People Remain a Key Software QA Investment
April 17, 2019

The role and scope of quality assurance is evolving, and today’s digital transformation efforts may be seeing bigger gains from human capital than automating processes, according to a survey from Panaya.

There is no question the adoption of Agile methodologies and DevOps has shifted development away from traditional silos, but as the role of QA moves closer to the end user, the definition of testers has changed, illustrated by these key findings:

Struggle testing faster with quality, clarity: 90% find testing faster, while achieving better quality, is problematic. As much as two-thirds (66%) are still stumped by what to test.Impact of DevOps on testing: 53% see testers focusing more on quality when asked how it will change over the next three years. This is up 13% compared to a similar Panaya survey conducted in 2017.

Greatest effect Agile has on testing: Collaboration is key as 28% said testers are working more closely with developers and other team members, and 20% note test teams are now involved earlier in the project lifecycle.

Automation still low: 61% say they automate 50% or less of their functional testing, 47% only automate up to 40% and just under a third (32%) automate up to 30% of tests.

Correlation for Risk-based Testing emerges: Deciding what to test and the benefits of risk-based testing (RBT) is intertwined as 32% find RBT improves efficiency, helping to better allocate test efforts, and 26% see it improving shift-left efforts with earlier detection of issues.

When peeling back the layers, the amount of functional testing automated in today’s organizations is a key indicator of the increasing importance and investment in human involvement in the QA process. While this is often considered a way to reduce costs in the QA process, a clear majority demonstrated a surprising level of support for the manual process.

Likewise, highlighting the correlation between deciding what to test and the benefits associated with RBT in today’s organizations is enlightening. As testing moves closer to the end user, RBT is more than just a way to improve efficiently and reduce costs, its helping create better user experiences.

“Despite threats of artificial intelligence and automation, greater collaboration and investment on the human side of QA is an area helping to encourage more positive differentiation,” said Rafi Kretchmer, CMO at Panaya. “The companies that see this are making the investment to get them past the QA bottleneck without sacrificing velocity or quality.”

“Risk-based testing offers a variety of key benefits, but by helping solve the issue of what to test, organizations can better allocate test efforts, eliminating wasted time and expenses testing what is out of scope,” continued Kretchmer.

Methodology: The survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne in August 2018 and polled over 300 Enterprise IT decision makers in the US and UK.

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