In 2008, when I launched Rivers Agile into the ever-growing Pittsburgh technology market as a software consulting firm, I had a vision to fill in a gap in the region for advanced Quality Assurance (QA). The redefined role offers additional value such as:

  • Providing guidance that ensures user stories are testable and includes acceptance criteria.
  • Reviewing test plans with the project team early in the sprint to reduce unwarranted churn between development and QA.
  • Assisting the business to understand the true cost and impact of making changes to existing systems.
  • Providing clarity on key metrics that when tuned can significantly reduce overall costs.

How our view on quality assurance makes us unique

The company’s foundation in quality assurance consulting enables Rivers Agile to drive efficiencies in our agile software process that yields:

  • Reduced expenses by removing the need to revisit work that had not undergone proper QA.
  • Increased productivity in both streamlined workflows and test case automation.
  • Reduced exposure to quality issues with customer facing systems.

Nine years later, Rivers Agile has diversified to offer more services across a variety of industries. We have recently demonstrated project success in healthcare, supply chain and oil and gas – just to name a few. I am proud to work with the collaborative and innovative team at Rivers Agile. Together we challenge ourselves to provide our clients with solutions that meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

The QA foundation of Rivers Agile has allowed us to take a unique approach to all of our projects. QA is a strong part of our culture; however, we have grown to offer engineering excellence for:

  • Quality assurance consulting.
  • Mobile and web application development.
  • Enterprise system integrations.
  • Product design consulting, consisting of UX and UI services.
  • Web Development and Core QA boot camps – Our Code School provides hands-on, in-person, collaborative learning after business hours, allowing you to take an alternative path for education.
  • Quality Assurance as a Service – An offering that starts with automating test cases exercising mission critical systems every night to provide you with a daily status report.

Additionally, Rivers Agile provides discovery workshops during the product strategy phase of a project to help our clients define the path to the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is a proven process to make sure what we plan to build is what the user needs, not what they think they want… or even worse, what we think they want. We will analyze your software needs and provide you with a product vision report.

Many Pittsburgh organizations have been settling with mediocre or an absence of QA services. Some of the reasons happen naturally, like you have to actually engineer something to test. Other times, you are simply bookended by a promised date and the engineering took longer than expected. Worst case scenario, you didn’t plan to test at all and are solely relying on feedback from your end users.

With that said, I believe in a proactive QA approach that drives value throughout the organization. This advanced QA presence should be an extension of the project stakeholder’s vision and defenders of the end user. Additionally, this role should be measuring the build against an agreed upon standard and informing stakeholders about the current state so that risk can be managed. Quality Assurance is embedded into all phases of our agile process, which allows us to confidently offer something unmatched by competitors – a 12-month warranty on all of our projects.

At Rivers Agile, we measure success by earning repeat and referral business. We’d welcome the opportunity to work with you on any of your business needs.

This article was originally published in Volume 24 of Technology Entrepreneurship Quality (teQ) Magazine. View the teQ Magazine flipbook.