For a long time, we have focused on finding what is wrong with our systems, and fix it. That is no longer good enough. We need healthcare for systems to find what may go wrong in the future, and prevent the problems. In this blog post, I am going to explain why that is necessary. How we are going to do it will have to be a topic for another time.
The speed of change has increased
Since I started in the business, the speed of change in the field has increased. We have moved to agile development as a response to this, and are working to get additional features out as quickly as possible. This means we do not have time to foresee every problem before going into production. There is a high risk we miss finding issues in time. But, and this is most relevant to this discussion, our system is not isolated. There are dependences to other systems, and they are changing too. So, even if we did not miss problems, there may be issues triggered by other systems’ changes. The result of this is that we cannot test before delivery, and be complacent that everything will be working. We need to monitor the system in operation to be sure it continues to work.
Human behavior has changed
People’s everyday life has in the last year changed dramatically. The digitalization is spreading into more and more areas as a result. Human behavior is changing. This means that to deliver value, our systems need to adapt. We do not have time to wait for the change to be identified, its impact analyzed, and user stories added to the backlog. The changes in human behavior can cause additional problems down the line, for instance, the load on the system changes, or the need for new functionality. Therefore, we need to monitor the systems in operation to more quickly identify those changes, and to speed up the analysis of the extensive amount of data we can use AI.
Digitalization is spreading
As I talked about earlier, the digitalization is spreading. We are more and more dependent on our systems to work all the time. The result of a system failure becomes more and more severe. Therefore, we cannot afford to wait until we have a problem. We need to identify it before it is a problem and prevent it.
It is no longer good enough to find a problem and fix it. We need to focus on identifying what may cause problems and future needs. The reason for this change is:
- The speed of change has increased.
- Human behavior has changed.
- Digitalization is spreading.
This means that we need healthcare for our systems, to monitor the health and prevent problems in the future.
Do you have healthcare in place for your systems? Have I missed any reason? How do you go about to get healthcare in place?
Please comment with your thoughts on the matter in the comment.
About Eva Holmquist
Eva Holmquist has more than twenty-eight years of professional IT experience, working as a programmer, project manager and at every level of the testing hierarchy from a tester through test manager. She has also worked with test process improvements and in test education as a teacher and with the development of courses including a Swedish ISTQB Foundation certification course. Author of the book ”Praktisk mjukvarutestning” (Software Testing in Practice) as well as science fiction and fantasy novels. Eva works as a Senior Test Specialist at Sogeti helping clients improve their testing practices using her broad experience in system development, process improvements, and education. She is a frequent speaker and has during the last year held presentations about agile testing, DevOps and quality assurance, cognitive quality assurance and bias in artificial intelligence.
More on Eva Holmquist.