If we had tested better, we wouldn’t be in the situation.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that statement from companies, and it brings about a frustration that was avoidable and also becomes infinitely harder to solve after the fact than it would have been months earlier.
This is the challenge with business testing. It needs to be accounted for well in advance, but the work doesn’t start until much later and is usually not the responsibility of just one person. Instead of just accepting this as a common problem and cost of the way companies work, let’s look at three issues that amplify these frustrations and then offer practices to prevent this scenario from playing out.
Issue No. 1: Companies underestimate the time and effort to accurately test.
We’re not just talking about another set of eyes glancing at the page or someone filling out a form before going live. The testing we're talking about is much more intensive and sophisticated. And while it may be unfair to say business leaders don’t think about testing, it’s clear that many of them don’t fully understand how much time and effort quality testing entails.
Issue No. 2: There is often not one dedicated person advocating for testing.
The decision to add testing to the budget doesn’t fall on one person. It’s a team approach to factor testing into a solution implementation or new strategy. And as such, it is often one of the first areas to get cut when budget constraints are needed.
Issue No. 3: The assumption that all testing (and testing experts) is created equally.
This goes hand-in-hand with the underestimation of how much time and effort it takes for testing. Just like how you wouldn’t expect a developer to understand and work on every platform imaginable, testers can’t just hop from one platform or type of solution to the next without a learning curve.
How to overcome these issues
I’ve spent enough time talking about the problems we as testers, and the companies we partner with, face. Now it’s time to start solving some of these problems. The four main solutions I’ll cover here are:
- Work with someone who lives in the testing space on a daily basis and understands the nuances involved.
- Train your testing team not only on the solution but also the way you work.
- Factor in all aspects of the experience.
- Don’t stop at the implementation.
The first strategy is to start early. The best route is to work with a consultant or partner who can advise you on best practices and ensure the allocated budget of your project will be enough and that vital dollars don’t get cut along the way. Testing likely shouldn’t be top of mind as part of your day-to-day activities, which is why you want someone for whom that is the case to provide insight and recommendations.
Then, build your testing team before they are needed and ensure they have the necessary experience on the platform and processes. They should be trained on the platform you’re using and should also be familiar with your company’s specific business processes before diving in. Use that up-front project time to make the testing process as efficient as possible.
Whether you’re launching a new website, app, portal, or internal solution, the most obvious aspect to test is the solution itself. But that can’t be where you stop. Every interface and process that interacts and integrates with the platform must be tested as well. If the platform works great in a vacuum but completely breaks another area of your business, you need to know sooner than later.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the job of testing is never done. You don’t get to pack up on launch day. Think about the rate that you or your platform provider updates the software driving your processes. Every time an update is made or a tweak is applied to the process provides the opportunity for something new to break. And that means testing is required or you’ll be left with employees who can’t do their job and potentially unhappy customers.
Want to learn more about how Veracity helps brands keep their solutions running smoothly? Visit our testing and quality assurance page.