Zuper is a startup focused on generating wealth for millennials. Zuper allows millennials to choose how their money is invested. Founded by Jess Ellherm, Eran Thomson and Jon Holloway, Zuper understands how millennials view superannuation, not as a retirement fund but as an enabler to allow lifestyle choices further down the road. As a startup they needed the speed and agility to experiment with new features in order to successfully build their subscriber base.
Zuper approached Testing Times wanting to improve the quality of their insurance mobile app. In particular, they wished to find ways to improve quality overall and identify how to find bugs earlier in the life cycle, improving customer satisfaction. At Zuper, everyone is responsible for quality. And quality in real terms means increasing the subscriber base.
Zuper is similar to many startups, with plenty of aspiration and ideas constrained by time and resources and quality like everything else is constrained. It’s essential to focus on how to achieve maximum quality given these constraints.
It also means everyone tests. There are so many options to chose from, so many possible things that could be done better, its important to be conscious of getting ‘good enough’ quality and not gilding the lily. Knowing the best place to invest in quality is important. This is all fine and good, but in startup land, and logically it made sense that everyone understood ways to make software testing fun and improve their bug hunting skills.
Testing Times suggested a two staged approach to improving quality. First was to hold ½ day workshop to identify key tasks to build quality in. A second workshop could then be held focusing on practical guidelines to improve software testing capabilities.
Testing Times arranged a quality outcome workshop based on the Mobius Loop Framework. The Mobius Loop Framework enables you to deliver software with a focus on outcomes as opposed to outputs. By focusing the workshop on outcomes, we were able to identify what outcomes mattered to them and customise a solution to quality which focused on that.
To assist with discovery, Testing Times conducted an anonymous survey to identify business vision and associated metrics within Zuper.
Once this information is collected it will be shared with the team for discussion on how we can align our quality with these outcomes. This is useful when it comes to prioritise quality related improvements as well as understanding what type and level of information is most important to the company.
The workshop focused on identifying and measuring the customers and business needs. who the target customers where and how success in that area could be measured. It also explored the current delivery process to identify any potential quick wins that would improve quality overall.
The team quickly identified that flexibility was key. Zuper needed to be able to pivot once it learned about new opportunities in the market. They also identified that the team worked well together, were highly motivated and trusted each other.
And, like most startups, they felt that they had too much to do in too little time. The team identified that this sometimes resulted in work being incomplete. In addition, while the team recognised the need to pivot, they didn’t always know the why behind the pivot. When the team explored further, they identified that a more scientific approach to product ideation would be useful.
Studies have shown that startups using a scientific approach to product ideation are more likely to succeed than those using ‘trial and error’. This includes having clear and falsifiable hypotheses to test with associated validation identification to understand if a hypothesis is successful.
The mobius framework offers an inclusive framework that enables teams to rapidly pivot and learn from experimentation. By providing this as a design framework, Zuper were able to put in place an approach that offered greater transparency and more scientific rigour.
The theory of constraints was explored and how to identify bottlenecks. By putting in a WIP column the team is able to quickly identify blockers and can come up with an approach to rectify the situation.
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