Improving the Software Development Lifecycle | TTC Global

Improving the Software Development Lifecycle

An analysis of global research conducted by

  • Carla Hartman
  • 14 August 2019

As organizations globally must move toward enhancing digital operations, maintaining a best practice model of the software development life cycle (SDLC) is imperative. Best practice includes initiation, concept development, requirement analysis, developing, testing, documenting, implementing, deploying and maintaining technology for both external and internal use.

Within this, many organizations face the challenge of utilizing many differing platforms, which require a plethora of internal knowledge in coding languages. Additionally, organizations are trying to move from slow and costly waterfall models of software development to more nimble DevOps models, which increase transparency and minimize risk.

Moving to DevOps possesses its own challenges, such as difficulty in changing culture, not having skilled staff and lean workforces for large projects. Knowledge sharing still tends to occur in silos in large enterprises, which has been noted by most as a key area for improvement.

The following analysis includes global challenges and ideas from TTC’s industry experts on how you can better improve the SDLC in regard to testing.

Organizational Goals

In this digital age, most organizations have technology goals that align with their business goals. Through a recent survey, the majority of organizations attributed their organizational goals to the following:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Operational efficiency
  • Digital transformation
  • Profitability and cost reduction
  • Speed to market

Customer Satisfaction

Today, over 80% of buying decisions are made without talking to a salesperson. This makes customer satisfaction the number one goal for most organizations.

Ensure you have robust mobile apps. Consumers are now utilizing their smartphones for a majority of e-commerce transactions. If your app or site does not work on mobile, consumers are savvy enough to move on to another in a matter of seconds. To test your mobile effectiveness and ensure customer satisfaction, some of our favorite tools at TTC include Tricentis and Kobiton.

Expanding on websites, it is imperative to ensure that the performance of your websites is tested at high levels. If your page isn’t loading or there are visual issues, once again a consumer will be deterred from completing their intended actions. Performance testing tools such as Neotys or Flood can help ensure the best digital user experience.

Perform automated regression testing. This many mean hiring a more skilled workforce from a consultancy to help with automation and to train current staff. Since most organizations are performing weekly and continuous deployments, to ensure exemplary customer satisfaction it is essential that automated tests are run to ensure any changes do not impact the end consumer.

Operational Efficiency

This has been a trending term over the past decade or more. Many leaders are asking themselves “How can we do more with less and still deliver quality?” This area is split into several categories such as strategy, resource utilization and process improvement.

Experienced professionals will say that most companies should base their software teams on the amount of developers they employ. A successful team in most cases consists of one business user, one business analyst, two to three developers and one quality assurance professional.

Tool selection will depend on the skill level of your team. A more technical team may be able to use or build in-house tools at a lower cost, however they usually have higher salaries and are hard to find in this competitive marketplace. A less technical team may incur high costs of more user-friendly tools, but their salaries in most cases are less. In essence, it all ends up about that same and there is no one size fits all solution.

The last item deals with process. It is safe to say that waterfall processes are costly and high risk. The smart decision for any organization is to implement an Agile or DevOps process culture. There are a plethora of resources and Agile coaches to help ensure a seamless transition.

Digital Transformation

40% of all technology spending for businesses is being allocated to digital transformation because consumers now expect everything to be done on a smartphone. The emergence of companies such as Netflix and Uber are indicators of the age we are currently in. To remain competitive, organizations must not only be continuously developing software but also ensuring risks are minimal because the average consumer migrates from one web application to another in a matter of seconds.

Every department is involved in digital transformation. And this type of culture change goes hand in hand with organizations moving to DevOps. As the risk of failure is high, it is suggested to hire experts to ensure your organization is moving in the right direction.

Profitability and Cost Reduction

Efficiency can be established by providing the proper tools to minimize risk during the SDLC. Having to rework code can greatly affect an organization’s bottom line. Investing in tools that help mitigate risk of defects will ensure operational efficiency and have a positive impact on the end user, thus, leading to greater profitability

Cost reduction also works in a similar way, but ensuring additional hours are not spent on reworking items in the SDLC. Automated tools can also help reduce the number of FTEs needed to complete tasks.

Speed to Market

To increase velocity of SDLC releases, organizations must adopt automation. Without automation and use of tools with RPA and AI functionality, organizations risk losing competitive advantage as others adopt these methodologies. In regard to software testing, automating QA processes that were manual can take speed to market from 4 weeks to 3 days.

In conclusion, automation and DevOps processes are essential to stay competitive in this digital world. Hire experts, invest in tools and invest in the time to change culture.