For any successful product, quality can’t just be a phase or merely a process or even the responsibility of just one team, it must be integrated into every part of the delivery cycle. For IdentityNow we have a simple motto: Quality is everyone’s responsibility. Every change in our product is put under rigorous review and testing that includes but is not limited to: scaling and performance, usability, security and data integrity. Along with that we have a team’s whose sole focus is on each of those areas.
Focus for the teams, responsibility for everyone
Traditionally, software development has had distinct roles: development and testing. Many organizations have removed those distinctions for their products and IdentityNow has done much the same. Although we have evolved our attitudes towards the roles with our Quality is everyone’s responsibility motto, we recognize the need for engineers with a quality emphasis. Having engineers who are focused on product performance, user experience and customer scenarios, internal development, and security ensures that these areas have a priority in our project and that any issues in those areas have a voice.
We don’t look to these teams to own scale, UX, security, etc. We look to these teams to deepen our understanding in these areas. It is not all just theory for them though. They run extensive performance tests based on what we expect our customers to be doing, have engineers who work with teams to test the user experience and develop edge and corner cases, white hat hackers who are constantly looking for security vulnerabilities, and the internal development team constantly innovating on making test automation easier and faster.
Communication is Critical
We have set up a simple request process to add work items into these team’s backlogs, once in the backlog the teams start the communication process, asking questions, responding the requested delivery date, and setting expectations. The Product Management team is often our tiebreaker for priorities so staying in communication with them along with our development teams is paramount.
The mission is clear: Deliver the highest quality most innovative Identity Management solution available. The process for that requires everyone being vigilant about the quality of our product, a constant examination of our process and best practices, and collaboration with engineers who can guide teams with their in-depth knowledge of the various facets that comprise true quality.