Customer stories

public sector industry logoThe Department

Helping citizens travel safely and sustainably by developing innovative transportation management systems underpinned by reliable, flexible, and standardized software quality assurance processes

public sector industry logo

Outcomes

  • Supports continuous improvement in software quality
  • Provides a single source of consistent information for all stakeholders
  • Automates processes—saving time, effort and taxpayer money

Challenge

The Department wanted to ensure that its applications would be secure, robust and perform well at all times.

Details

Starting the journey to standardization

The Department is committed to providing a safe, reliable and environmentally sustainable network for everybody in their area of control. While the organization is associated with the management of physical infrastructure, it also depends heavily on information tools.

Employees and partners rely on numerous internal systems to plan, build, manage and maintain their networks. Meanwhile, an increasing number of public-facing applications help people check information important to them.

Given the high value of these internal and external systems, the Department wants to ensure that they are secure, robust, and perform well at all times. Since 2013, the organization’s responsible group has been on a strategic journey to build up best practices in software quality assurance.

“At the start of our journey, processes around software quality were somewhat chaotic,” explains the spokesperson. “There was no standardization or automation, and we were dependent on the skills of individuals to manage quality in our software.”

Over the past ten years, the Department completely transformed its capabilities and built a dedicated software quality assurance team. Specifically, the organization has:

  • Eliminated the remaining paper-based, manual processes in software testing
  • Defined rigorous test processes, best practices and standards
  • Built robust and consistent test strategy and planning capabilities
  • Introduced best-of-breed software testing and lifecycle management tools
  • Formalized the management of requirements and defects
  • Introduced consistent test monitoring and control
  • Developed an automation framework across functional, non-functional and performance testing
  • Introduced peer-review methods
  • Built standardized metrics and reporting
  • Created systems for evaluating software quality
  • Instigated a program of continuous improvement and optimization in testing
  • Enabled effective sharing of knowledge and best practices.

“Software quality assurance is an ongoing journey, delivering greater business value over time as our capabilities become more sophisticated,” says the spokesperson. “To support our evolution in quality assurance, we’re using what we consider to be best-in-class tools from Micro Focus (now OpenText).”

Combining software tools throughout the lifecycle

The Department selected ALM Quality Center to manage the full software lifecycle, from requirements through development to ongoing maintenance. The solution is used by internal application owners, business analysts, developers, and testers, as well as by third-party developers. ALM/Quality Center enables coordination between different business and technology stakeholders throughout all processes in the software lifecycle, helping the Department enhance quality at every stage.

To support its ongoing transition from waterfall to agile development methodologies, the Department more recently deployed ALM Octane. “We initially selected Jira to support newer software development approaches, but we ran into limitations around the ease of integration with other tools,” says the spokesperson. “ALM Octane integrates perfectly with our testing and release management tools, saving considerable time and effort.”

For functional testing, the Department has used UFT One, replacing time-consuming manual processes for writing and executing test scripts. “We often need to run the same tests over and over again, using different types of data, particularly when doing regression testing,” says the spokesperson. “With UFT One, we can write a single script and reuse it multiple times in a highly automated way.”

The department also leverages performance testing: the organization uses LoadRunner Cloud to test the performance of its applications. “As we’re currently working through a version upgrade for LoadRunner Cloud, we’re having to do performance testing the old way by getting 20 people together in a room to run their scripts,” says the spokesperson. “That’s all automated with LoadRunner Cloud, so it’s a useful reminder of how much value the solution brings!”

We initially selected Jira to support newer software development approaches, but we ran into limitations around the ease of integration with other tools. ALM Octane integrates perfectly with our testing and release management tools, saving considerable time and effort.

Spokesperson
The Department

Flexing cloud resources as business needs change

Having initially deployed its OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) solutions on-premises, The Department is currently moving to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The organization has migrated all ALM/Quality Center projects to its new cloud environment, and most of its ALM Octane projects. The organization is also continuing to migrate its performance testing workloads to LoadRunner Cloud.

“The SaaS Flex offering from Micro Focus (now OpenText) gives us complete flexibility in how we use the tools: we can ramp capacity up and down as our needs change,” says the spokesperson. “We previously needed to run a bunch of servers, most of them to host load generators for performance testing. With those workloads moved to the cloud, we’ll be making savings in hardware acquisition and maintenance. Moreover, the SaaS delivery model means that we are no longer responsible for maintaining and updating the software.”

OpenText SaaS Flex enables the Department to scale its usage up and down across its solutions and includes 24x7 expert technical support. The Department can flexibly assign and reassign licenses for different products between different team members as its business needs vary, matching costs with usage.

Achieving continuous improvement

The key outcome from the Department’s ongoing quality assurance journey is, quite simply, better-quality software products. The organization has replaced fragmented ways of working, in which project managers, business analysts, testers and developers all had their own processes and spreadsheets. Today, every user follows standardized approaches based on the consistent tools and processes.

For waterfall and agile projects respectively, ALM/Quality Center and ALM Octane give the Department a single point of control over requirements, testing, defects, quality assurance, releases, reporting and users. Everyone involved in planning, developing, and maintaining software sees the same accurate information and can work together even more efficiently. This also makes it easier to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

“We are certainly putting out better products, and that’s great for the reputation of the organization,” says the spokesperson. “The combination of tools from Micro Focus (now OpenText) is helping us to improve our processes and gain maturity in software quality assurance. Fundamentally, we’re trying to get the number of defects as low as possible, so we can build useful software that offers the best-possible value for taxpayers.”

The SaaS Flex offering from Micro Focus (now OpenText) gives us complete flexibility in how we use the tools: we can ramp capacity up and down as our needs change.

Spokesperson
The Department

About The Department

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The Department manages more than 50,000 assets, services, and places, and more than 400 public-use areas. They work with local agencies to keep things moving.