How we ensure the quality of our IoT platform

The quality of an IoT platform is measured by three components: security, scalability and functionality. Compared to classic IoT platforms, Kiwigrid’s KiwiOS provides functionalities (such as the time-based on and off switching of energy devices) in addition to the pure infrastructure. This takes our quality assurance to a new level. In this blog, we explain how we seamlessly ensure the quality of all three components.

Organizational anchoring of quality management

At Kiwigrid, quality assurance takes place across all teams involved in value creation.

It is centrally embedded in the company's quality management system and is implemented decentrally in cross-functional teams using clearly defined processes. These teams consist of testers, developers and product owners, system architects and product managers.

The final overview of the process is provided by Steffen Rietz, who as Vice President Service and Quality is primarily responsible for quality assurance at Kiwigrid. The fact that this topic is addressed at vice president level underscores how important quality assurance is to management.

"To ensure an exchange of knowledge between the different teams, we have introduced so-called 'communities of practice'. These are topic-specific specialist teams that meet every 14 days, exchange ideas, clarify issues and jointly standardize workflows." - Steffen Rietz, Vice President Service and Quality.

How quality is assured and tested at Kiwigrid

The quality assurance process can be divided into three steps: demand, implementation, and testing. To ensure that all steps function smoothly, it is essential to have a clear structure, where quality attributes are taken into account right from the start. There are clear responsibilities and predefined quality processes at each stage:

  1. Demand - Responsibility: Product Owner
  2. Implementation - Responsibility: Developer
  3. Testing - Responsibility: Tester

All product development at Kiwigrid is strongly demand-driven. This means that every product and every function is developed based on specific requirements.

Requirements are clearly defined

Requirements are similar to a contract that a customer enters with regard to the functionality of a certain product to ensure that his expectation is met. Requirements describe what is to be provided as functionality - for example: "A user registered on the platform should be able to view the charging energy of his electric car".

Standardization of demands, interfaces and test cases

Unlike other companies, Kiwigrid's requirements, functionalities and test cases are standardized. This ensures that the customer, product owner, developer and tester speak the same language. The customer makes a request, the product owner translates the request, the developer designs the corresponding functionality and the tester verifies whether the requirement has been met by means of a test. Standardization is the key to functioning quality management here, as it eliminates room for misinterpretation and test errors. The tester checks, regarding the concrete requirement catalog, and thus evaluates (as a four-eyes principle with the developer) whether the program fulfills the customer’s requirements.  The use of a formal language also makes it possible to automate the tests for checking the functionalities.

Automated testing at all development stages

Test concepts organize and structure what is tested, by whom, and at what point. Following the test concept, the tests are based on different levels:

In addition, the scalability of the system is checked using load and performance tests, and a security test is performed at least once a year.

Certified platform quality

The ISO 9001 certification of the Kiwigrid platform officially confirms the quality of the formal development process and shows which concepts are fundamentally observed. The security architecture and security principles of Kiwigrid's system are also officially certified (ISO 27001). These certifications strengthen customer confidence and give Kiwigrid access to market areas where such certification is mandatory.

At Kiwigrid, quality assurance is firmly integrated into the development process and is also anchored within the organization. Product development is application-driven and quality assurance tests take place at all stages of the development process.

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