The client is an Illinois-based insurance company that creates diverse software applications to meet the needs of their various lines of business.
Historically, the client has always used a manual testing method; however, they recently instituted a customized agile methodology with monthly sprints for new development projects. This change required integrating automated QA testing into the development cycle. The client needed to figure out a way to create a new process, adapt to the new monthly sprints, adjust their story boarding sessions, and develop automation scripts in parallel. Since Planet Technology had provided QA support at this company for the past three years, the client knew they could rely on Planet Technology to create a process that would allow them to adopt an agile approach. Unique challenges included various time zone needs, fluid UI and function design, handling of unfrozen stories in automation, simultaneous testing of automation scripts, and more.
Planet Technology created a customized agile process flow for the client that includes the QA automation as part of the development process. This process flow addressed all of the aforementioned challenges. Once the user stories for the sprint were determined, the team discussed the functional validations, interface and interactive needs, and the UI needs. Upon determining these, the automation QA analyst began working on the functional and validation related scripts. While the user Interface design occurred, the QA automation analyst identified and developed the test data needed (both reference and transactional) for testing the user story. Once this was finished, an automation skeleton script was developed as a data element to be part of the UI, which was known at the end of the first week. During the second week, the UI elements that were developed/modified during the day were sent to the QA analyst, who promptly developed/updated the skeletal links in the scripts. This process bridged the need to handle the fluidity of the agile process and the rigid needs of a QA automation process.
Finally, at the end of the second week, the automation script was tested for accuracy and functional validity. Even though it was not 100% ready, the agile process allowed usage of the completed scripts. The automation scripts continued to be developed during the third week, but there were parts of the applications that were simultaneously tested as well. The fourth week was primarily devoted to test execution (QA and UAT) and defect fixes, work that was very similar to the normal testing process. By the middle of the fourth week, a Go/No-Go decision was made and accepted, so the story was marked as ready for release.
Planet Technology created a customized agile development process with offshore QA automation. Over the span of 12 months, this process went through only minor refinements. After gaining experience with this customized process, Planet Technology was able to optimize working in multiple time zones and use it to their advantage: the QA automation was always a step ahead of the development to assist in a hurdle-free agile development process.
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