Analyzing the first part of the year to make the second a greater success
With the first half of 2022 under our belts, now is a great opportunity to pause, analyze and assess what adjustments we should make moving forward. This practice is true on both personal and professional levels, especially in turbulent economic times.
Let’s start with analyzing our current status: In many cases, the beginning of a new year can be over-optimistic. Coming out of the holiday season, refreshed, it’s easy to forget about common obstacles such as: being short-staffed, having unexpected bugs that delay our planned sprints, or signing a new customer that shifts plans and alters planned schedules.
Many companies use results-based methodologies such as Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), to help the company and its employees focus, track progress, and make sure everyone is progressing in the same direction. When deployed correctly, it can be a most helpful tool across company departments and teams. While we at PractiTest track our progress on an ongoing basis, more often than not, reality comes into play, and circumstances change. However, using OKRs means we don’t lose track of where we currently stand.
So, after understanding why it is important to pause and iterate on how to improve, we move on to the how.
The first thing we need to do is to understand what we have achieved, and what we haven’t. The second step is to look for the root cause and then on potential ways of improving. Here are some suggested directions for self-questioning:
How many of the planned activities were we able to accomplish? If your company is working in sprints, you are probably tracking ongoing progress, but have you managed to do that additional stuff you have planned for, that is not related to everyday tasks?
What prevented us from achieving our objectives?
Many reasons can prevent us from achieving our objectives.
Predictions- as mentioned before, one of the main reasons that can prevent us from achieving our objectives is setting an unrealistic bar too high. After reviewing the below mentioning causes, it is advisable to go back to predicted objectives and reevaluate if they were indeed realistic.
Time management- another source that can cause us to underperform our plans is a wrong assessment of how long executing tests take. This is common when managers predict duration based on their own experience, not taking into account less experience by novice members of their team for example.
Insufficient collaboration - even when we have a perfect understanding of how long our execution takes, unsuccessful communication with other important participants in the software development life cycle such as developers, can cause numerous problems and delays in deployments and achieving our goals. In addition, a lack of collaboration with other testing professionals, who are a part of other agile teams in the organization, can cause redundant work, and repeat tasks unnecessarily.
Prioritization issues- in a perfect world we would have liked to test everything possible before releasing a new product or feature into production, but this is less realistic in Agile/DevOps environments with ongoing releases. Failing to prioritize can cause delays and prevent us from meeting our H1 goals.
How can we solve these preventions moving forward?
Time management - Using a test management platform that can track test execution, such as PractiTest, can help us alleviate this challenge. Not only can you track your activities in the Present, but you can use the data to help with future predictions (one of those obstacles mentioned before).
Insufficient collaboration- complete visibility into the entire testing process can help reduce communication issues when everyone can easily watch the current status and better anticipate and plan their actions accordingly. That is why PractiTest has the option of creating several dashboards, for sharing progress internally and externally as well.
Testing Prioritization - PractiTest AI-powered test value score provides you with a score for each test based on its efficiency from previous executions, to better utilize your time and execute only those that provide real value.
The first half of 2022 has come and gone and it seems like a good time to do some deep thinking. Many companies use strategies such as Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) because they are simple yet powerful techniques for making sure you stay focused on achieving your desired results, through short-term goals set with long-term ambition in mind.
To plan forward we first need to look back and analyze our failures as well as our successes. Then we can move on to how we will do things differently, better, in the second half of the year.