Business-as-usual isn’t usual for Public Sector organizations in their approach to Quality Assurance (QA)
That’s according to this year’s World Quality Report from Capgemini and Sogeti, in partnership with Micro Focus, published on November 5, 2020.
With a common duty to serve citizens, all Government and Public Sector bodies are working towards a smarter, more efficient, and more cohesive approach to quality assurance (QA). However, as the WQR points out, in 2020, they have done so under the weight of public expectations surrounding the global pandemic. And with research for this year’s report conducted in June and July 2020, the impact of COVID-19 on QA and testing practices is clear to see.
For example, with the pandemic intensifying the spotlight on public services, it is no surprise that protecting the corporate image was the most important objective of QA and testing. It was ranked as essential by 44% of respondents in this sector, versus the all-sector figure of 36%.
Focus on the customer journey
The new operating circumstances seen in 2020 saw the transition to working from home, and this appears to have been largely smooth, with few blips in service. Team members embraced the need to communicate and to work as a group.
The World Quality Report also points to an increased focus on understanding the entire customer journey. Here we see a shift in software design, development and QA towards building and testing integration end-to-end so that everything works first time. This ties back to the objective to protect the corporate image and Government & Public Sector organizations stated that they were looking at how the new working practices they’d put in place in difficult circumstances could become part of business-as-usual once pandemic measures were eased. Indeed, just over half (51%) of this sector’s respondents said they were highly likely to be focusing more on customer experience validation and usability testing. This was a higher response than for all survey participants as a whole.
More automation tools in the future
Automation is increasingly part of the testing toolkit, and the WQR survey delved into this aspect of QA. Some 62% of Government and Public Sector respondents said they had the right automation tools and up to 70% believed they had the right automation strategy – but, of course, it’s the implementation rather than the strategy that is a challenge. Looking ahead, the three most cited automation techniques planned for the coming year were model-based testing tools (47% were extremely or highly likely), test environment visualization (46%), and robotics automation for test activities (47%).
There is clearly a determination to make a cultural shift in Government and Public Sector QA and testing, with nine in ten (87%) of participants in this sector strongly agreeing that they needed to build a stronger QA community culture. Further, over three-quarters (78%) strongly agreed that they needed to measure the quality of their teams’ work differently, and to empower them with more responsibility for quality.
This all suggests that a change to business-as-usual is on the cards. This will be helped by the sector’s focus on improving team productivity monitoring; acquiring more and better collaboration tools; and improving the orchestration of QA activities across teams. All these objectives yielded a higher response than for those from across all sectors surveyed this year.
If you’d like to hear more about our findings relating to QA and testing in Government and the Public Sector, please get in touch with: