Cloud Native / Development / DevOps / Contributed

Speed vs. Quality When Time to Market Is Now

12 May 2021 12:49pm, by

John Whittaker
John Whittaker leads global strategic alliances and cloud marketplace initiatives at SmartBear. He is a 30-year tech guy who has had the good fortune to work with some great organizations, including Persistent Systems, Dell, and KnowledgeCentrix, among others.

Now that every company is an e-commerce company, organizations are quickly moving through their software development lifecycles (SDLC) like never before — because their business depends on it. But the most important piece in the SDLC is not just about getting more software and applications out the door faster; it’s about ensuring the software works as planned. Quality is everything. In fact, faster turns, while maintaining quality is how to win in this competitive world of e-commerce.

But, from the perspective of DevOps and Atlassian, speed versus quality has long been the challenge. How can you test at speeds and still deliver quality with management, collaboration, and scaling with Jira through DevOps? How can the marketplace help your organization deliver on both? How do you execute on both at the same time when they are seemingly in conflict?

There is no longer time to waste on traditional, slower development methodologies. Here’s how the process of speeding up your development that results in quality takes time, but ultimately delivers returns more quickly.

Every Link in the Chain Counts

Reaching the sweet spot ultimately requires evolving to a combination of tools that aligns into a complete toolchain. Coupled with that, when integrated, they embrace the entire maturity curve. When you look at your options, there’s great software in every segment, but the key is making it all work together to attain an end-to-end level of maturity, allowing your organization to deliver to market as planned.

That means organizations of every scale should be leveraging Jira and other test management tools to handle various aspects of Agile testing. Additionally, when you think of ways to shift left further, think of practices like Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). They all start tying into the Jira frame to get you where you need to go.

Big hitters like Atlassian are setting the stage for many companies to embrace DevOps as a high-level focus area. This is good news in an exciting time, especially for those participating in Atlassian’s open DevOps ecosystem. In particular, when it comes to aligning the Agile testing end of the story, participating with test management solutions that leverage Jira is a great idea.

Even now, if you have the capability to drive testing, whether automated or not — or even acceptance testing — all through the Jira framework, then you’re in good shape. The testing end of the equation can be handled by testers as always, but it now ties back to the same Jira tickets in which the developer team is working. This ultimately delivers on Atlassian’s vision for where they see their products going and how they are aligning the broader marketplace around DevOps.

Two Halves to the Equation

Aligning your process with DevOps involves focusing on two areas: test management and BDD.

Test Management

The first half of the equation requires finding a test management solution, which is based on the size and scale of your organization. Solutions range from small organizations with rudimentary needs, to enterprise level, which have complex requirements. Above all, the solution needs to align with the perspective of driving better quality at speed and scale.

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)

The second half of the equation leverages the (relatively) new world of BDD. This philosophy and practice allows you to shift left at even deeper levels and move into the product or the business end with your DevOps and CIC pipeline’s lifecycle. With this, you can bring more continuous integration and continuous development further into the organization. So the whole business can become agile and DevOps-centric in its solution.

Coupled with the Atlassian story, having these right pieces in place, you are on your way to driving faster terms, better quality, and ultimately, improved outcomes.

Secret Sauce to Staying Nimble (with Aggressive Shift Left)

You may be asking yourself about DevOps and how it relates to Jira and the partner ecosystem. How can you use Jira to anticipate change and make your implementation more elastic?

Take a look at the broader ecosystem and you’ll see close alignment with Atlassian and Jira at large. Jira manages the process and flow throughout, managing those tickets created. If you closely couple with the Jira solutions and various others in capabilities, you can produce an outcome that will drive faster turns.

As far as partners in the marketplace, they are the catalyst for integrating faster solutions into your environment. And that, along with implementing best practices, helps on a company-by-company, team-by-team basis.

Take Your Time to Speed up Development

Ultimately, we experience a maturity curve. From the initial phases of getting the idea off the back of a napkin or the Excel spreadsheet, and then managing the testing manually, to getting into some basic test management, to test automation, and then to eventually driving everything to a hard left, right up into the organization — phew! The process of moving and maturing is something where marketplace tools can definitely help.

The technology frameworks are out there. There is plenty of thought leadership around where the industry is headed, but where it really counts is with tools — tools that work together — that allow you to deliver quality to the market — as planned.

Reasonably speaking, enterprises can do a lot of self-service. The reality is that sometimes having a partner involved can make development move a lot faster. And, simply recognizing that fact can lead to outcomes that deliver returns more quickly.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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