Digital Complexity Paradigm: Digital Assurance as an Enabler for SpeedChris Manuel
Listen on the go!
I am back with blog 3 in this series!
As covered in blog 2, using my favorite “digital transformation of the broom” example, the Technical Complexity enabling today’s digital is getting more and more challenging, and there is no end in sight. That in itself can be a mountain to climb.
But as most enterprises have found out the hard way, technical complexity is exponentially more of a challenge when we consider the speed at which you need to anticipate and react to the market.
Hence, as much as the technology component gets all the attention, we must put an equal focus into the speed at which digital is delivered. And, that is what I am covering in this blog.
There is a wonderful quote from the blogs of Dan North, “The goal of software delivery is to minimize the lead time to business impact. Everything else is detail.”.
Never has that statement been more applicable. Entire enterprises have collapsed, CEOs have been fired, major product lines have been discontinued…all because of an inability to move fast.
But the concept of move fast has changed – and continues to change – as the compounded result of increased consumer and customer demands reach unparalleled levels AND the competitive landscape in every industry has been turned on its head (thanks a lot to digital natives).
For the third in this series of blogs, we will focus on the Speed to Market component of the Digital Complexity Paradigm (DCP). Before we jump into the topic, let’s do a quick refresh of the DCP.
Technical complexity (multiplied to the Nth degree) factored against the necessary speed to market (insert “we needed it yesterday!” being shouted by the CEO). All of this factored against the unquestioned quality that is necessary in any market channel.
We talked about technical complexity in the last blog. Now let’s break down speed to market.
Many of you might remember the old public service announcement pointed at teen drivers – “speed kills”. Well with digital, the opposite it true as you all know – lack of speed kills.
We can’t look at digital, and digital complexity, without considering speed to market. Nobody is out there pounding on their chest that they got digital “right”, but oh yeah, it took a long time and the competition was faster.
Speed is not a luxury or an option – it is an absolute imperative and can be considered a prime determining factor of success in the digital age.
The legacy of digital initiatives that failed simply because of being late to market is long and distinguished, and it will continue to grow.
Does anything back up this statement better than Kodak, Blockbuster, and Blackberry…ouch. Yes, somewhat dated stories, but they continue to serve as wonderful reminders when an enterprise is unable to move fast with their digital initiatives.
Back to the crux of Dan North’s statement – “the goal of software delivery is to minimize the lead time to business impact…”.
I don’t know that you can better encapsulate the importance of speed in software development and delivery, and hence, better define the factor of speed as part of the DCP.
Getting something simple into the market quickly is challenging enough – but what most enterprises are needing to do today is get complex software into the market quickly, and then to do it again and again and again, as the dynamism of every industry demands constant updates of new features and functionality.
Digital Assurance as an Enabler for Speed
We talked in blogs 1 & 2 about how the level of Digital Assurance – both the strategy and the execution – needs to be directly proportional to the level DCP (technical complexity X speed X quality).
The bedrock of digital transformation and digital evolution is Digital Assurance. And it is no different when it comes to the factor of speed.
Yes, any enterprise can get software out the door quickly. But what we are talking about – and the relevance of the DCP – is that getting that software out the door is not a single dimension challenge.
You can’t simply choose to address any single factor (complexity or speed or quality) without a directly proportional effect on the other two.
Just like in physics, the concept of ‘inverse proportion’ is equally applicable to software and the DCP. If I focus in increasing speed, I am most likely decreasing quality. If I am increasing quality, I am potentially decreasing speed. If I increase technical complexity, I am decreasing BOTH speed and quality!
The only way to do it ALL is with a proper and proactive Digital Assurance strategy and execution that is directionally proportional to the level of technical complexity, the necessary quality, and for the purpose of this blog, the absolute speed to get to market.
Digital assurance is the complete set of quality engineering practices that cross the digital ecosystem. The discipline (and the engineering aspects) of Digital assurance long ago moved beyond the “quality safety net” paradigm that comes with traditional testing techniques.
Rather digital assurance done right will be an enabler of speed for the software development team.
I will leave you with this analogy. If I ask 100 people what the purpose of the breaks on a car is, likely I will get 100 answers that fall into the category of “breaks slow a car down”.
Another way to look at it, and how we should look at digital assurance, is that the breaks on a car allow the car to go fast such that the driver has the confidence they can slow down when necessary.
The same is true for digital assurance – proper digital assurance allows the software development team to go fast as they are able while still assuring the necessary quality.
The shift to digital-first has resulted in enterprises reimagining their business models and customer strategies. A robust digital transformation strategy requires a complete makeover of the traditional QA processes and infrastructure.
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Need help? Consult our experienced team of digital assurance and testing experts to learn more about the digital complexity paradigm and to experience a smooth digital transformation.