What do you do when you have to push through a mobile strategy that’s vital to the future of the company and nobody wants to hear about it?
There they are, the 6 most important people in the world right now. All of them are studying carefully your every word. They appear relaxed leaning back in their black leather seats, but you know it’s all a façade. Behind the laid-back posture are birds of prey getting ready for the kill.
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There’s Bob, head of online development. Over the past 20 years, his department has driven over 20% of the company’s sales. Your new mobile team may have taken a point or two away from that, but if you ask Bob it’s all a fluke. The proposal that 15% of his budget should go to you is not something he is going to let happen easily. Next to him is John, the chief programmer. Mobility was supposed to be a part of his domain, not yours. Sitting next to them are the CFO, head of Accounting, and the VP of Strategic Development. They see the potential in mobility, but are still concerned about the risks involved. They aren’t ready to make the major commitments until you can prove mobility is a “right fit” for the company.
They want results.
Now It’s Your Turn
You have to prove that mobility is going to drive the next phase of growth for the company. You have to win a consensus to get a bigger budget, more manpower, and the resources to produce that growth. Already your competition has invested far more in its mobility strategy, and you know if you don’t own this meeting your company will start to fall behind.
Your adversaries are waiting for you to slip up. Bob’s days of sitting next to the CFO are numbered, and he knows it. If you succeed, the best talent the company hires will go to your team, and not John’s – and he knows it. They don’t care about what’s best for the company. They care about what’s best for their future. They should know – the same thing happened 20 years ago when they had to prove something new to people with a lot to lose.
They knew what almost worked for their detractors and they are ripping the pages out of their playbook. They are looking for every opportunity to shoot you and your mobility experiment down. All they need is one small failure. A minor setback is enough for them to send out a companywide memo warning that if you aren’t capable of something simple like a properly working application, how can you be trusted with the future of the company? Every small glitch means another meeting with John and Bob sneering at you.
How do you keep them at bay? How do you scrounge up the time and resources you need to build your mobile infrastructure into something that can speak for itself? How do you keep the decision makers comfortable in their threshold of the risk long enough until the numbers back up everything you promised them?
You Have to Minimize Folly
With enough battles ahead of you over the inevitable pitfalls involved with progress, you can’t afford to fight a single skirmish over a problem that should not have happened. You need to do everything you can to minimize, even eliminate any mistake that was preventable. If the real results of your mobility plans can go from negative to positive without any major problems, the chances of it being a success multiply tenfold.
Enter mobile application testing.
Whatever the mobile strategy, it will be the mobile application that drives it. Whether a B2B or B2C app that drives revenue, or a B2E (employee) app that raises productivity, the results begin and end with your mobile applications. The quickest way to create detractors is if the mobile application doesn’t work right, or if it doesn’t work at all. Testing your mobile applications, even during the development phase is the best way to make sure you are in complete control of the future of your company.
An optimal mobile testing strategy is fast, thorough, and accounts for changing technology. You need to test the functions of your mobile application so your customers don’t discover the bugs for you. You need to test the performance of the mobile application so it will operate smoothly over any local network, without unnecessary pauses. If your mobile application is manipulating wearables like smartwatches, you need to test the application and the wearable it is controlling.
The majority of mobility developers don’t take this vital step seriously enough and their mobile strategy crashes of their own doing – or lack of it. 65% of mobile applications get a one-star rating because they don’t test enough. Any mistake you make is just what your detractors need to convince the highest decision makers to postpone proper funding for a mobility department. That can be devastating to a business.
The Epic Battle to the Death
According to a recent report by Accenture (Growing the Digital Business: Accenture Mobility Research 2015):
Those believing their profitability is worse than competitors were more likely to see digital technologies as a threat instead of an opportunity.
Entire companies don’t see digital technologies as a threat. The companies mentioned here are most likely ones where those inside the company who see digital technologies as a threat to their future are the ones dominating the meetings.
The endgame for these companies was also hinted at in the report:
Companies that are lagging behind in transforming into a digital business—and are trying to avoid digital technologies instead of using them to their benefit—are creating a major gap between themselves and their competitors. And the longer they wait to adopt digital, the harder it will be for them to catch up.
Every meeting is a fight for your future. It’s a fight for your company’s future. You need everything you can to win, which is why mobile testing is such a no-brainer. Mobile testing guarantees small victories.
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InfoQ has published an amazing article about The Basics of Mobile Application Testing. I highly recommend it.