But that does not mean we are promoting a plug and play solution to the lab management crisis. There is still that fundamental need to step back and re-think what lab management means in an increasingly virtual environment, and that need is built into our thinking. The solution begins with collaboration from a support team comprising certified networking and test automation professionals with years of training and experience of testing and troubleshooting in a comprehensive range of industries and applications. That team offers itself as a trusted partner to help with the design as well as the implementation of a management solution. The team offers leadership throughout: including design, planning, implementation, adoption, training and project management – as well as solution architects – to deliver a complete test solution.
Of course no two organisations are identical or can be satisfied with off the peg solutions, and that is why the team explores your specific challenges as partners: addressing the role of all stakeholders as well as the tools needed for a comprehensive solution. For a manager under so much stress to deliver, this encouragement to step back and re-think can be disconcerting. As one customer put it: “For the first week or so Spirent was doing 95% of the work, and some of the staff were wondering what we had taken on. A few weeks later we were doing 70% and in a month or two it all looked so straightforward that from then on we only needed a basic support contract for upgrades and reassurance”.
As for time sacrificed to enable this process: that loss is more than made up for in the acceleration resulting from best practices: faster test development, test bed configuration, test execution and results analysis. This is the lasting legacy of an integrated lab management solution geared to meeting pre-defined goals in an optimal, efficient manner.
There is no doubt that test teams themselves are now facing testing times, the question is how best to respond. Do you continue to struggle under increasing pressure and become ever more involved in fire-fighting resulting errors and project delays? Or do you allow time to step back and re-align your test strategies for the future? It is much easier to make the second, bold decision when you know that there are people out there already possessing the necessary skills and experience to help.