An IT company was engaged by a European telecom service provider to provide end-to-end testing for its five lines of business. End-to-end (E2E) testing helps identify system dependencies and ensure that the right information is passed between various system components.
The E2E test team soon discovered that each line of business within the telecom company had a distinct way of functioning. As the involvement of E2E team began with the client the primary challenges that they faced were different delivery structure, different processes for different lines of business, utilization of resource, uneven demands, handoffs between teams, and different structures for business reports.
Aiming to handle these challenges well, the E2E test team created a global test factory, in collaboration with the client company, which had a dedicated space where all E2E testing for the five business lines were to be conducted. This factory would stand on Lean principles and shared services and its focus would be to boost the client’s capabilities which in turn would exceed their performance expectations. The mission of the company was to lead the way to the future of IT testing services by creating an adaptive organization through intelligent design.
Lean implementation in IT was done to reduce waste in the processes related to E2E testing. The removal of waste from the processes would result in reduction of cycle times, cost of operations and performance improvement. The concerns noted provided additional motivation to apply Lean principles to the global test factory to enhance E2E testing capabilities.
A high-level project plan and project charter was prepared by the factory team. The factory team mapped deliverables after each target. The company approached Lean implementation in IT, specifically to E2E testing by meticulously performing and recognizing the non-value-added steps from the processes. For each of the five layers of the test factory, this technique was followed.
A lot of issues were identified in the current-state value stream map (VSM). Therefore, Lean was used to develop the future-state value stream map and along the way, 10 non-value-added steps were eliminated from the release management process and a few recommendations were also made. The use of Lean in formulating the future-state value stream map was proved to be of great help.
The global test factory achieved considerable qualitative benefits, which were calculated for all functions after non-value-added activities were removed. As a result the changes helped in a savings of more than 4,400 hours over a period of nine-month.