Shift-Deliver, TestOps and Management of Changes

Shift-Deliver is a label I choose to put on the changes the roles and activities of the TEST MANAGER, when the test manager moves towards (also) being involved in the ITIL change requests, delivery management, configuration management and branch management that happens when the solution goes from the test phase to production. Another label could be “TestOps” as presented here, as the intersection of Testing and Operations. TestOps have been identified for along time. ….Interesting.  🙂

In my IT outsourcing context, this is less about software, and more about solutions. In at least two of my long term enterprise scale projects, half the job was test management (of operations) projects, half the job was regarding ITIL change management. My change management activities was mostly making sure that

  • the process was followed
  • that information was provided to the stakeholders
  • that testing happened
  • risk mitigation happened

I was hired as “the quality guy”, but expanded the role over the time I’ve been on the team to take ownership of all of our build and release infrastructure as well. Basically, I’m responsible for everything from the moment code is checked in, until it hits our production servers 

To use a quote by Alan Page. Again Alan is a representative of what happens with regards to trends in testing. He might be wrong, as well as I. I try to label the trends to understand them. These four trends that I have spotted are not mutually exclusive, neither do they all four need directions. Change is happening to the classic test manager rolle of going through the motions of test cases and documents. This is clear when looking into these posts:

Initially I discussed Shift-Deliver, Shift-RightShift-Left and Shift-Coach  at Nordic Testing Days 2016 during the talk “How to Test in IT operations“ and coined the labels on the EuroStar Test Huddle forum.

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Pizza as a Service

Snitched off the intarwebs* an illustration of Pizza as a Service. Testing services can engage with the recipient in the same way, we usually refer to this as the engagement model. I have personally experienced all the variations:

  • As a company I want deliveries, – don’t bother me with the rest
  • As a company I want deliveries, a test plan and a test report
  • As a company I want deliveries, test documents and I want to determine the tests
  • As a company I want deliveries, documents and I want to test some myself
  • As a company I want to do everything myself

pizza services

*: Credit to the maker, where ever she is.

On applying a single method

Simon Wardley, Leading Edge ForumOh not again – should we be an agile or six sigma shop? ]

First, every system of any reasonable scale consists of multiple components. Those components are all evolving (due to the effects of competition) and you can (and should) map out the components of any system before embarking on trying to build it. Below in figure 1 is a basic map from a heavy engineering project with a large IT component

Now, all the components are evolving from left to right and as they do so their characteristics change – they move from an uncharted space (the novel, the chaotic, unpredictable, uncertain, potential differential) to the more industrialised (the common, appearance of linear order, the predictable, the certain, the cost of doing business). 

The same thing with your testing – that is: If you dare to take a holistic approach and not only focus on the mechanics. See also:  Mapping testing Competencies , Learn to think like a businessWhen do testing happen? 3D model for testing contexts Black or white – it is the same box

I killed an IT department

It wasn’t just a glitch or a bug, or a wicked hack. It is gone – there is no IT department anymore … Staffing and services will be transferred to the communications & knowledge department, but the hardcore business of developing IT solutions is closing. From now on we primarily use customization and configuration of standard tools: Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Podio and email (sigh – still).

Yet IT is everything and everything is IT

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Wither the test manager?

[ Paul Gerrard | Will The Test Leaders Stand Up | The Testing Planet issue 10, Page 4, March 2013 , Paywall] paraphrased:

There are five broad choices for you to take if you are a test lead or test manager:

  1. Provide advice to the business leaders, as an independent agent cajole project leadership and review performance
  2. Take control of the knowledge required to define and build systems. Demand clarity and precision in requirements
  3. Help agile projects to recognise and react to risks, coach and mentor and manage testing
  4. Manage the information flow between the key groups and continuous integration system, control change and delivery
  5. Manage outsourced and offshore teams, manage relationships

It’s probably 6) All of the above

legodinosaur

for heaven’s sake, don’t make any changes to our mother-ship

The undisputed facts about outsourcing, Part 6: Europeans love money, but hate change |  JULY 18TH, 2011 | http://www.horsesforsources.com ]

Ah… mes amis!  Let’s rip out ze costs, but for ‘eaven’s sake, don’t make any changes to our mother-ship.  By all means, sack all the expensive foreign staff in the vorldvide offices and sheeft ze vork to India or Les Philippines, but – we repeat – don’t CHANGE anything!

See also: Are you an outsourcing pro, or a global business pro?

Are you an outsourcing pro, or a global business pro?

Why today’s outsourcing industry is a sham | MARCH 24TH, 2012 | Horses4Sources]

If you base your entire career living in a perpetual outsourcing transaction-cycle involving hordes of staff transfers and staff re-badging, then, fair enough – YOU REALLY ARE AN OUTSOURCING PROFESSIONAL.  

However, if you want to focus your career on improving processes, finding new and creative ways to improve companies’ productivity and growth, and leverage today’s availability of global talent into the bargain, aren’t you probably what we are calling a GLOBAL BUSINESS SERVICES PRO?

[The great outsourcing sham redux

 | MARCH 29TH, 2012 | Horses4Sources]

“Outsourcing” common interests should be segmented into two “industries”:
1) The Labor Arbitrage Industry. … if achieving little more than operational efficiency and low-cost delivery is all they care really about,

2) The Business Services Industry about achieving new value and new productivity … let’s focus on Business Services and the process acumen, domain expertise, technology and global delivery required to make this all happen.

(Bold is my Emphasis) See also todays innovation becomes tomorrows commodity