality metrics
Given the scale and complexity of digital transformation, measurement of right digital quality is critical to ensure performance. A successful digital transformation leader is one that can balance digital quality along two dimensions
- Dimension 1: Quality of digital transformation project –Organizations often have doubts if the digital transformation project they are implementing is of good quality. Traditional metrics such as number of automated tests, or production defects are useful but do not indicate the business value. Some success metrics related to digital transformation projects are:
- Return on investment – The digital transformation project should not only look at the value being provided by it individually but also at project’s collective support of strategic organizational goals.
- Digital quality budget allocation and monitoring – Digital transformation leader should allocate and monitor separate digital quality budgets to ensure the digital transformation project is positioned to deliver digital-backed value.
- Incentives linked to value-creation – All leaders are accountable for digital quality and driving tangible value. Aligning incentives is critical to achieving these ends.
- Dimension 2: Quality of digital transformation process process – We see many organizations still taking as long as two years or more to implement digital transformation. This is largely because they lack future-ready DevOps and quality assurance as part of their process. Some success metrics related to digital transformation processes are:
- Time to market – The digital transformation process should be such that end customer could get the feature benefits as early as possible
- Release frequency – Once the digital transformation project is in the field, the enhancements should be timely and take no more than two weeks to deploy. The process should be robust enough to predict the defect, fix and deploy the changes to the user in the least amount of time possible.
- Top technical talent inducted and retained – The ability to attract, develop, promote, and retain the right talent and keep them motivated is arguably the most crucial driver of digital transformation success.