The Importance of Strategic Testing Alignment–Monika Bhatla from Mortgage Cadence

Monika Bhatla

Monika Bhatla heads the Software Quality Assurance Center of Excellence for all the products in Mortgage Cadence. Monika brings in 20 years of experience in Quality Assurance driving adoption of Continuous Delivery at scale with expertise in Agile, DevOps, Automation and Load Testing. She has implemented Quality transformation across various information technology industries.

Ask any software development quality assurance executive about the importance of testing. They’ll talk about the four pillars of a good testing infrastructure (functional testing, automation testing, repeatability testing and performance testing) and about the new software testing rigs that are making this analysis easier.

It’s easy for someone who does what we do every day to get into the weeds and start speaking tactically about how we get the job done when failure is not an option. But that’s not the place to start.

If you really want to do testing right, you need to focus on the end users, the people who are going to depend upon the software you develop to do their jobs every day.

From a strategic perspective, you must attain full alignment between your quality assurance staff and your customer’s users to design tests that will allow you to know if the tools you’re developing will meet expectations.

The Tactical Measures Matter, But It’s Not Where You Start

This is not to say that the details don’t matter. They absolutely do. It’s just that alignment is what you must pursue and secure first.

Even the most brilliant mortgage technology vision gets derailed without meticulous quality control alignment. As complex platforms promising seamless borrower journeys emerge, proactive testing collaboration safeguards satisfaction and adoption. By fixating on client perspectives and pain points, quality assurance leaders uncover critical deficiencies before launch and secure stakeholder buy-in.

With multi-phase initiatives spanning years from conception to delivery, scope creep and mismatched expectations lurk around each milestone. Well-intentioned features falter from inadequate requirements definition or communication gaps across distributed teams. Momentum stagnates under the weight of quality issues.

But seasoned quality champions immerse themselves in user workflows and operational intricacies to guide alignment. They trace each reported software malfunction back to the originating need or assumption for root cause clarity. Was the problem embedded in the initial request or a development interpretation or testing oversight?

This rigorous defect analysis process allows quality engineers to specify appropriate resolutions that improve future builds. Importantly, it increases context around end-user environments to pattern realistic test scenarios and data sets. Aligned understanding of when or how systems might break focuses reviews.

Alignment Leads to Stronger, Longer-Lasting Relationships

Informed testing alignment also provides the mettle to advocate for process changes should consistent customer pain points reveal platform constraints requiring renovation. Constructive friction between project managers and quality overseers yields creative solutions that benefit end users.

Leading testing collaborations requires mastery across the stack too. Quality authorities juggle user workflows, automation protocols, infrastructure performance, security protocols and more to assemble comprehensive assurances. Cross-discipline fluency spots gaps within expansive programs.

Ultimately, mortgage technology lives or dies based on the borrower experience it delivers. Quality assurance acts as the impartial broker safeguarding satisfaction by revealing flaws to partners invested in excellence. Proactive testing participation transforms disjointed software projects into unified customer-centric solutions.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policies of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Editor Michael Tucker or Editorial Manager Anneliese Mahoney.)