Quality Engineering Focusing On The Pipeline

QE Unit
7 min readFeb 17, 2022

I had to do something.

Software engineers were blind after the development environment. Production teams struggled with incidents with limited application knowledge.

Release managers had pressure to deploy software changes like hot potatoes to the next stage, leaving no time for reviewing, even less testing.

It was a mess.

Everyone was frustrated, including the most important ones: our users.

The initiative was led at La Redoute, a $1b e-commerce retailer that reborn from its ashes various times, now in an accelerated growth.

I was leading a 70+ back-end engineering team when I decided to focus the team on a common objective: the delivery pipeline.

This article shares one concrete experience of evolving an existing organization to deliver Quality Engineering.

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Create a sense of urgency on a simple common objective

Simplicity enables focus. The first thing was to rally the actors on a common objective, creating a sense of urgency.

I first looked for internal facts, such as recent incidents with customer impacts, slow resolution time, showing factual leaks in the processes.

An external benchmark using Accelerate complemented the approach to demonstrate our gap versus a known market standard, equally impacting the business.

Figure 1: Our gap of performance with the Accelerate DORA metrics.

With all releases coming, we had to change.

Focus methodologies on the limiting factors

I decided to focus the team on the pipeline being a limiting factor that accumulated too much organizational and technical debt.

The message was to deliver Quality at Speed without depending on a new technical project, following these principles:

  1. Measure the business outcome;
  2. Deploy at least once per day;

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