Tear down the silos for faster time-to-market

Tear down silos for faster time to market - coderskitchen

One of the challenges that all software development groups face is the trade-off between time-to-market and adding new features.  Software is so malleable that it is tempting to make changes right up until the day of release; when we think of one more feature that’s too cool to ignore.  The problem with last-minute changes is that you almost always get unintended side effects. And so we’ve all learned over the years that last minute changes are not a good idea.  This results in longer release cycles of once or twice a year, so that we can do full QA on each feature.  The result of of this approach is you end up with backlog of cool new stuff your developers have built but that you cannot release to customers. 

How can we improve our time-to-market and not sacrifice software quality?  There are two keys to achieve faster release cycles with better quality:

  • Ensure that you have tests to formalize existing behavior
  • Expose these test to everyone on the team for editing and execution

Most development groups fall short on both points. Existing tests are not complete; and they are kept in silos that are maintained by different teams.  The developers, integrators, and QA engineers all have separate sets of tests, and these tests are rarely shared between the groups.  We could argue forever about what complete testing means, where test efforts should be focused, and what sort of testing provides the best ROI.  But there really is no valid reason to not share tests. 

When tests are kept in silos, it leads to an adversarial relationship between team members.  New features are marked “done”  by the developers only to get “stuck” in QA for weeks.  Why are they stuck?  Is the QA team evil?  Are they sabotaging the developers?  Of course not, they get stuck because the developers are delivering changes that have not been tested adequately.  Why are the changes under-tested? Are the developers lazy, or uninterested in quality?  Neither, the changes are being judged by a “hidden” set of criteria – the QA tests that the developers cannot access – so, it’s not surprising that new features break these tests. 

Make this the year that you blow up those test silos and start sharing tests. And ignore the excuses you hear from the naysayers: “We don’t have enough hardware”. “Only Tom knows how to run those tests”. “Only Sally knows how to interpret the test results”. “Some of those tests always fail, but they’re not real bugs” … 

One of the best things that you can do to improve the quality and time-to-market of your software :
Ensure that everyone on your team is a tester!


Legal Notice

This text is the intellectual property of the author and is copyrighted by coderskitchen.com. You are welcome to reuse the thoughts from this blog post. However, the author must always be mentioned with a link to this post!

1 thought on “Tear down the silos for faster time-to-market”

  1. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has
    been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact
    bought me lunch because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the
    meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this subject here
    on your web page.


Leave a Comment

Related Posts

Isolate verify merge_Coderskitchen
Niroshan Rajadurai

Isolate, Verify and Merge

The cost of fixing software is well understood. Much research has been done to demonstrate that fixing defects at the time of introducing them is

Requirements Process development
Niroshan Rajadurai

Requirements in Agile development processes

The Standish Report tells that in 1994 ninety-one per cent (91%) of software projects failed, with thirty per cent (30%) ultimately cancelled. In 2020, 26

Illuminating system integration
Niroshan Rajadurai

Illuminating system integration

System integration no matter the approach; modular, big bang, regressive, controlled or adhoc can often be one of the most critical phases of a project.

Nature of software development - coderskitchen
John Paliotta

The nature of software development

I’ve been writing a lot of code over the last 4-5 months, prototyping some new product ideas. Here are some thoughts that I try to

How to make your developers happy - coderskitchen
John Paliotta

How to make your developers happy

There’s no shortage of articles on how to improve software quality via process improvement. Today I want to look at things from the other side,

Hey there!

Subscribe and get a monthly digest of our newest quality pieces to your inbox.