Software Quality

Something Company had a major problem. Every release was a disaster and their customers were furious. If it wasn’t so difficult for the customers to decouple their systems and move to a competitor, Something Company would have lost every one of their clients. It would have been easy to address the surface issues, and there were many, but we wanted to find the root causes. There were quite a few glaring issues to fix with the QA team, but it became apparent after a bit of digging that the root of the problem was that all of the processes designed to ensure quality were being bypassed. This tended to happen because “the new feature won’t affect anything else.” The “Quick Win” in this case came from making sure that the established processes were being followed. There were a lot of other issues that were fixed over the next year, but it was amazing how much momentum was gained when everyone realized that quality processes were going to be followed.

Startup Z knew they needed help improving their quality, but it wasn’t testing alone that they needed help with. Code changes were often made in production with no thought given as to what sub-systems the change might affect. As could be expected, this created major issues and customers found more of the company’s bugs than the dev team did. A few lightweight processes later the stability of the system was significantly improved.

Megacorp constantly missed key software bugs because they were focused on one style of testing. They also had an addiction to metrics and an array of processes so complex that they often cancelled each other out. Creating a team that had the ability to bypass their process complexity was a key component that was needed. The team was also given a charter of experimenting with new styles of testing and testing techniques. Given the opportunity to innovate, the team was able to greatly improve quality, as well as prepare Megacorp for the future.

These are not fictional situations. We have run into these and more throughout our time in the software development industry. The common point with everyone of these is that surface issues may seem large and complex, but the root causes often have a simple solution. We have found that simple solutions are usually more readily accepted by the teams we are working with. Many companies expect a large and complicated solution to what looks like a large and complicated problem. When you can offer a vision of simpler solutions that change the processes in smaller ways, people will more easily adopt the vision of improving quality. As more people get the vision, it creates momentum to tackle any of the larger, more complex solutions that remain. The experts at Hillcity Technologies know how to dig into the root causes of your company’s issues and helps you find the right solution.