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“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new. “ - Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple

It's no wonder that the Center of Excellence (CoE) provides metrics and other deliverables to measure the efficiency of the current methodologies. It also standardizes processes, establishes best practices, creates a knowledge base, trains teams, and facilitates tool adoption to ensure the optimal utilization of resources.

Application performance is one of the key application parameters that has been ignored for a long time; however, organizations are now realizing that performance is a key ingredient to the success of the application, which can significantly impact the user experience. Performance CoE (PCoE) is a subgroup within the Testing Center of Excellence that brings people, processes, tools, and infrastructure together to measure and optimize the performance of the applications built by the entire IT team.

Establishing a successful PCoE is not a big bang approach. It requires incremental change that is best achieved through multiple phases:

Pyramid Consulting’s Framework for Performance Testing Center of Excellence

Phase 1: Assess the current state and set the foundation

Measure the organization’s readiness to establish the PCoE, based on existing KPIs, available skill sets, tools, and environments. Benchmark the performance test maturity of your organization against industry standards.

Phase 2: Prepare the PCoE Roadmap

Endorse the PCoE through internal communications and discussions to ensure that the entire organization is aligned with the PCoE idea. Understand the scope of PCoE; define the major activities, set their milestones, and define the goals for each major activity and milestone, including process setup, test tool evaluation, test environment setup, etc.

To get a deeper and more technical understanding of how setting up a Performance Testing Center of Excellence enhances the overall quality and customer experience, read Pyramid Consulting’s comprehensive whitepaper.

 

Phase 3: Learn, Prove and Succeed, Incrementally

Step 1: Start with a Pilot project

Start from a small-scale ‘virtual’ PCoE where already allocated performance engineers become a part of a new ‘virtual’ organizational entity with its own structure and specific workflows without disrupting the current project delivery schedules and commitments.

Step 2: Run the PCoE Program. Establish Performance Testing as a Competency

It’s not absolutely necessary for an organization to change its structure and physically centralize its QA operations. However they should create a leadership position that can manage the PCoE like a program. Build the performance testing competency, manage the performance test portfolio, and identify the next target projects. Learn through delivery and develop best practices.

Phase 4: Adopt Across the Enterprise

During this phase, the PCoE has evolved from simply Sharing Processes to a Service Utility. Fully centralized or virtually centralized Performance Testing Center of Excellence functions as a service provider to project teams throughout the organization by offering testing resources, methodology, tools, expertise, and governance for performance testing of all types of applications and cross-functional business processes. Next, create a dedicated core team of performance engineers who are proficient in various aspects e.g. tools, scripting, analysis, tool integration, governance, asset management, and other essential parts of the performance testing process.

Phase 5: Continuous Improvement and Innovation

PCoE organizational structure and processes are now focused on operational excellence and ongoing reviews and process improvement become common practice in this phase. The PCoE also develops new quality practices, creates and adapts new performance testing tools and frameworks.

Conclusion

A well thought out and well planned PCoE plays a pivotal role in achieving better customer satisfaction by establishing the standard process and tools. The implementation of a PCoE can be a challenge to large and established teams, but it is a worthy task to take on considering its benefits in the long run, such as an increase of overall quality and customer experience, as well as a reduction in delivery time and cost. To know how the Pyramid Consulting's PCoE can help you transform your testing functions, get in touch with us today!

Vikas Shukla

About the author

Vikas Shukla

An agile and customer focused professional, Vikas has been Pyramid Consulting's Director of Quality Assurance since 2009. Vikas manages a team of 90+ QA professionals and leads our QA Center of Excellence.

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