There it was.
Written on our little white board where employees generally write an inspired quote or some fun trivia.
But today, after a particularly grueling product meeting trying to determine our minimum viable product (MVP) for an upcoming new release, I went to fill my coffee and saw this written on the board.
For a split second, my mind went to Occulus Rift. (The force is strong with my inner gadget-girl.) But that wasn’t what was written. It was Occam’s Razor, and I had a vague sense that I should know what it means. Perhaps it’s something I should have learned in college? Or somewhere along my 25-year journey in the business world?
Interest piqued, I asked the all-knowing Google for help.
First I’ll give you the definition so you, too, can be in the know. (Of course, you’re probably already ahead of me, so feel free to skip down to why this matters at all.)
Ah! Now I knew who wrote this on our board.
Our CEO, Dan Gannon, has a blog called This Is Not Complicated. His philosophy in business is to start simple, keep a finisher’s mentality, and not to overcomplicate. Because we human beings have a terrible tendency to overcomplicate things. If you’ve had a child in middle school, you know what I mean.
Occam’s Razor-sharp Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Dan was reminding us to view our MVP with an Occam’s Razor filter. Eric Reis’s definition of a MVP in his book, Lean Startup, is that:
- It has enough value that people are willing to use it or buy it initially
- It demonstrates enough future benefit to retain early adopters
- It provides a feedback loop to guide future development
More importantly, Reis often asserts that a MVP is probably much more minimal than we think. And he’s right. That is exactly what we were hotly debating in our product meeting just an hour earlier.
(Don’t worry. We’ll tell you about our new product soon enough.)
Why Exactly Does This Affect Test Automation?
Because testing is often the long pole in the tent for deployments. Continuous delivery requires six-million-dollar-man deployments (read: better, stronger, faster).
Test automation is under a major transformation right now. It’s been around for decades. There are many products that claim test automation. Most companies have tried it in one form or another and gone back to manual testing. In fact according to Gartner, only 5% of companies use automated testing for their packaged applications.
Seriously? In the 21st century?
Gartner says, “selecting effective test automation tools is becoming more critical as business demands for faster application delivery and high quality intensify.”*
And that is exactly why test automation is transforming now. If you’re reading this, you already know that there is great pain, risk and cost associated with the way software functional and regression testing is done generally today.
How do you go from manual testing to automated software testing? Occam’s Razor. Find the straightest path to the shortest success milestone and set your sights on it without overcomplicating it.
We can help.
First things first.
Start with just one application to automate. Maybe it’s SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle EBS, WorkDay, GuideWire, Salesforce.com, or a custom web application.
Take a good hard detailed look at your current testing process for this app.
- Do you have outsourced manual testers writing scripts?
- Do you have insight into your existing script library?
- Do you know if the existing scripts are reusable each time?
- Do you know if they are kept updated?
- Do you have a test data library for every need?
- Do you know how to get the test data you need, in the correct format, when you need it?
- Do you know how many of the test are failing?
- Do you know how long your test cycles take when there is a change?
- Do you know if you are over testing? (Hint: Most companies are either greatly over testing or greatly under testing.)
Ask any one of our customers about the hardships they experienced with manual testing. What they didn’t know at the time was that their manual processes, “cheaper” overseas labor, and lack of insight was actually costing upwards of $2.1m/year, adding months to their deployment cycle, and putting them at risk with the lack of true test coverage for releases.
Building test automation is a complex process. In a famous quote from The Legend of Zelda, “It’s dangerous to go alone.” Take TurnKey Solutions with you.
- Download Quality-Driven DevOps White Paper
- Read If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It. And Fast.
- Get a Free Assessment to see how you can improve your test automation
*Critical Capabilities for Software Test Automation, Gartner, 10 January 2017