How Scrum Changes Test Centers

Do you like agility? Do you like being celebrated like a rock star? There was once such an opportunity. You and the authors of this paper missed it. Until recently, developers lusted after tales of agile and Scrum projects. This changed as agile became the new normal for development projects and talks about Scrum mainstream. In the testing community, in contrast, Scrum brought
uncertainty. Is agility the ultimate chance for developers to get rid of nasty testers? Or does agility only change job profiles? This article provides the answers.

Read the Konrad Schlude’s and my article how scrum changes test centers here…

This article appeared in the August 2013 issue of Agile Record.

Bank Branches and Marketing in Manhattan

Usually, I write about is IT, especially testing and quality assurance. Since I consult mainly in the banking industry, I am also interested in new developments in this industry sector. On my last trip to the US, I was curious how banks present their offerings in the display windows branches. I made some pictures in New York, which I want to share with you.

Citibank

Their promise is to ease their customers’ life, e.g., with guaranteed reaction times for loans or helping them getting a better overview about their personal financial matters (sorry for the bad picture).

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Easing their custmers’ life, this fits very well to their ads for their mobile banking.

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TD Bank

The bank might not be known around the world, but their unique selling Proposition is easy to understand. They want to be the most convenient bank. Each advertisement stresses this.

Open seven days a week…
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…long opening hours…

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…various channels…
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Another small gesture:
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HSBC

I did not see any eye-catching ads. However, it is interesting how they market their self-service terminals. They do not mention cost saving opportunities for them or their customers. They call it express banking. Nice idea.
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Bank of America

Another large bank, many good ideas, but they do not get a consistent message such as the TD bank. They want to connect with their customers. They state it and add some un-perfect looking snapshots. The terminology reminds me of social media though their initiative is not relate to Facebook, Twitter or something similar.
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Interesting is that they offer a QR link.
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They offer mobile Banking apps. In contrast to Citi Bank, it is not 100% clear how this offer relates to their overall strategy…
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A nice way to show their customers the various branches and ATMs in the neighborhood…
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Traditional Banks

The photos above show innovative ideas. Others Banks are more conservative. I also added some photos here so stress the difference. The Sovereign bank has a colorful design, but nothing to remember.
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The Berkshire Bank is proud of their 25 years history and emphasis their interest rates. That is quite traditional marketing.
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Capital One makes a quite repelling impression.
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But cetainly, good marketing (alone) does not mean to be successful …

How do you think about the marketing of these banks? Did you see anything interesting somewhere else?

First published: June 1st, 2013

 

Test Data Management in Practice

Do you have issues with your legal and compliance department because test environments contain sensitive data outsourcing partners must not see? Do your testers have idle time because test data are missing or test environments have inconsistent data? If any of these challenges applies to your situation, the concepts of this paper can help. The first concept is database-application-aware test cases. They enforce that test cases for business applications provide all information needed for repeatable execution. Second, a type
concept eases the test case maintenance and preparation of test data for a test start without delays. Third, a test data catalogue lists database objects for the various types. Finally, architectural patterns describe various ways to set up test environments with production and/or synthetic test data. This paper focuses on integrating these concepts into the daily test process. This includes the tool aspect, which we illustrate with our Swisscom Test Data Organizer. Read the complete article Test Data Management in Practice

This article appeared appeared in the conference journal of the Software Quality Days 2013, Vienna.

Three New Technologies That Will Disrupt Your Test Organization

New technologies such as Cloud, SOA, and multi-tenant systems boost ASP and BSP sourcing models. This fundamentally changes the task portfolio and staffing needs of test organizations. CIOs prevent quality and cost problems by initiating the change process early.

Read the complete article about future trends in testing here…

This article appeared at the 2012 Software Testing, Analysis, and Review West Conference (STARWEST 2012), September 30 – October 5th, 2012, Anaheim, CA

Testing & Quality Assurance in Data Migration Projects

New business models, constant technological progress, as well as ever-changing legal regulations require that companies replace their business applications from time to time. As a side effect, this demands for migrating the data from the existing source application to a target application. Since the success of the application replacement as a form of IT maintenance is contingent on the underlying data migration project, it is crucial to accomplish the migration in time and on budget. This however, calls for a stringent data migration process model combined with well-defined quality assurance measures. The paper presents, first, a field-tested process model for data migration projects. Secondly, it points out the typical risks we have frequently observed in the course of this type of project. Thirdly, the paper provides practice-based testing and quality assurance techniques to reduce or even eliminate these data migration risks.

Read more about how to ensure smooth data Migration Projects with testing and QA here…

This article is joined work together with Florian Matthes and Christopher Schulz and presented at the 27th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM’11), Williamsburg, VA, Sept. 25-30, 2011.

Know-How Transfer in Core-Banking System Implementation Projects: A Case Study

In the last years, many Swiss banks replaced their old core-banking systems with new ones. Implementing a core baking-system requires that the bank, the software vendor, and the implementation partner collaborate. Crucial for the collaboration and the project success is planned and unplanned know- how transfer. This case study examines the know-how transfer in a core- banking system implementation project for a retail bank with around 200 project members. We describe the sourcing network and different roles people have with respect to know-how transfer. We elaborate the methods used within the project for know-how transfer and present first results of a study looking on their effectiveness. Thus, this paper gives project managers a good insight into know-transfer within a project and points out how to stimulate them successfully.

Read the complete paper about know how Transfer in core-banking system implementation projects here…

This paper is joined work together with Marcel Heuberger and was presented at the Central and East European Conference on Software Engineering Techniques (CEE-SET 2009), Krakow, Poland, October 12-14, 2009