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Testing for Success: Align with Product Maturity

Aligning Your Testing Approach with Your Product's Maturity

February 28, 2023
 by 
Kazuaki MatsuoKazuaki Matsuo
Kazuaki Matsuo

Introduction

In the current landscape of new product development, the primary risk lies in the product's ability to gain a market fit rather than technological advancements. Entrepreneurs and investors have limited resources, including time and funding, to ensure the success of their products. To minimize waste, it is crucial to prioritize investment in strategies that address the most critical risks. Venture Capital (VC) evaluates potential startups with various methods, predominantly utilizing numerical indicators like engagement and revenue quality. However, for early-stage startups that may lack these indicators or face misleading data, VCs must rely on a blended approach of qualitative and quantitative proxies to understand the progress and direction of the product. The software testing strategy is a crucial aspect of this evaluation process, as it provides valuable insight into a startup's product trajectory.

Read: Executing Right Mobile App Testing Strategy That Guarantees Success

Test Maturity and Test Automation Frameworks

Test maturity is a metric that measures the effectiveness of software testing practices. It serves as a reference point for improving the testing process and setting better objectives. A mature testing strategy contributes to better software quality and can increase the likelihood of success. If you are responsible for the software quality of your business application, such as Dynamics or Salesforce, determining your test maturity is crucial.

Defining the maturity of test automation is essential for organizations looking to be agile and quality-focused. There are various frameworks available to assess the maturity of test automation, including performance testing and mobile app testing. By defining the test automation maturity, organizations can make informed decisions on the processes and technologies to automate, plan for software releases, and take necessary actions in the case of failures. A well-planned test automation strategy can help organizations climb the maturity scale and achieve their goals.

Also read: Gaps to Avoid in UI Test Automation Strategy

How Should a Product Maturity Framework Be Structured?

1. Flexible Testing Evaluation Criteria

When determining the advancement of a product, it is essential to consider the following factors, listed in order of importance:

A. Progress toward product-market fit (PMF)

  • Validation of value and growth hypotheses
  • Strategy and market understanding
  • Pitfalls and activities to avoid

B. People

  • Composition and experience of the team
  • Filled roles and their efficiency

C. Process and its impact on velocity

  • The top priority of an early-stage startup should be to maximize learning speed

D. Revenue

  • Given that most early-stage companies have limited or no revenue, it is crucial to rely on other leading indicators for evaluation

It is crucial to remember that these factors are interlinked, and a software testing strategy that takes them into account can provide valuable insights into the progress and direction of the product.

Check out: Different Types of Test Automation Frameworks

The Testing Strategy You Need to Employ

In the early stages of product development, cost-effectiveness and flexibility are crucial, especially in light of the current economic downturn. As the company strives to attain a product-market fit, the quality assurance approach should prioritize testing essential user flows and addressing critical user issues, all while keeping costs under control.

Ad hoc testing proves to be the most effective method in such a scenario, allowing for random testing without any formal planning or procedure and offering the flexibility to adjust the strategy as the product evolves and economic conditions change.

At this stage, automation should not be a primary concern, given the current economic climate. Instead, manual testing methods are recommended, as they provide greater flexibility compared to the rigid structure of automation and can help control costs. For instance, manual unit testing can play a critical role in this QA strategy, allowing for testing each separate component of the product and validating each unit of software, all while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

2. Product-Market Fit Is Improving

Measuring progress towards product-market fit (PMF) is a crucial aspect of test automation performance testing and becomes relatively straightforward once PMF has been achieved. However, for companies that are yet to reach this stage or are on the brink of it, the situation can be complex. The data may not be reliable or sufficient, and it can be challenging for founders to realize that PMF has not been achieved.

In such cases, the initial step in the mobile app testing analysis is to assess the journey that led the company to its current state and understand the level of honesty and self-awareness maintained during this journey.

The Testing Strategy You Need to Employ

When it comes to software testing, a comprehensive approach is key. In the case of King, the creator of the hit game Candy Crush, they adopted a combination of exploratory testing and automation to guarantee complete testing coverage.

As their games reach the predictability stage, the company increases its use of test automation and employs a mixture of internal and external testers through crowdsourcing. This allows for the identification and resolution of software issues that may have arisen during the previous stage, where shortcuts may have been taken in the pursuit of product-market fit.

Gradually, you can prioritize which tests should be automated and which should be crowdsourced, but the primary focus at this stage is to leverage the critical blend of exploratory and automated testing methods.

By doing so, you can uncover bugs your developers may not have been aware of and address problems that could become even more significant as your product progresses to the next stage.

Related Blog: Types of software testing and its significance

3. Value and Growth Theories Are Now Being Validated

The journey to PMF is divided into two stages: validation of the value hypothesis and the growth hypothesis.

A. Value Theory

The value hypothesis involves evaluating the following:

  • The market problem the company aims to solve
  • The target market for the solution
  • The market's belief in the solution's ability to solve the problem
  • The target market's willingness to pay for the solution

This ensures that a compelling value hypothesis has been established and PMF has been achieved.

