WQR - 3 Software Quality Lessons From the Finance Sector

Software Quality Lessons From the Finance Sector

In previous years I have found the World Quality Report (WQR) lacks relevance for all but the largest companies in the world. This year, however, I found myself agreeing with a lot of it. This year’s WQR points the way for many companies. 

According to this year's WQR, the financial sector sees higher software quality than other sectors. Potentially this is big money at play, after all, they have more to spend and more to lose if things go wrong. 

Building high-quality software is not just about throwing money at a problem. It's about setting the right conditions for success and often implementing basic, but effective approaches.

Looking at the WQR, we can take 3 software quality lessons from the financial sector analysis: 

  1. Invest in Skills – Train Your Team
  2. Improve Communication and Collaboration
  3. Shift quality left, and right

3 Software Quality Lessons You Can Learn from the Finance Sector

In the Financial Sector analysis, the WQR highlights the top 'conditions that contributed to increased efficiency in testing'. These are conditions that anyone can implement:

1. Invest in Skills – Train Your Team

Financial companies have consistently been among the first to use Agile and DevOps, AI (Artificial Intelligence) & ML (Machine Learning) and test automation. Critically, they have maximized their investment by employing and/or training staff to make these approaches successful.

It always amazes me when companies invest their hard-earned budget on elaborate systems, yet don't spend a penny upskilling their staff. Imagine NASA building a space shuttle, then just expecting a pilot to make it work. It would be a disaster, the shuttle would either be left unused, or it would crash. 

Like the pilot, your staff are skilled in their current roles. Despite this, few if any people can just pick up new tech at the drop of hat. Skills must be learned and developed. With the right training though, your staff can become astronauts. 

Financial sector companies have learned that if you want to see the benefits of new tech, you must invest in those who will use it. 

These days, training isn’t expensive and it fits around working schedules. There are many different education and certification options including digital learning and instructor-led courses, both on-site and remote.

When you invest in technology you must make sure your staff have the right skills.

2. Improve Communication and Collaboration

Over the years, financial companies have developed widely disparate working teams. Whether subcontinental consultancies, regional offices, or sites spread out over cities and broad campuses. 

This experience has helped them foster communication and collaboration. Again, they were early adopters of communication technology and centralised test management tools. 

To make collaboration really work for software testing, you must have centralised quality processes. 

Test management tools like ALM/QC and Octane are essential. They provide a collaborative location where users can:

  • Access an overall view of quality
  • View and action their specific tasks
  • Understand how defects are affecting various integrated components
  • Assign and communicate issues and assets amongst each other

As with training above, test management tools are nowhere near as expensive as they used to be. With SaaS options and different license types, you can get proper, enterprise-grade test management tools for less than you think. 

If you've never used a test management tool, you've been missing out.

These tools are essential for driving collaboration and bringing the whole quality process together.

3. Shift Quality Left and Right

Testing has moved on since the old days. Testing used to be the final step in your software project, often treated as a box-ticking exercise. These days, testing has evolved into 'Quality Engineering' or QE.

With QE you proactively build quality into your software at every stage:

  • How to shift quality left. Drive quality into your development activities. Including rigorous scrutiny of requirements and specifications, and quality-driven development - including early functional automation and performance testing.
  • How to shift quality right. Ensure your solution continues to perform in live. Quality must not stop at the end of the implementation. Monitor your systems after project delivery with tools like Business Process Monitor

The Right Tools and Approaches Don’t Need to be Expensive

The financial sector has learned how to create higher quality software. We can all learn 3 valuable lessons from them.

  1. Invest in Skills – Train Your Team
  2. Improve Communication and Collaboration
  3. Shift quality left, and right

With these lessons, every organisation can increase their software quality, without breaking the bank. 

At Calleo, we provide class-leading quality engineering tools via SaaS or permanent licenses. 

Get in touch with us today to see how little these solutions cost, and how much value they add.

Stephen Davis
by Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is the founder of Calleo Software, a Micro Focus (formerly HPE Software) Gold Partner. His passion is to help test professionals improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software testing.

To view Stephen's LinkedIn profile and connect 

Stephen Davis LinkedIn profile

3rd November 2021

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