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Behind the Scenes: Hear from the writers of the World Quality Report 2016

JohnJ_1 on ‎10-12-2016 05:00 AM

WQR 2016.PNG




The World Quality Report (WQR) is an annual benchmark regarding the state of software quality around the world. The report shares key findings about IT and QA priorities (security, quality, and user experience) and the specific challenges (mobile QA, DevOps, and dependence on manual testing) that are addressed on an annual basis.

The goal is to help IT leaders understand and prepare to meet these challenges effectively.  Every year, the report offers new and unexpected insights. Govind Muthukrishnan, lead co-author of this year’s report, who has worked on every edition since 2010, told me, “Every year one thinks, 'That’s it! We've got it finally,' and the next year presents several twists and turns in the evolution. There's always learning, every year, and this is true in every topic.”

The 2016 WQR highlights how digital transformations continue to shape IT and business strategy and how Agile and DevOps both are impacting development and QA. The study uncovers the impact of IoT and how complex test environments introduce new challenges for delivery and QA teams.


What's behind the WQR?

Needless to say, the report is packed with insight and action items within its 80 pages of trends, based on input from 1,600 surveys. While the in-depth insights within the report are invaluable, there is more behind the scenes to discover. 

So what does it take to create an insightful report such as this? Who made it, and what do they think?

I wanted to learn about the team working behind the scenes to produce and deliver the report and about what they learned along the way. One of the writers described the magnitude of the effort it takes to work on a project of this scale: “The sheer volume of work involved astonished me. The team running the project put in very, very long days.”

The program manager, Mitali Kini, shared just how large and complicated the project really is: “It is much more than a writing project. The WQR is a nine-month research project, with teams from multiple companies around the world collaborating to plan, research, and produce the report. The project management tasks are multi-layered and complex."


The WQR process

The project starts with planning how to evolve and update the questionnaire, Kini explained, without which the survey itself has no meaning. The actual interview questions are proposed, debated, refined, and finalized by a team of about 20 subject-matter experts who collaborate to shape and evolve the survey questions. Once the questions are finalized, data collection begins.

The survey results come in by the fourth or fifth month, which is when the co-authors start analyzing the results and try to make meaning from the overwhelming data. Then the intensive writing starts, with additional experts involved, each examining and writing about their respective themes.   

With so many authors working together, having a consistent perspective can be a challenge. Proof readers are needed to ensure alignment of the final product.

"The final publishing steps include design, layout, proof reading, approvals, etc.," said Kini. "Once the report is completed, the focus is on how to share the findings from the report.”


The reward of new insights

Producing the report leads to long hours, extensive meetings, and detailed analysis. But the project has many payoffs. Renu Rajani, who helped write the Digital Transformation section, found the process to be very rewarding. She said the “opportunity to be in the forefront to understand what client CXOs say about emerging trends that define the future of software testing industry” was the most rewarding part. She is an active blogger and thought leader in the testing industry, and working on the WQR is a core part of how she stays in touch with key trends and topics.

Learning about the cutting edge of technology is exciting, as one writer explained: “I feel as if I’m getting an insider’s view of each industry, and I hope that this is reflected in the end result. Topics such as connected cars (Automotive), connected health provision (Healthcare and Life Sciences) and blockchain/digital payments (Financial Services) all feel futuristic but are, in reality, here right now.”

Many who have contributed to the WQR project in previous years expressed surprise at how quickly some sectors have improved digital maturity. Rajani noted: “Automotive and Public is on the top of the digital maturity leader board in 2016. These sectors were laggards in 2015.” She also saw in the study people reporting “increased challenges in mobile and IOT multichannel testing in 2016, compared to 2015.” 


Mobile testing challenges, and more

As a co-author with Rajani, I found it interesting how mobile testing appeared to become a bigger challenge for many in 2016. When you consider how long we’ve been dealing with the challenges of delivering mobile apps, I expected to see positive trends, but 2016 showed that mobile testing challenges actually increased across the board.

If you want to understand how future trends will impact QA and IT organizations around the world, the World Quality Report is your starting point. The team behind the report is proud to have had an opportunity to gather and share this unique insight.

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on ‎10-12-2016 09:57 AM

Niche Info is this for all Series QA ?? 

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