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Elabor8 helps a bancassurance client develop a new test framework

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As part of its multi-year digital strategy, a major bancassurance institution in Australia has partnered with consultants from Elabor8 to develop a new enterprise test automation platform.

With major regulatory initiatives, rapidly changing consumer behavior and a rapidly changing digital marketplace, the company’s strategy was to enable an economy of speed, enabling rapid innovation, streamlined delivery and faster time to market. fast. The success was supported by the development of a modern testing strategy centered on automation.

As part of this digital surge, the company aimed to modernize its online customer portals, consolidate its products and services on a single application, provide a better customer experience and improve growth opportunities.

However, with a highly siloed environment and extensive manual testing processes in place, the scope of testing quickly exploded. “Teams would operate in isolation, so whenever they wanted to increase the scope of testing, they would either duplicate efforts to create a bespoke automation framework or add more testers to run those test suites manually,” recalled Craig Harvey, head of Elabor8. Automation who ran the project.

“They were constantly on the lookout for additional testers and that quickly became a risk to the organization.”

Shortly after, the bancassurance company realized that this model was not sustainable. It was then that Elabor8 entered the fold. “We helped them reshape their thinking into value thinking,” Craig said. “Automation can bring a lot of value to an organization, but it’s all about having the right testing strategy in place to ensure that automation activities are yielding good returns.”

“We partnered with them for two years to co-design and implement a testing strategy and automation framework that would work for them,” Craig added. “We started small, working on an infrastructure migration to experiment and validate ideas, while learning the culture of the organization. This was essential for the next phase where we expanded horizontally across the organization . »

“We worked with teams to build capacity through a test-driven approach, while continuing to learn, experiment and validate; and feed those ideas back into the evolution of the automation framework. It was this integrated growth process that really made the whole thing so successful.

“Learning the culture early on allowed us to take a systematic approach, where we could look at everything from working methods to existing technology and capabilities. We even looked at how teams were breaking the rules to complete their work. – we called it “black market engineering”, where teams circumvented complex red tape to enable them to deliver.

“Obviously this is not healthy behavior, but it allowed us to see the true flow of the organization as it was.”

But it is from this behavior that a true digital amplifier was born. “We started researching how to remove the tape. We started sharing code, to the point where we could upload code libraries to a repository for other areas to consume – basically an internal github. We also started building self-service portals to platforms, allowing teams to take ownership of their own development journey. »

This formalized version of black market engineering practices energized teams, which consistently raised the bar across all delivery teams. “We found that code reuse had skyrocketed and, in turn, code quality had increased, which was extremely refreshing to see.”

Reap the benefits

Fast forward to today, and the bancassurance company can make changes quickly, knowing with confidence the high level of quality. Craig: “They have a modern, adaptive testing capability, consisting of an enterprise automation framework focused on customer experience and providing business assurance, with delivery teams having the freedom to shape their testing needs individual depending on the value and context of the deliverable.”

“All of this is nicely wrapped in a lightweight governance layer designed to enable teams, not restrict them.”

Several benefits are reaped in the process. In addition to labor cost savings from a focus on automation and faster delivery times with greater engineering capabilities, “we are also seeing an improvement in the customer experience with higher quality deliverables, and there is greater confidence across the organization in the delivery process.”

“Not to mention the advantage of being able to develop APIs and test suites in parallel for shared learning between developers and testers,” concludes Craig.