Shifting Gears for better quality or faster delivery - Shift Left or Shift Right!

In an Agile world,we are being asked to move faster—reducing the length of time to delivery while still continuing to improve the quality. At the same time, we are faced with increased pressure to reduce testing costs. The main aim of Shifting left is ‘Early Defect Detection to Defect Prevention’.

Bugs are cheaper when caught young. Being a testing professional during start of my career where i have seen the agile transformation from ground zero. I have experienced all what a tester can face usually in start of a agile way of working.

Most difficult phase is shift from defect identification or detection mode towards a more collaborative approach of defect prevention.

Why a tester was no more quality police and he/she is not the sole responsible person for quality but it was whole team. Development teams need to focus on quality from the beginning, instead of waiting for errors & bugs to be discovered late in the game.

These learning and many more in my early career helped me when I started coaching agile teams for delivering better quality product. In recent time where I am leading a transformation , one of the major ask was to break the boundaries and silos between development and system testing teams. This topic is close to my heart because i have practiced , performed and tried to perfect time and again.

I want to share How “Shift-Left” Testing Can Help Your Product Quality? What it means to testing community, with vastly different skill sets, are getting involved in the testing process. More specifically, it means that development teams are being incorporated into the testing cycle earlier than ever before.



Outline/Structure of the Case Study

This is a 3 dimensional study to look in what , why and how (much) of Shifting mindset for delivering a high quality product at sustainable interval. As more teams embrace the challenges of continuous delivery, we hear lots of people talking about “shift left” and “shift right” in a testing context. In this session we will talk about what does that mean, exactly, and why does everyone want to do it? (8 mins - Context setting)

This session will also be covering two contrasting case studies from two great organisations - 1) First one from teams in Siemens, where we tried to dismantle a mammoth unit of System Test which had 600000+ test case mostly manual and integrate it more in development by shifting left. We will talk about all the Quality Gates, The current states , Mission, DoDs, Failed reactions, Transparency and Visualization at every stages. Most important the learning associated with this to understand what to do and what not to do when teams are spread geographically. 2) Second One from a product team of Cisco, which have came a long way in agile journey but had to reassess the testing strategy altogether and what made them breakaway from their earlier shift left strategy. (12 mins - Sharing the case studies )

We will discuss , debate and dive in to how ‘Shift Left’ concept brought a huge transformation for the entire ‘Testing’ role. Until then, the sole focus for the Testing was only on ‘Defect Detection’ and now the aim of the ‘Shift Left’ from Testing perspective is a journey of ‘Early Defect Detection to Defect Prevention’. ( 15 mins - Involving the audience, Sharing the technical details , working demonstration )

We will also see how Shift Left is a Big Leap in the software industry in Software Development methodology towards speed to market, improving software quality and reducing ‘Time to Market’. ( 5 mins - current Industry trends about testing strategy)

Q&A, Co-learning, Sharing best practices. - 5 mins

Learning Outcome

Few Learning Outcomes are mentioned but they are not limited to these:-

1) What to do in order to realize the vision of having a better quality along with faster delivery.

2) What Should we Do Differently In Shift Left? - This will help you understand how implement and practice shift left.

3) What are the best practices of getting started to apply Shift Left Testing in your organisation?

4) We will explain , How “Shift-Left” Testing helped us in terms of our increased productivity.

5) We will list all the challenges and benefits one can face shifting the test strategies at team, program and org level.

Target Audience

Developers, Testers, Leaders, Coach

Prerequisites for Attendees

Come with an open learning mind

- Ask questions with focus on discovery and learning

- Share your experiences

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Author
  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  9 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ashish,

    Thanks for sharing both the case studies. In the first case study, you mentioned that: "where we tried to dismantle a mammoth unit of System Test which had 600000+ test case".

    Can you please help me understand what was the end state? These test cases were replaced with what? Please provide technical details of what was used instead. What was the business impact of this? How did it improve your lead time? etc.

    Also, can you please highlight some key challenges you ran into in this process?

    Thank you!

    • Ashish Kumar
      By Ashish Kumar  ~  8 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Naresh,

      Sorry for late reply it somehow got overlooked all this time.

      The end state achieved was

      1) identification of different quality gates and test associated with that ( QG 0 - Gated Checkins , QG1 - Rolling Builds, QG2 - Nightly , QG3 - Sprint , QG4 - Regression QG5- Solution /System Test.)

      2) Optimizing and removing redundant and duplicate test.

      3) For each testcase at all level - based on low coat and high value a decision to shift to earlier / Later QG or to shift to exploratory.

      4) Automate the test cases and associate them to different QG.

      The business impact of this was reduction in test execution time resulted in a high confidence of Quality being delivered in shorter span.

      Amount of manual effort reduced – 75- 80 hours per test execution cycle.

      Removal of 21K redundant test cases.

      Key challenge was to bring

      a) Business and R&D on the same page to understand the need of this and help them understand ROI.

      b) Breaking he boundaries of dev and test and bring the culture of defect prevention over identification.

      Thanks again for putting these queries for me, please let me know if i missed any points.



  • Aino Corry
    By Aino Corry  ~  10 months ago
    reply Reply

    Just to be sure. Does "shift left" mean that we start thinking about the testing earlier? Are you sharing a case study of that or are you explaining the concept and the consequences. 

    Could you perhaps make the learning outcomes clearer?

    • Ashish Kumar
      By Ashish Kumar  ~  10 months ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks Aino for this query,

      Yes you are right in mentioning that Shift left is something which is widely associated with concept of testing early and more of building a culture of Defect prevention over the defect identification.

      It will be mix of Cases studies from organizations, where i was contributing as developer towards shifting left and also from two different organizations and their contrasting experience while shifting left in pursuit of better quality and faster delivery.

      I will also be covering one interesting aspect that how shift left is not for R&D and only part of continuous integration and delivery but plays a major role for business side in continuous exploration.

      Thanks for your feedback, i will try to make learning outcomes more clear.

      Looking forward to your further feedback suggestions and sharing whatever i learnt back to community. :)