Quality Assurance

 

At CTS, we believe in a QA process that starts early in the Software Development Lifecycle. The earlier you start QA activities, the earlier you will start eliminating defects and reducing your overall costs. CTS begins QA activities in the requirements phase and continues throughout deployment.

 

CTS believes that QA is not a one size fits all solution. We look at your company's individual needs and plan QA activities to fit your budget and risk tolerance. We clearly report the quality of the solution, including areas that have not been tested and their associated risks. At CTS, we make Quality Assurance a priority. One of our core principles has always been quality, and using our Guardian testing methodology helps ensure our solutions meet the highest standards. By getting CTS involved early in the QA process, we will help deliver quality, performance, and return on investments.

Quality Assurance at CTS specializes in the following:

 

At CTS, test management is more than providing pass/fail metrics of test cases; it is a combination of robust methodology processes and strong communication skills. Our test management activities are repeatable yet flexible enough so that we can tailor them to meet specific testing scenarios.

 

CTS's Guardian Methodology contains proven processes that result in successful quality assurance engagements. We apply our test management practices throughout the project lifecycle, beginning with test scoping in the requirements phase and continuing through deployment. Our test leads not only plan and track testing activities, they possess strong communication skills. It does not mater how many metrics a test lead uses to track testing activities; if he or she cannot communicate that status to the client, they will not have a successful relationship.

Whether you call it the QA Center of Excellence, Quality Management Office, or QA Team, CTS can help you get your QA services operational. We analyze your people, processes, and tools to develop a customized roadmap for your QA group.

 

CTS will guide you through the process of training staff, setting up tools, and defining your process. We use a combination of our best practices and your culture to develop a process that will work for your company and your people. In the end, your company will have an established QA group helping you reduce your overall costs.

Manual testing is more than just writing and running a test script. Manual testing needs a repeatable process, good communication skills, and a great team. At CTS, we have tailored a repeatable process specifically for manual testing within our Guardian Methodology.

 

Four pillars are the foundation of any successful Quality Assurance project. These pillars are support from management, adequate time, testable requirements, and a mature change management process. A stable QA process cannot be achieved until all 4 are met. Missing any one item will cause the process to collapse, just as removing a pillar from a building would cause it to become unstable. Once the pillars are in place, the entire company can enjoy the benefits related to a QA process. These include:

  • Accurate indicator of project progress              
  • Increased capacity for new projects
  • Improved system quality
  • Reduced total cost of ownership
  • Reduced production issues
  • Potential increase in ROI
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced time to market

At CTS, we stress the importance of engaging the key stakeholders in the planning process. This helps them to see the effort as a positive endeavor, which leads to management buy-in. Management buy-in has a significant impact on the outcome of the testing effort. To get the most out of a testing effort there must be adequate time for testing. CTS believes testing efforts should have their own schedules. If there is a delay that causes the testing start date to shift, the entire testing schedule must shift.

During the test planning stage, CTS Consultants review the requirements to determine their testability. Reviewing requirements early allows us time to ask for clarification before test writing begins. CTS believes a good change management process is essential for a manual testing effort, because requirements often change before the testing effort is complete.

We believe in creating automation frameworks that are extensible and easily maintainable. Our years of experience in test automation give us the advantage of creating a repeatable process with no manual intervention required. We believe that time should be spent in executing your scripts and analyzing the results, not maintaining poorly designed or poorly implemented scripts.

 

At CTS, we have refined our Automation methodology and process to make our approach "tool agnostic". That means that we can work with whichever tool your organization has purchased or is considering for purchase. We build a modular framework so that the automation changes as your application changes while making use of your existing test artifacts, such as manual test cases and test data. Finally, when it comes time to view the results, we provide customized reporting to provide the answers you need to determine the overall health of your application.

Your clients, customers, and employees demand performance. If your software is not working fast enough, they're not getting what they need. At CTS, we believe in using a software engineering approach to performance, load, and stress testing to ensure your software is up to speed.

 

We start by analyzing the performance goals and requirements and then plan our performance testing to simulate real world user scenarios accurately. Whether we are performing a spike test for an upcoming marketing event or an endurance test for your busiest time of the year, we take the same disciplined engineering approach and produce quality reports with the metrics you need.

At CTS, we understand that data is essential to your business. You make important business decisions based on your data, and we make sure the data is accurate so you can make the best decisions. We recognize business intelligence quality assurance requires a fundamental understanding of business intelligence itself.

 

CTS focuses on applying our Quality Assurance methodology to all aspects of business intelligence, from the extraction, transformation, and load (ETL) of a source to the presentation of data in a report or other physical medium. By coupling our methodology with the understanding of the unique needs of business intelligence validation, CTS quality assurance can meet the needs of any business intelligence venture.

Whether you have an enterprise financial system or enterprise system that handles medical information – your company needs its core IT solutions working through change cycles.

 

Enterprise Level Quality Assurance encompasses in-depth levels of testing throughout the change process. Whether you use a third party ERP system or an in-house .Net environment, updates and changes are necessary to keep pace with today's technology needs; ensuring functionality and performance during these changes is just as critical.

During implementation, CTS identifies risks and turns them into appropriate testing models of mitigation. These first steps are critical to building a foundation of continuous improvement. 

The product of this test development is a self contained, automated regression suite of tests that you can use to lower incidents during your change processes. CTS has implemented this solution for Enterprise systems like PeopleSoft and Maximo. Through the execution of Regression Models, clients saw between a 30% and 50% decrease of incidents in the first year, and a 15% to 25% decrease in subsequent years through isolating recurring incidents.

"Last week was good, yesterday was fast, and tomorrow has to be faster."

 

Making the leap to agile software development can be fun if you are a project manager or business analyst, nerve racking if you are a developer, and a nightmare if you are a software quality engineer. Whether you are just getting started in agile processes or are a veteran Scrum Master, CTS has three basic goals while testing in an agile process:

  • Test early
  • Test the process
  • Learn

Keeping up with risks, test cases, test results, automation, and performance tests can be very challenging in the agile world. Your first goal is to start testing early at a unit and component level of the system. CTS starts by quickly identifying test candidates for automation. The key to agile automation is at these unit and component levels since user interfaces are in a constant form of change. The more automation applied to these levels of testing, the more efficient your process will be.

The last two goals must go hand in hand. During retrospective processes, CTS identifies flaws in the agile process based on various metrics found in testing. With proper root cause analysis, CTS can take an agile process and make it faster.