Using the topics to enable a transition
Today many organizations are in transition. Moving from centralized “project-centric” to de-centralized “product-focused” delivery models, where high-performance IT delivery teams take full ownership of the end-to-end cycle of a product or service.
When an organization wants (or needs) to make the transition from a sequential IT delivery model to a high-performance or hybrid IT delivery model, this may seem like a complex and difficult venture. The transition can be made more easily by using an important feature of TMAP: the quality engineering topics. The 20 topics are introduced in chapter 11 of the book Quality for DevOps teams.
Following the principle that eating an elephant can only be done one bite at a time, the total transition for the organization is divided in multiple (parallel) transitions based on each of the topics. This way the transition is easier to manage, and progress can be better followed.
How to approach a topic-based transition
Each QA & testing topic represents a number of activities. In every situation the people involved need to define how these activities are implemented and executed.
In the ideal world a description is available of how each of the quality engineering topics is implemented in the “as-is” situation. If such description is not available or not described in sufficient detail, then you will need to organize to come to a sufficient description of the current situation.
Next the implementation of the quality engineering topics for the “to-be” situation must be defined. This means that for each topic the team(s) involved must define how they will approach the activities of that topic.
When the “as-is” and “to-be” situations are described, you can compare them and decide if the transition for each topic will be easy or difficult. Based on this also the transition order is worked out. Preferably several topics will be transitioning in parallel.
To create a clear overview for everyone involved the result can be communicated using a table (the available TMAP template can be used for this purpose).
The descriptions in the QA and Testing topics are helpful in creating the descriptions of the current and future situations.
Tracking progress of the transition
In the transition table the status of the transition is tracked for each of the topics. Per topic a status is indicated and remarks or comments for the status elaborate the current situation.
In general, a transition will take some time and usually the IT delivery work is just carried on because the business can’t be postponed for the time needed to do an implementation. This may require some extra attention during the transition because intermediate situations will exist where the transition has already started but is not yet completed.
Example of the transition for one topic
As an example we use the topic “Tooling” since this is a straight-forward topic that will be roughly similar in any organization. Also, tooling is an important topic since in high-performance IT delivery teams are being empowered to “code, ship, and collaborate from anywhere” by adopting cloud-based collaboration platforms, DevOps toolchains, and distributed version control systems.
The descriptions are fictitious but based on realistic scenarios.
In the existing (“as-is”) situation the teams work in a V-model-based IT delivery model and they use tools for registering the requirements (MsTeams), anomaly management (Jira) and automated test execution (Selenium).
In the new (“to-be”) situation the teams will work in a DevOps IT delivery model. They will still use the existing tools for anomaly management (Jira) and automated test execution (Selenium). The requirements will be created as user stories and will be registered in Jira. Also they will start using a tool for static code analysis (SonarQube).
Initially the other tasks in the CI/CD pipeline will not yet be automated, so the initial transition is not very complex, in the template used for the transition we classify it as “intermediate” level transition.
In this situation the registration of the transition for the topic Tooling would be described as follows: (this is a screen-shot from the filled-in Excel-template)
- Enterprise DevOps Report 2020-2021, by Microsoft & Sogeti
- Book: Quality for DevOps teams, QA & Testing topics