How a Global Medical Company Scaled its Software Team and Improved its Product’s Quality with the SeaLights Software Quality Governance Platform.

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How a Global Medical Company Scaled its Software Team and Improved its Product’s Quality with the SeaLights Software Quality Governance Platform.

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An enterprise global medical device company that develops more than 1,000 innovative products and procedures each year strived to develop a culture committed to delivering uncompromising quality products. As the company continued to grow, its plans were to double the number of teams in the software engineering group, while still maintaining its standard for high-quality products. In 2017 the company’s Director of Engineering realized the company had lost control over the quality of its software with this quick expansion.

They could not continue working in this manner if they were expected to quickly deliver high-quality software in mass. The teams’ Director of Engineering needed to define and control his teams’ quality culture in order to ensure high-quality products in line with the global medical device company’s name and reputation. Additionally, he needed the data to perform a quality analysis across the entire software portfolio to make data-driven decisions about the steps needed to improve it.

With the help of the SeaLights Software Quality Governance Platform, the team collected available metrics from their end-to-end process in order to make smarter decisions. By having the right data at the right time to empower decisions regarding quality gates, the team was able to mature its engineering processes and increase its products’ quality, as well as improve its software development velocity.

The Problem.

As the software department in the global medical device company grew quickly, the Director of Engineering identified some main challenges:

  • Increase of Technical Debt – Like many teams, they tried to move fast and as a result, they created technical debt with the understanding that the debt would need to be paid at a later stage. The teams got to the point where they could no longer carry their technical debt as it was harming their quality and needed to decrease it in an efficient manner.
  • Lack of Visibility – As the teams expanded, more code was generated, more tests were written and more cross dependencies occurred. It became more difficult to gain visibility across the entire software development pipeline, understand the software quality status, and effectively plan new activities.
  • Ambiguous Quality Metrics – The teams found it hard to define and measure their quality. Traditional software metrics like the number of bugs, pass/fail tests, or production issues were not sufficient for a deep understanding of quality.
  • Low-Quality Software – The teams’ old code was highly coupled and any change in one place caused problems in other areas of the code. Unit verifications couldn’t answer the need for an overall End to End testing, ensuring proper workflow across the board

The Director of Engineering came to the conclusion that his department needed to mature and better establish its software development process, as well as implement a new quality culture. Without this, his department would continue on this downward spiral and their software quality would gradually decrease over time.

The Solution.

The Director of Engineering decided that the SeaLights Software Quality Governance Platform would be the perfect fit for his department because it truly implements software quality engineering, and helps gain control of quality processes across the enterprise. SeaLights provides organizations with insight and visibility into factors affecting the quality and velocity of the software engineering processes and deliverables.

One of the main reasons that the Director of Engineering chose SeaLights is the ability to create automated quality gates. Quality gates are the operational mechanism that allows management to enforce its quality policies across the organization. SeaLights recognizes a pull request or deployment request that can impact a production system, identifies which policies are relevant to the software component, and automatically enforces a go-no-go decision based on standardized quality metrics and computational risk scoring.

Once the team started using the SeaLights Software Quality Governance Platform they had the available metrics to build a quality culture throughout the entire organization:

  • Leadership is able to perform an analysis of quality across the software portfolio and outline the steps needed to improve it. They now have visibility into the real quality status of their software across products and across teams.
  • Managers and team leaders are able to collaborate on day-to-day analysis of risks affecting their releases and make data-based decisions where additional tests should be written, avoiding unnecessary test development. They can build a testing plan for quality technical debt based on code modification in order to save time and avoid writing tests for unchanged code that end users had been using for years
  • Developers and team leaders adopt a zero quality risk policy by identifying untested code changes and ensuring that new code is not released into production before it is tested.

With these metrics in place, everyone taking part in the organization’s digital transformation initiatives have the data needed to improve quality, are readily exposed to organizational policies and thresholds, and can ensure software components under their responsibility meet those policies.

Next Steps.

Going forward, the Director of Engineering is encouraging his engineering managers to also use the SeaLights Platform so they can adopt a shift-left approach and catch bugs earlier in the development process. He is also advocating that additional teams and environments use SeaLights and adopt the new quality engineering processes.

About the Company.

The global medical device company is a leader in new product development and medical education in orthopedics. The company develops more than 1,000 innovative products and procedures each year.

About SeaLights Software Quality Governance Platform.

Software Quality Governance is the automated identification, management, and control of every perceivable Quality Risk across the entire end-to-end delivery pipeline, for every single software change.

SeaLights is a Software Quality Governance Platform proven at large enterprises, which can help your organization deliver the data, insights, and control needed to achieve Software Quality Governance.

SeaLights integrates with the entire development, test, and production infrastructure, collecting data on everything from code changes to executed tests to production defects. It performs AI analysis on organizational data and provides actionable metrics and analysis teams need to improve quality and execute organizational policies.

“With SeaLights, the number of defects was drastically reduced from 5 production issues to a total of zero, per quarter!”

Chetan Somaiah, Director of QA

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