Developing & Implementing a Test Strategy

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In a major IT transformation work, an agri-business Company wanted to design and implement common business processes in its Business Units(BUs), spread across 46 countries, to a common ERP platform, to increase operational efficiency.  Hitherto, each country had its own legacy applications for the business processes, which became unmanageable for the large and growing business.  

Implementing A Test Strategy always has challenges and it was no different here with the testing challenges to face:

  • defining end to end test strategy for new business processes, and their integration with  existing business processes
  • absence of a common test management process and tool across locations
  • tight production schedules and budgets
  • absence of a common test repository

Solution highlights:

  • implemented a common test management tool and a test repository, which was used across all locations
  • implemented a sound end to end test strategy to test the new business processes, which even reduced the UAT effort by  Business Users
  • implemented test automation, with an accelerator, which automated 90% of the regression test cases that reduced testing effort and increased speed of production releases.
  • reused test cases across locations reducing test planning effort by 20%.

Project situation:

A world leader in agri-business had Business Units (BUs) across 46 countries, with each country having separate legacy applications catering to different business functions. The Company intended to design and implement common business processes across all Business Units, to bring in standardization and efficiency, by implementing an ERP package. Location-specific business processes would be added as required. The project plan included implementing the ERP system in a phased manner to a set of countries, called a cluster, in a 6 month release-cycle, till all the countries were covered.

This involved many challenges:

  • There was no common repository of test cases or a test management tool which would help in organizing the testing across locations
  • Identifying the old test cases which could be reused for testing the new business processes designed.
  • Because of multiple build deployments, automation of regression testing was imperative to bring in effort savings and reduce time to production. Identifying which of the test cases would be part of the regression suite, and which were automatable were a challenge.
  • Client looked to reduce utilization time of their Business Analysts because of their high cost.  The solution had to take care of reducing their testing effort during user acceptance testing (UAT)
  • Identifying test data for end to end business flows

Implementing A Test Strategy

  • A common Test Management Tool, which organized the test requirements, test cases and defects across all BUs, was identified and implemented which made testing more organized and efficient.
  • A SharePoint repository to store test artefacts, lessons learnt, training material, metrics, root cause analysis, quality documents, was created as a knowledge management portal.
  • From the new common business flows, added in the Requirements tab of the test management tool, reusable test cases were identified with the help of Business Analysts.  Reuse of upto 40% of test cases was realized while implementing the system from one cluster to another cluster.
  • 650 functional test cases were identified for regression test suite. Up to 90% of these test cases were automated.  An automation framework, which has my Company’s IP, was implemented which helped decrease the scripting effort by 20%. Automation of regression testing brought the following benefits:
    • Making test execution more reliable and repeatable.
    • Assessing the impact of weekly changes on core business processes
    • In testing the changes made to the system quickly which helped the ERP functional consultants to move the changes to production quickly.
  •  End to end test scenarios were designed to cover most of the test scenarios, except for the ones which needed interaction with the external systems for which only the Business Users of the Company had access.  This decreased the testing effort of Business Analysts by 10%.
  • Test data strategy identified the optimum data samples that needed to be obtained from legacy systems.
  • Re-usability analysis of existing test cases reduced test creation effort by 40%.
  • IT transformation to an ERP package was successfully implemented to all the clusters as required by the Company.

About the Author

ramesh ramamurthyRamesh has more than 19 years of experience as a developer, database administrator and tester. Currently working in Infosys Limited, an India-based Software Services and Products Company, managing testing projects and developing creative testing solutions for various testing requirements. He has written blogs at some of the testing blog sites too.  He can be reached at [email protected].

About the Author


I have experience over 19 years in software development, unit testing, application testing and database testing.
Find out more about @ramesh

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