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QA Consultants helps a client become agile, in-sprint, and bug free

A financial arm of a large retail institution had embarked upon a pilot agile project as the first step in a larger corporate-wide agile and digital transformation. The project itself centred around the system for the client’s credit card management.

Upon an initial discovery session, QA Consultants discovered that there wasn’t a formal testing process nor expertise in place, but only ad-hoc testing performed by the development vendor. This vendor had no records of the testing that was being performed (test plans, test cases, test results, etc.).

QA Consultants was engaged to be the QA and testing partner after discussions regarding the standards for an agile SDLC best practice testing program.

QA Consultants test activities included initial discovery, agile test strategy and test planning, risk-based test strategy, test infrastructure design & deployment, test automation strategy, test automation development/verification/execution/maintenance, test coordination, test case development, test data development, test environment management, test execution and defect capture, and defect management.

QA Consultants test scope included functional automated testing, cross-device compatibility testing, integration and interface testing, mobile testing, as well as smoke, sanity and regression suites of these testing types. Prior to the development test assets, QA Consultants implemented and integrated the entire toolset to facilitate testing and test automation within the client’s current Jira-based infrastructure and agile practices.

QA Consultants’ engagement resulted in the:

  • Seamless addition of developed processes to facilitate testing seamlessly within the existing Agile methodology
  • Successful addition of testing process, tools, skillsets, and artefacts.
  • Successful implementation of test tools to the client Jira ecosystem
  • Successful training of client in the processes required to support testing
  • Successful attainment of agile project velocity through the utilization of practices above, and test automation
  • Successful increases to quality via greater delivered in sprint ending demos and toward Releases

Project aims/goals

  • Discover and target gaps in the current testing practices (or lack thereof)
  • Design agile test strategy addressing the above gaps incorporating test automation (employing behaviour driven development)
  • Design and implement test architecture – tools, processes & methodology, skillsets, artefacts
  • Design and implement test automation employing BDD
  • Design and implement integrations between Jira, Zephyr, Eclipse, Cucumber, Git, and Jenkins to facilitate the BDD test automation
  • Test the agile sprints to ensure defect-free code releases both in the web and mobile app
  • A coordinate testing effort with the client team

Methodology/work undertaken

  • Agile SDLC-based testing methodology was utilized based on the QA Consultants methodology
  • BDD-based test automation methodology was utilized based on the QA Consultants Behaviour Driven Testing (BDT) Methodology
  • Test automation activities
    • Test automation strategy and automation test planning
    • Client test and BDD training
    • Automation test coordination
    • Automation test case development
    • Automation test data development
    • Automation test environment management
    • Automation test execution and defect capture
    • Defect management
    • Automation test closure reporting
    • Executive program quality presentations
    • Full QAC participation in client’s agile ceremonies – planning, scrums, demos, and retrospectives
  • Test Scope
    • Functional test automation
    • Cross-device compatibility testing
    • Integration and interface testing
    • Mobile test automation
  • Metrics
    • All regression test cases ~700 test scenarios – automated
    • Recovered from testing being 10 sprints behind to being in-sprint
    • Automated regression test execution every evening (up to 365 times/year)
    • Automated smoke test execution run after every build (>200 times/year)
    • Over five agile development releases (work packages) with multiple sprints for each were tested (spanning a 36-month timeframe)

Challenges/obstacles overcome

The pilot project was critical to proving agile transformation was possible for the entire corporation.

Before QAC began the project, the client had heavily invested in JIRA, which limited QA Consultants’ options for deployable test automation and management tools.

The client’s agile project team was unskilled in testing, practices to support testing, test automation, test tools, and in the BDD methodology.

Results and evaluation

QA Consultants’ engagement resulted in:

  • Seamless addition of developed processes to facilitate testing within the existing agile methodology
  • Seamless inclusion of the QA Consultants team into all client agile ceremonies – sprint planning, daily scrums, sprint demos, and retrospectives
  • Successful addition of testing process, tools, skillsets, and artefacts
  • Successful implementation of BDD type test automation
  • Successful implementation of test tools – Zephyr, Cucumber, Selenium, Java to the client Jira ecosystem
  • Successful utilization of dev-ops through the usage of Jenkins for test automation
  • Successful training of client in the processes required to support testing
  • Successful attainment of agile project velocity through the utilization of practices above and test automation
  • Successful increases to quality via greater delivered in sprint ending demos and toward on-time releases

For the past three years, QA Consultants has been engaged in the maintenance phase demonstrating successful delivery of skills, tools, and thought leadership. QA Consultants is also working on additional client projects.