Case Study

Gap Analysis & Strategy Definition of Quality
Assurance for Leading Payments Network


Industry Landscape

Regulatory government requirements, increased cross-border mergers and acquisitions, the rapid adoption of social media channels, the need to mine the large amounts of data being created each minute and the advancement of such technologies as cloud-computing and mobile are transforming the IT landscape of most organizations around the world. The increased investment required to keep pace with these changes across geographies and various verticals is creating a requirement for cost optimization built on new technologies that can return value to a business in the shortest possible time.

At the same time, end users’ tolerance for application errors, security or performance issues, and an inconsistent experience across channels has shrunken significantly requiring organizations to focus more attention on quality and reliability. In order to address the expectations of these end users, best-in-class organizations are investing more in Quality Assurance (QA) and building QA best practices to support those commitments.

Business Objective

In order to continually improve its end user experience, a leading payments network in the United States wanted to standardize their current QA processes to align with Test Maturity Model Integration (TMMi) process standards. The QA processes in the network’s bi-annual business release covered over 3,000 test cases involving over 10,000 steps. The company wanted an expert, outside third-party to conduct a gap analysis of these existing QA processes and benchmark them against TMMi standards. In addition, the network wanted a recommendation for measures that would considerably enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their processes. The measures recommended would need to consider how to integrate the organization’s test management tool with its in-house developed test defects management tool to develop a single dashboard which would depict a testing assignment workflow as well as carry out course-correction measures, if necessary.

Solution Overview

RS Software leveraged its pool of QA professionals, with a combined experience of more than 100 person years, for planning and implementing the strategic consulting exercise that included the following step-by-step components:

  • Current state and landscape assessment through questionnaires and interviews
  • Gap analysis and reporting
  • High-Level process recommendations
  • Detailed process framework definition
  • Optimization road-map creation and delivery

Tangible deliverables to the customer at the end of the analysis are listed below:

Gap report

  • Background
  • Scope of the assessment
  • Participants in the assessment exercise
  • Plan and deliverables
  • Report – best practices, gaps, recommendations, severity, and priority

Recommendations for each QA process

  • Points of improvement
  • Recommendations and suggested best practices
  • Ownership

Customized QA test process framework

  • Purpose
  • Detailed framework definition
  • Program level guidance
  • Software QA framework
  • Sample templates
  • Project to process area mapping
  • Suggestions
  • Additional recommendations

In addition to recommendations on the test framework and results from the gap analysis, an Executive Summary Dashboard to represent the following areas of QA landscape was created:

Web-based Application for input of Master data into the Dashboard Execution and Defect data is obtained from the respective QA tools used in the customer organization

Synchronization of defects between ClearQuest and ALM Workflows defined in ALM so that defect initiation at ClearQuest is replicated in ALM

Dashboard is generated on a real-time basis filtering for obtaining the desired views based on privileges

Options are available for downloading the Dashboard and e-mailing the same

Requested reports can be produced as desired

Business Benefits

With more than 20 years of experience in QA and extensive understanding of requirements of market standards like TMMi, RS Software provides recommendations and planning to the network that yield the following benefits:

  • Optimization of existing QA practices resulting in saving worth more than 500 person months of effort yearly
  • Implementation roadmap for “in-demand” process standards (such as that for risk-based testing) enabling quicker time-to-market with enhanced quality of the end-product
  • Institutionalization of best-practices within some divisions of the organization so that the associated benefits could be reaped by the QA organization as a whole
  • Proliferation of QA automation scope so as to reduce time-to-test as well as enhance reliability of the testing exercise

About RS Software

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RS Software, through its tactical and strategic investments towards sourcing, knowledge-retention, and skill-building, has developed a team of QA professionals who are not restricted by vertical, horizontal, or geographical boundaries. The team of more than 200 QA experts have the technical skills essential for any tester and experience in the current strategies and processes that govern the discipline of QA. The team’s skills are benchmarked through external certifications such as ITSQB and CSTE, which provide the competitive advantage over organizations which do not look upon testing as a discipline but as an extension to their development arm.

The RS Software TCoE (Testing Center of Excellence) oversees the development of QA practices within the company and provides the infrastructure necessary for the development of skills. The work done within the TCoE is integrated with RS Software’s proven RS GEMTM (Global Execution Model) to provide a comprehensive set of services and continuing innovation within the testing arena. RS Software has successfully carried out over 1000 person years worth of testing services to its client base, cutting across a full range of technology and business domains.

The RS Software QA team offers customers insights into the latest trends in the process certification space and experience in certification of standards such as ISO 9001, SEI CMMi, and TMMi. The team also provides formal process improvement consultancy through implementation of Six-Sigma and Lean/Kanban methods.