For over 100 years, this life insurance, investment and retirement services provider has had a reputation for innovation. Today, the company is using modern digital technology to engage customers in pursuit of their health, along with financial stability. As the business grew rapidly, largely through acquisition, the company’s eight independent testing teams needed to keep up with a rapid release pace and agile development practices. The Enterprise Technology Quality group took steps to streamline their processes and tools to create a strategic approach to software quality in an agile environment.
The company’s testing teams are responsible for ensuring the quality of the organization’s applications, which include customer-facing website, mobile app and integrated voice system, as well as the administration, billing and reporting systems employees use to support millions of customers throughout the United States.
Because these systems deal with sensitive personal data and help individuals achieve some of their most important goals, software quality is a critical initiative for the business. However, with each team having its own process for documenting activities, test cases and results, there was no single source of truth for QA efforts across the organization, which made it difficult to get an accurate picture of overall software quality and define clear and concrete goals for improvement.
Early in 2017, the company’s leadership made a decision to build a centralized software quality strategy. The new Enterprise Technology Quality group needed a unified quality platform, and after evaluating several available solutions, the team ultimately chose QASymphony’s qTest along with a number of integrated tools to support the entire quality lifecycle.
A Successful Migration from Legacy Tools
The Head of the company’s ETQA Organization says that the decision to go with qTest has many benefits, not least of which is a seamless migration from both homegrown and legacy commercial test management tools (including Micro Focus Quality Center) used by the company’s QA team members – including a path to bring over more than 700 Selenium scripts that the team had written. The QA team also needed to migrate its library of UFT scripts, which they relied on for testing of legacy technologies. The ETQA staff and the QASymphony team worked together to find a simple way to accomplish the transfer. “There was a small issue with that – the order of the UFT scripts wasn’t going into qTest correctly,” the Head of QA explains. “We partnered with QASymphony to resolve the issue. An update that was introduced in qTest 9 made the scripts import in the right order, and also in a way that is more readable.”
When the team began using qTest, they saw efficiency improvements right away. In some cases, average regression testing time has decreased from two days to two hours.
“One of the reasons I chose qTest is because qTest integrates with Jira,” the Head of Quality explains. “With qTest, we’re able to take full advantage of the traceability of Jira, which helps with compliance and also improves the overall quality of our products.”
The qTest-Jira integration makes it easy for the team to document one or more test cases for each user story and tie the results of each test to requirements in Jira, which means developers are alerted more quickly to issues that need their attention.
“The qTest-Jira integration has been critical to our success as we go through our digital transformation,” he says.
A Scalable Test Automation Strategy
The company’s QA leadership wanted to scale their test automation efforts. This key strategy would help the team streamline testing processes to support agile development. The team decided to run all automation scripts from the Jenkins framework, which gave them a single source of truth and allowed them to leverage existing automation scripts.
The Enterprise Technology Quality team is now using several tools, including Automation Anywhere, Selenium and Protractor. Because qTest supports any automation framework or tool and seamlessly integrates with Jenkins, all test results are automatically documented in qTest.
Centralizing test automation management with qTest has offered the team significant efficiency gains. The global testing team operates from different locations around the world, and having a single pane of glass for automated testing is critical to their success.
Following the initial success with qTest, the company’s QA team leaders are currently evaluating qTest Launch, QASymphony’s new tool for centrally kicking off automation scripts.
Simplified Documentation for Regulatory Compliance
Modernizing QA tools and processes has also helped the Enterprise Technology Quality group better prepare for compliance audits. “Before, getting the information ready for the audit has been a stressful and time-consuming process,” explains the Head of Quality Assurance.
“Now, we can just point auditors to qTest Insights – QASymphony’s reporting tool for consolidating, managing and analyzing QA metrics. Because my team is operating in a regulated industry, having a business intelligence tool for QA is critical.”
The team is also leveraging qTest Explorer to create an automatic audit trail. During exploratory testing, qTest Explorer takes screenshots of each issue a tester finds and logs the issue in Jira. Using this information, developers can take action on those issues more quickly, and the QA team can spend more time identifying potential problems and less time documenting them.
Elevating the Importance of Quality
Modernizing QA practices continues to ensure that the organization can release higher quality software, faster, to support new digital customer experiences.
“It has really helped put a focus on quality,” the Head of QA concludes. “The executive team now has direct visibility into our QA processes, and our QA testing efforts are directly aligned with the business.”