In Pursuit of Happiness
What makes you happy? Spending time with loved ones, walking the dog, going on holiday? Now take a moment to think about those online administrative tasks, that irritate you and build up over time to make you unhappy. What do they look like?
Filling out online forms is usually high on the list. Are the glitches in your software at work ruining your day? Do slow loading apps drive you crazy? How do you feel when a website crashes while you’re making a payment? Odds are we’ve all experienced more than one of these in the last couple of days and will do so again in the next.
These small annoyances have a long-lasting negative impact. They drive our opinions about the organisations providing these services and have a domino effect on our mood, performance at work and social interactions. They’re important to us and so to the service providers trying to meet our expectations…none more so than the Public Sector. One of the primary goals of the government’s current digital transformation is creating relevant, efficient, cost-effective digital services that are simple and fast for citizens to use. Services that leave us happy rather than frustrated.
At Sogeti, we’ve created a new approach to testing to help the Public (and Private) Sector realise this goal. It’s called Cognitive QA, and it’s a combination of Test Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Smart Analytics.
What Does Happiness Look Like?
When creating a Cognitive QA test strategy for a government organisation, we need to think about the current pain points and what happiness looks like, for both the government department and the citizens.
Using taxpayers’ money efficiently is high on the priority list. Citizens want a simple user interface and the minimum number of steps to complete an online task. Government services need to be accessible and fast even at the busiest times, like when tax self-assessment is due. RPA can make civil servants happier and free up their time and energy to engage with citizens more efficiently.
Data privacy and security are paramount, particularly with the GDPR about to come into force. Conversely, that data also needs to be shared across departments and organisations to provide an accurate picture of an individual, provide them with the help they need and suggest relevant services based on the previous usage.
Cognitive QA in a Nutshell
Cognitive QA aligns testing with the Public Sectors desired outcomes; minimising risk and delivering high-quality software to drive better services for citizens. We deploy AI and RPA to create intelligent test automation and smart analytics. The result is insights-driven decision making, rapid validation, and self-adaptive test suites.
Two of the biggest complaints we hear from Public Sector test organisations is that their automation coverage is lower than they expected, and their structured and unstructured data is too siloed to test properly.
Cognitive QA is a more centralised model that addresses these issues with customisable predictive dashboards and real time data for a 360 view of development, operations and test. Our smart QA analytics means you can analyse your data faster to find out what users really want and need and improve the efficiency of your test environment provisioning.
Our intelligent approach to Automation gets to the truth of what tests should be automated and why, generating your test script automatically, predicting the environments you need to get the results you want and vastly increasing your automation coverage. The final step is a Cognitive QA Platform which provisions smart, self-adaptive test environments throughout the application lifecycle.
Doing More With Data
Effective data utilisation is one of the biggest pain points in the Public Sector. In the Private Sector a company can clearly map out the demographics of their target market and design their products and services accordingly. To achieve end-user happiness, Government digital services must be totally inclusive and work for everyone.
Pubic Sector data lakes are a glut of structured and unstructured data, which is only useful if it’s turned into categorised information and then into shareable insights. Sogeti’s Cognitive QA approach enables us to help the government do more with data for the benefit of the citizen.
The Cognitive journey begins with a data, test and automation maturity and quality assessment of the government organisations, functions, processes, platforms, KPI’s, metrics and analytics. Once we’ve established the current state we look at the end goal and create a roadmap starting with a total data overhaul.
Organised, accessible data improves lives. Imagine a citizen recently had a serious accident and is now confined to a wheelchair but lives on the 12th floor of a council building with limited disabled access. Currently, these pieces of information are stored in different places. With a centralised data system, the situation would be immediately apparent, and the government could get that person re-housed in a more suitable environment, more quickly.
The Minimum Lovable Product
With Cognitive QA we are no longer looking at the Minimum Viable Product and expecting citizens to be content with something that ‘gets by’. We are setting the bar much higher and helping the Public Sector create as I like to call it the Minimum Lovable Product. It’s a simple equation; digitally happy citizens equal better relationship management, fewer complaints and better reputation management, which in turn means that our Public Sector clients are digitally happy.
About Andrew Fullen
Andrew has been a managing consultant with Sogeti since 2009. In this role, he has worked on a number of major clients across government and private sectors covering tasks such as security test manager for a major government pan-agency project, helping with restructuring a bank rescued by the UK government during the financial crash, re-planning a major welfare project and architecting a performance policy and approach to address significant shortfalls in the delivered solution.
More on Andrew Fullen.