One of the biggest challenges facing software leaders is understanding where to prioritize limited resources and team members’ attention in order to make the biggest impact possible. 

A key piece of that prioritization relies on leaders’ ability to identify areas of improvement in their organization. 

At this year’s STAREAST 2023 testing conference in Orlando, Florida, our team from Coveros invited leaders from throughout the software testing, agile, DevOps, and security communities to identify where they need the most improvement in their software development lifecycle. 

During the conversation, we walked leaders through our Modern SDLC Checklist of key attributes that can help improve your software delivery processes and strategies. After filling out the checklist, leaders were asked to identify what their organization is doing well (and not so well) to efficiently deliver and test quality software. 

Long story short: While organizations are making progress in key areas, there’s a lot of room for improvement. 

We found some critical trends across organizations. We hope these findings might help you in your ongoing software delivery improvement initiatives. We’ve also included some resources that can help in your journey with these challenges.

1. Despite progress, organizations still have a lot of room for improvement to implement critical attributes in agile, DevOps, continuous testing, and application security. The average organization has implemented only 52% of critical DevOps attributes, 54% of continuous testing attributes, 59% of agile development attributes, and 65% of application security attributes.

2. Leaders say their organizations struggle to create and enforce unit testing. A number of leaders identified unit testing as a major challenge for their organizations. While many organizations are attempting to implement effective unit testing, several others have no unit testing initiatives underway.

3. Many leaders find building collaboration between developers and testers as a big challenge. One way leaders identified to increase collaboration is to make QA a more integral part of the requirements gathering process as well as pairing testers and devs during development efforts.

Beyond these emerging trends, it’s also helpful to see how real leaders responded to some of our direct questions. Are you seeing similar progress or facing similar challenges?

What are the strongest aspects of your SDLC?

  • Agile development focused on frequent deliveries and small agile teams.
  • Leadership that champions continuous improvements in the SDLC.
  • Integrating automation into aspects of the SDLC, including testing.

What aspects of your SDLC need more improvement?

  • Bringing application security into the organization rather than outsourcing.
  • Shifting security and QA left.
  • Building better collaboration in every direction across teams.
  • Building automated DevOps pipelines and testing processes.
  • Implementing more effective unit testing.

Want to assess your progress across the critical attributes of software development lifecycle? 

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