As if your own hectic daily schedule is not evidence enough, industry experts seem to agree that there is a lot going on within the payment industry these days. We continue to experience a lot of growth, a lot of change, and a lot of uncertainty.
While we do what we can to plan and prioritize the activities required to progress a never-ending stream of new initiatives, we must also deal with the reality that most development efforts are time consuming, expensive, and risky, causing many of our projects to fail in delivering the desired results.
On top of the complexity of our normal everyday lives are the additional complications brought on by COVID-19, as well as the ongoing battle for the payments domain being waged between financial institutions and FinTech/BigTech disruptors.
Time to Fight Back
Given this context, it should be easy to see why we must do everything we can to ensure that all new projects deliver positive results. In fact, we need to push beyond the classic definition of a successful project – on time, on budget, and on scope – and focus on continual improvement.
Every payment project should build upon previous exercises to:
- Ensure a positive consumer experience
- Improve quality
- Increase delivery speed
- Reduce costs
- Expand test coverage
- Minimize risk
As one would expect, this is an important topic and there is a lot of good material available about how to pursue project perfection. In its World Quality Report 20 – 21, Capgemini highlights some key guiding principles:
- Quality practices should be integrated into every part of the product lifecycle – and should be a part of everyone’s mindset.
- Testing will always be squeezed in the software development lifecycle. Introducing more automation – and pursuing it vigorously – is the only answer.
- Choosing tools that will keep pace with dynamic changes to applications is very important.
Another common issue with project success rates is the lack of communication and co-operation amongst the stakeholders of the project, especially when so many resources are still working remotely. According to Forrester, simply improving project communication and collaboration can drive a 10% improvement in productivity.
Unfortunately, in many organizations project managers and resources are forced to work with multiple tools, increasing project complexity, complicating their ability to collaborate, and compromising opportunities for continual improvement. More specifically, the importance of testing and QA as critical success components for payment projects is often overlooked, causing companies to miss out on significant opportunities to increase throughout, improve quality, and reduce costs.
Tools You Can Use
To help facilitate project success, Paragon has incorporated a number of key capabilities into our Web FASTest platform. These features allow users to create, manage, and report on progress of payment testing projects. A dashboard is also available to track the progress of multiple projects at once. Additional functionality allows project managers to:
- Assign any existing cases to any project
- Configure project options so users only need to run the test cases relevant to them
- Track progress across many projects to easily see how each is progressing
- Incorporate test case changes into already running projects
- Reset project progress if the project needs to be started over
- Review and manage requested waivers to exclude unnecessary test cases from a project
- Generate reports displaying details for the test cases run during a project
A review of available data supports the basic proposition that projects are historically time consuming, expensive, and risky. Providing enhanced project management capabilities from within the same platform that is used for functional, regression, and performance testing helps promote collaboration, speed time to market, expand test coverage, minimize risk, and facilitate continuous improvement.
The pace of change within the payment industry will not slow down any time soon, nor will the number, size, and scope of project activities generated by these changes. It only makes sense for organizations to invest in the tools needed to ensure the very best return for the time, money, and resources invested in any project.