Agile testing for e-commerce
HEB is a supermarket chain with headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. In 1997 it began operations in Mexico, where today it has 71 branches in the Mexican states of Nuevo León Tamaulipas, Coahuila, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Querétaro, and Aguascalientes.
One of the strategic priorities of HEB in Mexico was to substantially increase its digital commerce. With the objective of enhancing the results of this channel, the company embarked on an Agile transformation towards a digital tribe model that would add value to the business without ignoring its customers’ needs. In spite of past efforts to do this, there were still some problems with product quality on both the functional and non-functional levels, and these problems had to be remedied immediately because they were apparent to customers, and since they often made it necessary to repeat tasks, affected the team´s productivity.
At Baufest we proposed to achieve five quick wins that were specific to electronic commerce. These could improve the quality of the digital product in the short and medium terms and subsequently be replicated in other initiatives so as to standardize the work in every area of quality control.
A homogeneous Agile testing model was defined and established which encompassed the five following measures:
- The addition of professionals to the testing team and the distribution of team members among the different tribes according to their skills.
- The incorporation into the operation of a technical leader responsible for moving the initiative forward.
- The initiation of a standardization process for testing activities so that all the tribes worked homogeneously.
- The establishment of testing in the project to increase its relevance. Participation in ceremonies so as to enhance team involvement and level of responsibility.
- The making of testing activities and results visible by identifying risks and alerting the project about them early.
- Activity planning on the basis of the teams’ real capabilities, thereby minimizing the risk of failure to meet the objectives proposed for each sprint.
- Generation of indicators in order to make the activities of the members of the different squads visible. These indicators include measurements of effective productivity.
- Definition of the testing process based on good practices and the creation of a repository of shared knowledge.
- Implementation and standardization of the use of Azure DevOps as a tool for managing tests.
- Defect register and follow-up, including the environment where a defect was detected, analysis of the root cause, and the current state of the defect for the purpose of facilitating decision making by leaders and making continual improvements.