2016 - Present
Software Quality Manager
Manual to Automated Testing
As our organization continues to grow we want to ensure that we can increase our speed to market while still delivering quality.
When I joined the team we had frequent releases of software, but not enough time to get the test coverage and still deliver quality.
I had a unique opportunity to use my technical background and begin to formulate a plan and strategy to bring automated testing into our team.
Quality with Speed to Market
Shortly after I joined the Software Quality team the pace at which the team was trying to keep up with releases of software through manual testing efforts made me realize we needed to move in a new direction if we wanted to have quality products with speed to market.
To achieve testing on all the platforms and features of the software with all of the test scripts we needed to run through in order to ensure quality, could only be done on short development cycles through automated testing.
I began having conversations with the team about learning how to automate to generate their buy-in and helping them understand how it would benefit them.
I generated buy-in from upper management by listing the benefits of automated testing to the company. Benefits like money saved when less issues are released into production, providing a great customer experience, transparency with the business, etc.
In order to achieve high standards with quality products and speed to market, the team would need to shift from doing just manual test efforts to a mix of manual and automated testing.
I created three new roles within the Wegmans IT department under Software Quality to support automated testing and began to re-brand the team to evolve in supporting the future of CI\CD with Continuous Testing within our IT department.
Career Goals Achieved
Created a strategic plan to move automation into the IT department.
The plan included:
Educating the current team to learn to skills to automate
Embedding QA into Software Development teams
Partnering with HR to define new roles within the team to support automation
Partnering with teams within IT to move continuous testing, through automation, into developments release pipeline
Defining new standards, best practices, and process to testing in regards to automation
Defining metrics to continuously improve quality as a whole
Creating a rollout plan to bring automation into the entire IT department
Identified, proposed and executed a cost savings opportunity to save the company over 500k annually on resource staffing
Taking the team from 7 resources to 25 to meet the need of the business
Reorganizing the team to support the new scale of resources
Frequent meetings with the individual team members to ensure they had the support through skills\training to do the job successfully.
Frequent meetings and check-ins to ensure that the appropriate standards and process defined were being followed.
Partnering with Dev Ops and Development and ensuring the process defined would integrate into developments release pipelines.
Communication around what testing would need from development to be successful with automation happened frequently to ensure success.
Communication to management on the state of where the team was in the process to ensure visibility and status updates.
Frequent feedback meetings were held to ensure the process was working and if things needed to move in a new direction when they were not working.
Leading Continuous Improvement
Small milestones were created to achieve the overall solution defined in the strategic plan to move automated testing into the IT department.
Once the small milestones were clearly defined and achievable, a plan was formulate to achieve the goal.
Creating small milestones would enable achievement to the large goal of implementing automated testing into the IT department.
Worked on development plans with each person on the team to ensure appropriate skills to automate through training, courses, and hands-on experience were available when needed so they would be successful.
Shifted the team from supporting projects within the department to become embedded within development for continuous support to those teams.
Partnered with HR to create three new roles within team that aligned more appropriately to the job when automated testing was introduced. These new roles created additional career paths within IT which would allow Software Quality Engineers to move into Software Development and vise versa.
Partnered with Dev Ops and Development to move automated scripts into developments release pipelines to support continuous testing.
Worked with the team to define new process, standards, and best practices\guidelines to support automated testing. This included defining new tools, languages, and frameworks to support automation within developments release pipelines.
With change, comes learning. Quickly identifying approaches which do not work is critical. Identifying when solutions need to change quickly and creating a new plan or solution to move forward saved time and money while ensuring the team was moving forward towards the goal to automate repetitive tasks within the release pipeline.
Driving automated testing into IT allowed me to work on influencing to ensure the teams success.
The team grew from seven resources to twenty-seven in two years. The need for this was to support developments CI\CD process with CT (Continuous testing). I was able to help management see the benefits of having an embedded QA team to support the product while delivering quality with speed to market by establishing automated testing.
I partnered with HR to define three new roles within the Software Quality team. Our current jobs did not align appropriately with the skills needed to support automation. I created a Software Quality Technician (entry role), Software Quality Engineer (junior role), and Software Quality Senior Engineer (senior role) which matched with the current skills the team was practicing and being trained to do .
I partnered with development and dev ops teams to bring automated testing into the software development life cycle to establish continuous testing within CI\CD.
I worked with my team to manage change and gain their buy-in as we shifted from manual testing efforts to automated testing efforts.
Post Covid-19 I was able to formulate a cost proposal to on-board 12 new direct hires to save the company over 500K annually. I am currently in the process of executing the proposal which includes hiring and re-organizing the team to support the growth of testing within the organization.