Automating more spending less: the concept behind Qualibrate

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Do you want to automate more and spend less? If you are like us or any of our customers then of course you do. Increasing your level of test automation can help to increase test coverage, release software faster, reduce risk and the beauty of automation is the more you need to use it the better your return on investment.

We all know the theory by heart but have you ever felt frustrated by how simple it sounds to start with test automation compared to how challenging it becomes when you move to the implementation phase? We sure did and if you are reading this article you have probably felt that way, too!

In our team, we are lucky to have very experienced automation engineers from all over the world. In the past when it came to creating test automation frameworks we would master the latest tools in the market and implement them in more and more agile ways. However, no matter what tool we used we often ended up frustrated for not reaching the level of test automation we aimed for.

It’s probably a familiar story but why is that?

Business Process Documentation is your operational blueprint

A lack of high-quality business process documentation on IT projects is one of the major issues. One of the minimum requirements for building an effective test automation solution is knowing what to test. So why is it unusual to have high-quality documentation? Agile says you need it less and less but how do you align business requirements and IT or how do you transfer process knowledge when people leave or are on holiday? Documenting processes manually and taking screenshots is time-consuming and let’s face it just plain sucks but Process documentation is vital to any operation.

Not only is it a high effort to manually document your business processes but before long your processes change so your documentation is outdated and the whole circus has to start again!

We decided to take action so we gathered some of the brightest quality assurance engineers, business analysts, developers and project managers for several coffee-fueled brainstorming sessions with the mission to solve this problem.

It took months of research, lots of coffee, plenty of pizza and finally Qualibrate was born. A name that represented our mission Calibrate + Quality and Qualibrate sounded better than Cality :).

After two years of being released in the wild, we are happy to report that many companies, like Heineken, are already using Qualibrate to save 90% of resources in their quality assurance activities.

Now we would like to explain to you the concept behind Qualibrate.

The challenge of software implementation

Let’s start with analyzing more in detail the problem that most organizations, which are approaching test automation, are facing. Spending enough time on developing the problem statement at the beginning of the Qualibrate project, helped us to establish the purpose and goals and allow for an innovative approach to a problem as old as IT.

Here is a common scenario our customers face when it comes to building, upgrading, migrating maintaining their software. Each feature requires functional or business analysts to prepare some kind of documentation to explain what it is they want. A test analyst will then evaluate the different test scenarios that if executed successfully will ensure the integrity of the application under test. Some organizations might be mature enough to have an automated testing solution. In this case, quality assurance engineers will build automated tests and frameworks aimed at testing more functionality more frequently. Finally, just before those changes will be deployed into production, the end-users will need to be trained on how to use that system and be informed about the changes.

On a traditional implementation, we see organizations adopting 3 or 4 different tools to support this process e.g. a spreadsheet, a test management tool, a test automation tool. Each tool works in a very specific way and produces different formats of deliverables. Maintaining those deliverables is challenging and time-consuming and is one of the first things that stop when the project comes under time or budget pressure impacting on quality. We strongly believe this is a very inefficient process and one of the main problems in organizations trying to build mission-critical IT systems.

We believe that Quality goes beyond testing and to us, Quality means having great documentation, efficient ways to test both manually and automated as well as having smart training material for end-users. Most importantly these assets should be easy to create and maintain because as we’ve all seen if they are not then it just doesn’t happen.

Our solution: Qualibrate

That is why we decided to invent Qualibrate: to optimize the way that teams document, test, and train end-users on IT projects.

With Qualibrate anyone can record a Business Process and when finalized the recording outputs four deliverables:

  1. Business Process Documentation
  2. Accelerated Manual Testing (awesome for user acceptance testing)
  3. Automated Testing (great for regression testing)
  4. End-user Training

Instead of 3 or 4 different tools for documentation, testing, and training, we introduce 1. Already an efficiency gain. Whenever you need to maintain your process, you update the recording once and all 4 deliverables will be updated automatically. Reducing the maintenance across the team and making sure all your quality assets are up to date.

Therefore, our value proposition is quite straightforward: all your team needs, in one place. Run test automation, have lean business process documentation and training in minutes.

Are you interested to see how easy it is to start a recording of a business process on an application under test that you prefer (e.g. SAP, Salesforce or a Web App)? Feel free to contact me.

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