2020 began with the onset of the COVID-19 virus which has brought about a new culture of working from home. It is still here in 2021, and we all have to live with it for some years now. The IT Industry has also been impacted by this unprecedented virus. Testing team members working from home are under constant pressure to provide bug-free releases without compromising quality. Collaborative testing with teams while sitting in an office cubicle is not a luxury anymore and hence makes continuous testing even more difficult. Testers will have to perform the same monotonous task of testing the applications with strict timelines. With traditional ways of manual testing, it is impossible to deliver software that is time-bound, efficient, robust, and bug-free. With all the above challenges being the new normal, companies are moving towards the adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) under a Testing Centre of Excellence.
A TCoE covers the deployment of testing processes, proper resources, and automation/RPA tools to provide testing services with optimal benefits across the organization. It has already been proven that TCoEs, once set up, can improve the quality of software while speeding up time to market and reducing the cost of ownership. If the value of TCoE is questioned, it's useful to have a list of benefits ready to argue your case. Let's look at some of these.
- Reduction in project timelines: With proper alignment of teams and resources in place, it is bound to deliver projects before assigned timelines.
- Standardization of automation/RPA Tool: Defining an Automation/RPA tool at the initial level of TCoE ensures that all team members follow the same standards of creating scripts which leads to shorter script cycles and execution times.
- Reduced go-to-market time and enhanced cost efficiency: With software delivering on time, businesses can certainly take to market sooner.
- Defining responsibility within teams – Investing in the team to train them and align responsibilities certainly gives job satisfaction to them.
Let us now understand what steps are required to build a systematic and successful TCoE.
- Start with Challenges – Everything starts with defining the challenges for which we are doing something new. Here, in this case, it is very important to prepare the list of challenges which the TCoE is going to solve in the future.
- Alignment of Resources – Identifying resources as per their skill set and interest from within the team to get them prepared for the role they are going to play once the TCoE is set up is again very critical. There can be multiple profiles that can be created like Business Analyst, Solutions Architect, Infrastructure Engineer, Support Engineer, Developer, Tester, etc. These days, big IT Service giants also help in creating a successful TCoE.
- Define the Automation Approach and Tool – The next step is to define the testing strategy which is going to be implemented and the processes involved in it. This also includes identifying an automation or RPA tool so that proper training can be given to all the resources that are defined in the previous step.
- Start Slowly and Steadily – Once everything is set up, it is very important to start the first project in a way that should provide a definite success. Prioritizing the key projects should be the mantra. This can be achieved by making the resources understand the common organizational goals instead of personal goals to be achieved.
- Document the Processes once built – Encourage yourself to document your current tools, KPIs, processes, and methodologies. Ensure that the expectations are properly documented, and a document repository should be in place is for future reference.
- Communicate the Success across the organization – The final step is to communicate your success stories to others in the organization. The pointers might include how cost savings were done, how the efficiency of resources has increased, how faster innovation is achieved, etc. This will certainly help in gaining confidence from the management and obtain momentum for future projects.
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