1. INTRODUCTION

The trends such as mobile computing, cloud computing, service oriented architecture; delivery models like shared services, in-sourcing and outsourcing; regulatory mandates on governance, risk, and compliance; and hybrid development methods of buy-in and build-out requirements always tend to disrupt the existing processes leading to increased uncertainty. On the other hand, the constant change in business needs, time to market requirements, and process innovations also cause the changes to the existing processes and structures. IT managers often introspect whether or not their existing methodologies and models are compatible with these trends. Qualitics can help organizations where they stand and to adapt to these changes quickly with a custom built framework.

2. MODELS

The trends such as mobile computing, cloud computing, service oriented architecture; delivery models like shared services, in-sourcing and outsourcing; regulatory mandates on governance, risk, and compliance; and hybrid development methods of buy-in and build-out requirements always tend to disrupt the existing processes leading to increased uncertainty. On the other hand, the constant change in business needs, time to market requirements, and process innovations also cause the changes to the existing processes and structures. IT managers often introspect whether or not their existing methodologies and models are compatible with these trends. Qualitics can help organizations where they stand and to adapt to these changes quickly with a custom built framework.

3. METHODOLOGIES

The origins of software development methodologies can be traced to defense and manufacturing industry. The emphasis on the batch processes and economies of scale have a great bearing on the water-fall model, which was very successful in the past. The later attempts to accommodate continuous inputs from customer led to the development of the spiral model, prototype, or iterative methodologies. These currently took the form of Agile methodologies.

The lean methodologies in software development are originated to reduce functional interdependencies, take advantage of faster decision making, and break the barriers of organizational hierarchies, to improve time-to-market, and satisfy customer needs. Several models proposed since beginning of this century are still gaining momentum and heading in multiple forms such as Agile, X-treme programming, BDD, Test driven development etc. The increasing dependency of the business on technology is fueling these trends.

4. OUR UNDERSTANDING AND EXPERIENCE

The start-ups jump started with these lean methodologies and made head ways in advancing the concepts along with their business. Meanwhile the legacy IT organizations experimented them and are still struggling to make their development methods completely lean, flexible, and agile. The recent surveys and research have proven that external factors such as culture, skill-set, time to speed for marketing, customer reach-out, etc., play an important role in successful implementation of the lean development models. Most of the organizations are still grappling with this idea of making their methodology lean and remained sceptic where to start with. This is common across all the industries and most prevalent in the financial services. In financial services, regulatory requirement slowed down this adaption.

Our experience shows that legacy organizations without thoroughly understanding their own strengths and weaknesses and tried to implement the best practices had a little success in adapting a methodology or a model. Inclining to one or the other without proper understanding of the self needs is what the source of the problem. Most of these methodologies are appropriate for the software houses and not for the internal IT organizations enabling the business. This further complicates for an IT organization that outsource their partial activities and manage them across the globe. The regulatory controls and bureaucracy prohibits adapting the lean models completely. As the time evolves, the standards along the way changes forcing organizations change their processes and in doing so it warrants sweeping changes in the due course. This cycle continues and as a result comes back to square one. The length of time it takes to implement these changes often takes long and exhausts the time and resources. When failed, it proves to be too expensive. In addition to loss of time and money, it severely impacts confidence and morale of the entire organization.

5. OUR APPROACH

Our in-depth understanding of these models and methodologies along with the organizations needs such as Risks,

We understand the intricacies of these models and methodologies. The success lies in understanding their applicability towards the organization’s needs. Our framework incorporates all the essentials of the quality models and are associated with pluggable components of the activities and tasks. This makes it flexible to adapt; implementable at different levels – local or global; transform processes into lean and robust; and live by its own nature that enlivens the organization.

We learned many lessons from our prior implementations – our assessment framework synthesizes the priorities so that organization perceive tangible outcome along the way of implementation. We understand the challenges of people, process, and technology in bringing the changes. The change in methodology requires Process changes in various functions such as Requirements management, Change management, Configuration management, Test management, Program and Project management, etc. The change in process changes also drives the changes in Technology, Tools, Techniques, Infrastructure, etc. Last but not least, it demands behavioural changes of the People along with the upgraded skill sets

Our custom methodology addresses these impacts and encompasses the means to implement these changes seamlessly.

Our process starts with mapping the home-grown essential functions of the Testing organization with those of the client. Our framework takes into account of the full life cycle, which encompasses functions from pipeline management to production support. All the essential functions comprise of the activities and the tasks at unit level. Each activity or a task is defined using the standard process framework. The object oriented design of our framework allows to quickly build a methodology that rightly fits the client needs. That custom methodology will support the scorecard at higher level; integrate with external processes; adapts to internal changes; and will become scalable and measurable.

6.    SALIENT FEATURES

The salient features of our framework are:

  • Activity based and object oriented [Plug & Play of the Activities]: This allows methodology to be flexible based on cost, schedule, and criticality and not one size fits all
  • Architecture centric: Our methodology enforces quality at the architecture level and assures the same at the outset
  • Overarching Quality assurance processes: Testing, Change management, Configuration management, Reporting, Metrics, Measurement, Document management, etc.
  • Controls framework:  Ensures compliance of the systems to industry standard controls framework such as COBIT, ITGC, etc.
  • Adhere to Quality reference models: Activities, process, guidelines, techniques, tools, and controls can easily be traced to industry standard quality reference models such as ISO, CMM, Six-sigma, etc.
  • Risk based decision making: At all stages from requirements definition to Testing, we provide tools to quantify the risk that enables decision making while minimizing the risk
  • Value prioritization: The scope definition to infrastructure management, analysis provokes to choose the priorities

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