At short notice I started as a Test Manager in a customer’s online shop building project. The online share of the total sales was critical to the customer, even though products and services were available through their brick-and-mortar store.
When I came in, the date for taking the the customer’s online shop into production had already been set. For various reasons, changing the date was no longer possible, even though the delivery project and integration with the SAP system were delayed during the project. The success of the online shop introduction was also important due to the public image of the company.
Project room and daily meetings support the work of a test manager
There was a hectic mood of working in the project room with five different software vendors, some project managers, and dozens of business analysts.
Although the work was hectic and chaotic, everyone had a clear goal: opening of the online shop. In the daily meetings, I focused on perceiving what is going on in the testing, who tests what, and how does the error situation look like.
After going into production, the software will still be continuously developed for a number of years. To enable further developing, it was important during the project to ensure a continuous development model where one feature was taken into production at a time. Establishing proper administration requires functional processes that everything works systematically and sound as we do more and release new versions.
There were thousands of test cases and they were compiled into a traditional test management tool. I suggested changing the tool and moving on using a lighter test management tool that suits the agile model for continuous development. Thanks to recommendation by a colleague in Qentinel, we found Meliora, a Finnish solution with an user interface in Finnish for the business users.
Why was it successful?
In terms of success I identified three critical issues:
- Ensure the functionality of the integrations – Several systems are connected in the backend of the our customer’s online shop. Therefore it is critical to ensure interoperability between all of their systems. If this isn’t done, there can be lots of disruptions in the production.
- Verify the test data – It is important to take care of the product data and balance in online shop testing – they have to be identical in the different environments. The number of products in the online shop was in tens of thousands.
- Make sure that the business use cases are included in testing – In addition to the functionality visible to the customers, the staff has to be able to handle the orders in backend. The business use cases are not necessarily unearthed during the project delivery, but the test manager has to make sure the whole process is being tested. Order processing must succeed in frontend as well as in backend, and the business users have to be able to handle them right away.
The customer was grateful for the growing quality know-how of the organization: how to take into account the quality and testing? The customer was more confident about what the quality of the online shop means and what it needs. My role as a Test Manager was crucial. Now quality assurance have been taken into account by the customer and time has been reserved to take care of it.
Riikka Kurkinen, Test Manager