Automation Challenges in SAFe World – Tester’s Eyeview

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What is Scaled Agile Framework also called as SAFe?

It is a means to bring Organizational Agility. In today’s digital economy, the only truly sustainable competitive advantage is the speed at which an organization can sense and respond to the needs of its customers. With more and more transformations happening from bespoke application to packaged applications, the organizations are looking at SAFe as the means to achieve faster time to market.

What strengthens this transformation further is diverse ecosystem with multiple tools and technologies that allows continuous development, continuous integration, and continuous testing.

This is where Automation is meant to play a key role in keeping up with the organizational agility. 

However why automation is at times difficult to be achieved in SAFE.

Now SAFE is hierarchical model with – Program Increment – Iteration – Epics – Features – User Stories and embedded within Agile Release Train(s) or ARTs. As per SAFe “Iteration goals are achieved by completing backlog items, even though it may not be necessary to finish every story to meet the goals. In other words, the goals for the iteration override any particular story. On occasion, it may even be necessary to add new stories to achieve the iteration’s goals.”

There are three areas where automation has failed

  • ESTIMATION: While considering the story points do, we estimate automation efforts? The answer most of the times is ‘No’.
  • IN-SPRINT: This principle makes it difficult for automation engineers to continuously automate the new additions to the applications and/or revisit and modify the existing scripts within a shorter window making insprint automation next to impossible
  • REGRESSION: Since the features are developed as stories, creating scripts for a feature furthermore is difficult and so the business functionality is not developed in totality but components. This beats the objective of automation to perform regress testing of a business functionality.

Now that we know the problems, we need to identify a solution on how to overcome these problems and make automation successful in SAFe adoption quickly.

Chaitali Lambat

About

Chaitali is leading the Innovation tower in Sogeti Testing Practice. She is the product owner and architect for the Testing Sales platform 'Jennie'. This is a platform that integrates assets from different areas of testing like test processes, automation, non functional along with assessment & knowledge management framework. This platform is built using PowerApps, Power Automate, MS Flow and Sharepoint. Chaitali was instrumental in architecting Business intelligence and cognitive solution called 'Cognitive QA' using Microsoft Services and tools like Power BI, Text Analytics and various cognitive services of Azure. The Cognitve QA solution has a skype bot 'Navya' which is built on top of QnA maker and LUIS that answers to testing specific queries for any account. In the past Chaitali had developed assets for process automation and also conducted several Test Process Improvement assessments using TPI Next framework. She has trained several associates on TMap test design techniques. Her whitepaper 'Aligning metrics to Org BU goals' was published in QA&Test Org in 2015 and 'Scriptless Automation - A guide to automate' was published in same forum in the year 2018..

More on Chaitali Lambat.

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