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INSIGHTS / Articles

3 Steps to Achieving Digital Transformation Success with QE

 23 Nov 2023 
3 Steps to Achieving Digital Transformation Success with QE 3 Steps to Achieving Digital Transformation Success with QE
3 Steps to Achieving Digital Transformation Success with QE
INSIGHTS / Articles

3 Steps to Achieving Digital Transformation Success with QE

 23 Nov 2023 

Digital transformation is the process of using technology to create new or modify existing business processes, products, and customer experiences. It is a strategic and competitive advantage for organisations that want to stay ahead of the curve and meet the changing needs and expectations of their customers.

However, digital transformation is not easy. It requires a lot of planning, coordination, collaboration, and innovation. It also requires a high level of software quality, as any defects or failures can have a negative impact on the business outcomes and customer satisfaction.

So, how can organisations ensure that they support and enable the digital transformation by delivering software and systems quality at speed, at an affordable cost, and meeting the quality expectations of customers? The answer is Quality Engineering (QE).

What is Quality Engineering?

QE is a holistic and proactive approach to software quality that involves building quality in from the start, rather than testing it at the end. It is a shift from testing to quality engineering, which is the most important practice for defining a software quality strategy.

QE is the foundation of being able to deliver software at speed, at an affordable cost and meeting the quality expectations of customers. It enables quality leaders from within your organisation to engage with stakeholders from across the full software development lifecycle that enables meeting these objectives by adopting a whole-team approach to quality.

QE is not just about testing, but about ensuring that quality is embedded in every aspect of the software development lifecycle, from requirements analysis, design, development, deployment, to operations and maintenance. It is also about measuring and improving the quality of the software, as well as the processes, practices, and people involved in delivering it.

How to adopt Quality Engineering?

Adopting QE is not a one-time event, but a continuous and evolving journey. It requires a clear vision, a strong commitment, and a collaborative culture. Here are three fundamental steps that your organisation can take to adopt QE:

Step 1: Conduct an annual quality retrospective

The first step is to gather with stakeholders from across the full software development lifecycle as well as stakeholders across the business, to identify what’s been working well in delivering quality, what’s not been working so well, and if each stakeholder could wave a magic wand, what they would improve. Key people to include in this process are business analysts, architects, developers and testers, but also product owners, operations and support teams, and senior stakeholders.

The purpose of this retrospective is to assess the current state of quality in your organisation, and to identify the gaps, challenges, and opportunities for improvement. Some of the key topics to consider during this retrospective are:

Policy, process, activities and governance

How are quality standards, policies, and procedures defined and enforced in your organisation? How are quality activities planned, executed, and monitored? How are quality risks and issues identified and managed? How are quality results and metrics reported and communicated?

Talent attraction and retention

How do you attract and retain quality talent in your organisation? How do you ensure that they have the right skills, knowledge, and mindset to deliver quality software? How do you motivate and reward them for their quality performance?

Career development and training

How do you develop and train your quality talent to keep up with the changing technology and business landscape? How do you provide them with opportunities to learn, grow, and advance in their quality career? How do you assess and certify their quality competencies and capabilities?

Reusable assets and thought leadership

How do you leverage and share quality assets and best practices across your organisation? How do you create and maintain a repository of quality artefacts, such as templates, checklists, guidelines, frameworks, tools, etc.? How do you establish and promote quality thought leadership within and outside your organisation?

Step 2: Align your quality strategy with your organisational strategy

The second step is to prioritise the list of possible improvements that you could make, against your organisation’s overall strategy, considering the continually evolving business, technology and talent needs of your organisation. By keeping your quality improvement strategy in sync with what matters the most to your organisation, it will enable much greater buy-in, visibility and support from senior stakeholders – which is critically important for ensuring you have the budget, schedule, and resources that are necessary, to make those changes.

Some of the questions to ask yourself when aligning your quality strategy with your organisational strategy are:

  • What are the key business goals and objectives of your organisation?
  • What are the key customer needs and expectations of your organisation?
  • What are the key technology trends and innovations that your organisation needs to adopt or adapt to?
  • What are the key quality challenges and risks that your organisation faces or anticipates?
  • What are the key quality opportunities and benefits that your organisation can leverage or create?
  • How can your quality strategy help your organisation achieve its business goals, meet its customer needs, embrace its technology trends, overcome its quality challenges, and realise its quality opportunities and benefits?

Step 3: Identify and empower quality champions

The third step is to identify quality champions within your organisation that can drive each improvement forward. This includes those senior stakeholders that can advocate for each improvement and provide empowerment and support behind it, but also includes people from software development teams that can measure, implement and test out each improvement, to ultimately determine whether the improvements are giving your organisation the return on investment that you were aiming for.

Quality champions are the key to ensuring that your quality strategy is not just a document, but a living and breathing reality. They are the ones who will champion the cause of quality, communicate the vision and value of quality, and collaborate with others to deliver quality outcomes. They are also the ones who will monitor and evaluate the progress and performance of quality, and provide feedback and suggestions for further improvement.

Some of the qualities and skills that quality champions should have are:

  • Passion and enthusiasm for quality
  • Knowledge and expertise in quality
  • Influence and credibility in the organisation
  • Communication and collaboration skills
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Innovation and creativity skills


Quality engineering is the key to achieving digital transformation success. It is a holistic and proactive approach to software quality that involves building quality in from the start, rather than testing it at the end. It enables faster and more affordable delivery of better quality software, while meeting the business goals and customer expectations of your organisation.

To adopt QE, you need to follow three fundamental steps: conduct an annual quality retrospective, align your quality strategy with your organisational strategy, and identify and empower quality champions. By doing so, you will be able to create a comprehensive and continually evolving strategy for quality across your organisation, that will help you stay ahead of the curve and meet the changing needs and expectations of your customers.

If you want to learn more about QE and how it can help your organisation achieve digital transformation success, then visit our QE page. We are a team of quality experts and consultants who can help you assess, design, implement, and improve your quality strategy and practices. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on your quality journey.

If you want to learn more about how Planit can help you with your QE needs, then visit our Quality Engineering page.

Susanne Matson

Practice Director - Customer Insight & Advisory

Deliver Quality Quicker

In today’s competitive landscape, organisations expect to deliver more ambitious technical outcomes at improved efficiency. We can help you achieve these goals by embedding quality throughout the lifecycle, optimising your delivery to improve outcomes, accelerate speed, and decrease cost.
Find out how we can help you mature your quality engineering practices to consistently achieve better results with greater efficiency.


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