This article is the first in a series of interview pieces that take a closer look at the various teams and individuals who make Intangent a market leader in the sales performance management space. Stay tuned for the next feature!
Intangent has recently introduced a QA practice into our implementation team. We decided to sit down with our fearless QA Manager, Joe Streef, to find out what QA means to Intangent.
So, our first question - how does QA work?
QA is about testing what we deliver. The QA analysts will develop tests based on our customers’ requirements to ensure we are delivering what the customer is expecting. In the end, QA activities work to validate the delivered product by finding and addressing any problems early.
What is it like to be the QA Manager at Intangent?
Our testing processes are well established – so it’s a matter of working these processes into our projects and helping the customers who do their own testing to better understand how to test our deliverables. Right now I’m looking across all our projects to identify the common approaches we can leverage.
What are the biggest challenges in establishing a QA practice?
There are internal and external challenges in establishing a QA practice. Internally, it’s all about communication. Everything about QA is team based, and communication is paramount. Everyone needs to understand the project milestones and any risks and dependencies that are happening so that we are testing the right components at the right time. We also need to continuously be looking ahead for future deliveries. If our analysis reveals test results that could affect the delivery schedule we need to communicate that to the project managers right away to make sure everyone is aware of what’s going on
As for external challenges, it’s trying to work with the customer’s test teams, whether providing guidance, creating tests for them, or executing their tests or sharing in the testing responsibilities. Communication is important here too – if we are aware of their internal requirements then we can better assess how those impact our test activities.
How do you keep ahead of the curve, as the process evolves and software changes?
Our success in QA comes from repetition and experience. There are so many variables in compensation plans the fact that our process gives us great visibility into a customer’s implementation process is hugely beneficial to the testing effort. As we test more of our different projects we get more efficient because we can start to see patterns within common issues that prevail across deployments. The evolution is natural in a way, and comes from having access to both internal and customer data. Think of it like a map - each piece of information fills in a section of the map while extending its borders. We fill in more pieces by collecting more information, but the edges continually expand, the edges represent the evolution of QA.
Who do you interact with the most?
Most of our interaction is with our internal team of business consultants, leads and project managers. Sometimes we will be heavily involved with the customer QA team in order to ensure we are not duplicating test efforts but instead complimenting and supporting their work.
What does QA mean for the customer?
QA means delivering a product that our customers are confident in. Whether we do the testing or help them do the testing, if we have methodically covered their implementation requirements with sufficient testing, they should have fewer issues in their production environments.
What are your goals in QA at Intangent over the next year?
I really want to build QA to be a resource that both customers and our business consultants can leverage to ensure our customers are confident and happy with their deliverables. As a resource for our customers we will offer our testing knowledge, provide guidance, and perform any necessary testing for the projects both internally and externally while continuing to develop our knowledge and tooling. Ultimately we would like to be able to offer Intangent QA as a value added service for our customers.
A big thank you to Joe for taking the time to give us a bit of a look into his rapidly growing team here at Intangent HQ.