Flexible Testing to Meet an Agency's Needs
DigitasLBi, an international digital agency part of the Publicis Groupe, knows that QA is an important part of a successful product, but they saw new opportunities to fit testing into their development schedule. According to Mathijs Gaalman, Competence Lead Project Management at DigitasLBi, the company first worked with internal testers, but found that this approach could be improved.
“The main issue with the internal tester was the timing,” he said. “The development team was often not ready programming when the internal tester was planned. And when the software development was ready, the tester was not available, resulting in the team testing the product themselves.”
Because of this haphazard testing approach, Mathijs said DigitasLBi ran into problems like:
- The need for last-minute, pre-launch bug fixing.
- Developers testing their own code - which is never a good thing.
- Not having access to various device/browser setups, leading to exceptions and surprises in production.
- Realizing the time schedule from the client no longer seemed feasible.
“We didn’t spend much time on testing; we did spend a lot of time fixing issues resulting from bad or reactive testing,” Mathijs said.
Mathijs knew that something had to change if DigitasLBi wanted to consistently put high-quality products in the hands of their clients. So he started using Applause.
In order to keep the development team from doing all the testing, Mathijs knew he needed to find a QA solution more reliable and all-encompassing than scheduling the occasional part-time in-house testers.
"We needed to find a flexible and professional solution for testing which could allow us to focus on developing great products delivered on time. Applause brings us the flexibility to deliver a product for testing overnight or over the weekend. Besides that, Applause offers a wide variety of browsers, devices and testing know-how."
-- Mathijs Gaalman, Competence Lead Project Management, DigitasLBi
Since beginning work with Applause, DigitasLBi has refined its testing requirements to find “better” bugs. The level of tester feedback and the quality of the bug reports make it easier for developers to fix issues without spending extra time reproducing issues. Testing in-the-wild has also turned up some “not-so-obvious issues” that would likely have cost time and money to fix down the line and affected the agency’s reputation.
“The always-hard final steps of delivering and launching a product is more of a smooth process using Applause,” Mathijs said. “When we’ve used Applause, the products that went to our clients were of better quality, resulting in less complaints, frustration and stress.”
App quality has far reaching affects, and DigitasLBi has seen the benefits of working with Applause across the company. According to Mathijs, DigitasLBi employees are happy with the work by Applause for many reasons:
- Our developers are happy with the good descriptions and explanations of the issues, issues placed directly in JIRA and the fact that they can focus on fixing instead of testing.
- Our Project Managers are very pleased with the flexibility to start a test process when they need to. They are also very happy with the support from our Applause Project Manager.
- Our Technical Leads feel comfortable that a professional test team has tested our products.
- Our Account Directors are satisfied that we can be confident in releasing products that are well tested when they are delivered to our clients.
DigitasLBi Project Managers share testing results with clients, which helps their clients feel more confident in the work DigitasLBi delivers. Ultimately, since starting work with Applause, DigitasLBi has seen fewer post-launch bugs and receives less negative feedback from clients.
“We are now better able and more confident to deliver good quality products,” Mathijs said. “We noticed that we don’t get any ‘obvious’ bugs back from our clients.”
As DigitasLBi continues to produce high-quality products for its clients, Mathijs expects word to spread and increase the agency’s reputation, hopefully leading to more business in the future.