B. Growth Theory

After validating the value hypothesis, the focus shifts to the growth hypothesis. This stage involves testing how new customers can discover the app, including lead generation, competition positioning, and virality. A dedicated sales team may be hired, channel partnerships established, and other strategies employed. A sequential approach, starting with value hypothesis validation and proceeding to growth, helps companies avoid wasting resources on growing a flawed business model.

a. Product Growth Stage

Maximizing product growth with the following stages:

  • Ensure Quality: Maintain product quality and add features or support services for the product to drive demand.
  • Price Right: Keep pricing competitive to increase demand for the product.
  • Expand Reach: Increase distribution channels to meet growing demand.
  • Promote Wider: Aim promotion at a wider audience to reach new potential customers.
  • Consider Volume: If profits remain low, consider reducing the price to increase the volume of sales.
  • Adapt Strategies: Different marketing strategies work best at different stages of the product life cycle. Tailor your strategy to keep pace with your product's changing marketing position.

b. Product Maturity Stage

As your product or service enters the maturity stage, be prepared for a sustained period of stability. Consider the following:

  • Enhance product features to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Stay competitive with pricing, as market saturation may drive prices down.
  • Intensify distribution efforts and offer incentives as needed.
  • Focus promotion on differentiating your product from others.

During this stage, sales may slow and eventually stabilize due to increased competition. To extend its lifespan:

  1. Differentiate your product through branding, trademarks, or customer testimonials.
  2. Remember that all products eventually reach a decline stage.
  3. Stay informed with product life cycle knowledge.

The Testing Strategy You Need to Employ

During this stage, proper software testing strategy plays a crucial role. Implementing a robust and comprehensive quality assurance (QA) strategy helps prevent bugs and ensure seamless performance for your users. To ensure success, companies often invest in various testing methods. For instance, King focuses on performance testing, evaluating battery consumption, network performance, and CPU utilization to exceed customer expectations.

Additionally, automated testing can prove valuable in this phase as it can predict the app's behavior when running multiple test cases simultaneously.

Finally, localization testing, especially through crowd-based testing, can drive growth by ensuring the app's compatibility with different countries. If you aim to expand your user base globally, localization testing is essential to prevent any barriers to your company's growth.

Related Blog: Improving Customer Experience Amidst Global Recession Through Localization Testing

What Are the Pitfalls to Avoid?

Before achieving product-market fit (PMF), it's crucial to avoid these premature activities that can hinder growth and waste resources:

  • Hiring a sales team and setting aggressive targets (founders should lead sales efforts, and sales personnel should focus on identifying early adopters to accelerate learning)
  • Establishing channel partnerships (without expertise in selling the product, companies should not expect external partners to succeed)
  • Making heavy investments in marketing and advertising
  • Setting revenue goals and using them as progress indicators

How Does HeadSpin Empower Businesses Speed Up the Software Testing Cycle?

By utilizing HeadSpin's data science insights and intelligent automation, businesses are capable of:

  • Gaining insights into application performance through data science.
  • Performing end-to-end testing in over 90 locations worldwide.
  • Automating customer user journeys.
  • Detecting performance regressions through build-over-build regression testing.
  • Accessing test data through data visualization dashboards.
  • Leveraging biometric authentication, facial recognition, and fingerprint features for optimal user experience.

The HeadSpin Platform streamlines software testing with its intelligent automation and data science capabilities, enabling seamless collaboration among organizations. Here are a few examples of its impact:

  • Example 1: A leading peer-to-peer hospitality company leveraged HeadSpin to quickly test its native app's features and functionality on Android, iOS, and mobile web. With the platform, the company was able to perform automated and manual functional testing and speed up the release of new app features.
  • Example 2: A New York-based multimedia company relied on HeadSpin to analyze streaming KPIs and automate user journeys across multiple platforms, speeding up its testing cycle.
  • Example 3: A top US tech company used HeadSpin to perform 10,000 end-to-end tests, reducing the time to market for its new feature release by 75%. The platform's Regression Intelligence allowed for automated testing and fixing of data latency issues.

What's Next

Software development may present challenges, but maintaining its efficiency is even more demanding in terms of cost, time, and effort. Implementing a standardized testing process, such as the Testing Maturity Model (TMM), can elevate software efficiency to new heights by addressing testing issues and enhancing testing practices.

Improve your software testing process with HeadSpin's AI-driven testing solutions. Our team of QA experts and innovative test automation framework can streamline your testing strategy and help you build and execute tests efficiently.

With HeadSpin, take the first step towards a more effective testing process.

Book a free trial.

FAQs

Q1: What is the level of product maturity?

Ans: At the maturity stage, sales growth slows, and companies face increasing competition. To remain competitive, firms may need to lower their prices and adjust their strategies to maintain market share.

Q2: How is a product tested before it is released?

Ans: To evaluate the viability of your product, consider using paid surveys, market research mobile apps, consignment testing, or hiring freelance market researchers for real-world feedback before launching.

Q3: What kind of testing is done on products?

Ans: There are 6 types of product testing.

  • Concept Testing
  • Quality Assurance Testing
  • Market Testing
  • A/B Testing
  • User Testing
  • Regression Testing

Aligning Your Testing Approach with Your Product's Maturity

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