Background

Our client, a major courier service provider, was embarking on a data-driven approach to help enhance revenues in day-to-day operations. Previously, there were large discrepancies in data relating to services bought versus services provided. It was established that through improved data management and engineering, the business would be able to identify and implement cost-saving opportunities more efficiently and effectively. A project was initiated to use new big-data technologies to implement a new billing system that would align data for actual services provided rather than services bought – with estimated annual savings of £60m per year. The project co-insided with the implementation of group-wide cloud-based infrastructure that would become the primary Data Store for the organisation.

The project was layered with complexities and was accordingly divided into three phases spanning three years. Dukebridge were asked to lead quality assurance activities for multiple workstreams for data services, ensuring that the data solution met quality criteria and would ensure ultimate success of the project. This included creating the test approach and strategy for phase three of the programme as well as executing against the test plan and strategy.

Challenge

Initiating a project with so much potential cost-saving benefit using a new set of technologies on a new cloud-based platform required meticulous quality assurance planning in order to ensure that the project met targets and expectations. It was critical that the Quality Assurance team had not only extensive testing experience, but also could provide Data Analysis and Data Migration expertise as the quality solution had to meet very specific data and visualization requirements.

To add a level of complexity, the client was using Agile methodology for the first time. It was quickly identified that Agile ws not being utilized to its maximum potential and was evidenced in a lack of documentation and user stories for the initial proof of concept, meaning that executing a robust test plan became significantly more challenging. Business engagement was poor on the project and that resulted in a low level of confidence from business stakeholders.

Solution

Using Dukebridge’s extensive network of Data & Quality Assurance specialists, we were able to quickly identify and deploy an expert resource to own the testing activities on the project. The initial challenge of clarifying the data requirements was rectified early on, as Dukebridge took an active role in working with the Analysis teams to help with data analysis and requirements’ documentation in the early stages.

Dukebridge then took the lead in organizing the scrum/sprint team and activities to ensure a more robust agile delivery plan was put into place. This was created with business engagement at its core to create more efficient ways of working between the business and technology teams and to ensure that business confidence remained high. Quality checks were built into the sprint planning at appropriate stages to ensure the solution met all quality criteria.

“Quality checks were built into the sprint planning at appropriate stages to ensure the solution met all quality criteria.”

Outcome

Quality engineering processes have been restructured on the programme giving the business far greater confidence that the Data/Technology teams will deliver a high quality solution that exceeds business requirements. This has been proven in phase one of the programme through the release of a powerful data visualisation tool.