Technology. Accenture Application Testing Services. Embedding quality into the application development life cycle

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1 Technology Accenture Application Testing Services Embedding quality into the application development life cycle

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3 Quality First for Better Outcomes IT costs are continuing to climb. Technology is getting more complex. The demand for applications that work all the time is increasing. And development turnaround times are getting shorter. As the final step before release, testing teams are under intense pressure to quickly and thoroughly test applications. Accenture thinks differently about application testing more innovatively and holistically. Instead of testing for quality at the end, we focus on it throughout the application development life cycle. In other words, we follow a simple, yet essential, axiom: quality in, quality out. Accenture combines this industrialized focus on quality with productivity improvements and flexible sourcing. Our 14,000+ testing professionals define themselves as stewards of end-to-end quality and can deliver increased testing productivity at a cost-effective price. We demonstrate this commitment by conducting comprehensive quality improvement activities in each phase of the application development life cycle from plan, analyze and design to build, test and deploy. (See Figure 1) We complete these critical but often missed series of activities to help improve upstream aspects of the testing process related to requirements, release and software configuration management. Only then do we focus on validating the design, functionality and performance of the application using automated test scripts and other advanced measures to help improve productivity and reduce costs. As a final step, we help our clients operate their testing capability with a stronger focus on quality. Figure 1: Accenture End-to-End Quality Model 2

4 A Better Approach Organizations are looking for new ways to curtail testing costs while increasing testing breadth. This is especially true when companies can spend as much as 10 to 12 percent of the annual IT budget fixing core application problems. 1 Accenture can deliver cost reductions and scalability improvements and we go one step further. We work to improve testing productivity through automation and industrialization, while also emphasizing a holistic, end-to-end quality strategy in order to drive quality throughout the application development life cycle. In many cases, we also assume the day-to-day operation of the testing capability for our clients. Combined with our offshore testing services and flexible sourcing model, Accenture s approach can potentially reduce the cost of poor quality to less than five percent of IT spend. Accenture Application Testing Services provides a full suite of testing strategy, execution, management and quality improvement services, combined with an enhanced mix of successfully demonstrated testing processes, assets and dedicated testing professionals to deliver potential benefits, such as: Up to 50 percent reduction in costs of test operation Positive return on investments (ROI) through test operation centralization Two-fold increase in tester productivity for both creating test scripts and executing test plans Improvement in speed-to-market to more than 90 percent on time, on budget Up to more than 80 percent reduction in the number of critical defects introduced into production Less than one percent production defects Reduction in cost of poor quality to less than five percent of total project cost. As more organizations recognize that testing excellence and holistic quality are integral to high performance, Accenture is ready to help them build testing skills, improve functionality, and achieve economy of scale savings and efficiencies. Innovative Testing Structure and Scalability Boost Bank s Performance Due to significant growth, a large North American bank needed to create a dynamic testing organization that could deliver more efficient, cost effective and higher quality testing services. The goal was to improve overall speed to market while gaining the ability to ramp up staff based on actual testing demand. Accenture created a Testing Center of Excellence for the client to provide a flexible staffing model for testing resources from a few dozen to more than 850 Accenture offshore/nearshore resources depending on need. Many of these testing professionals were located in our India Delivery Center, which operates with CMM Level 5 certification and BS7799 certification. Using Accenture s standardized approach and tools for end-to-end functional testing, the center expanded testing automation and improved the bank s testing capabilities. Once testing was transformed, Accenture took over responsibility for running the Testing Center of Excellence. These efforts produced: Significant improvement in production quality and earlier defect capture Substantial gains in measurable productivity and quality, including script execution, automation penetration and defect acceptance rates. The combination of Accenture s testing services, processes, assets and professionals not only improved the bank s speed to market but also delivered a 22 percent productivity increase to date. Today, the Testing Center of Excellence has grown to support multiple lines of business and provide high-quality testing services for 300+ applications for the bank. 3

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6 Extensive and Focused Testing Capabilities Accenture has provided end-to-end testing and quality services from locations around the world for more than 20 years. Our testing practice consists of 14,000+ testing professionals across North and South America, Europe and Asia. All of our testing professionals are highly trained through regular participation in our Accenture global standard testing training curriculum, as well as our comprehensive industry and tool certification program, which includes certifications such as Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB), Certified Quality Software Analyst (CQSA) and HP/Mercury LoadRunner among others. Accenture Application Testing Services provides both strategic and tactical testing experience to clients in four main areas: Testing Strategy & Assessment: We assist clients with end-to-end testing assessment processes from planning through final recommendations. Testing Automation: We offer a robust set of tools and assets to consistently support the entire spectrum of automation-related testing activities. Performance Testing: We provide a wide range of strategic and tactical performance test and performance engineering services. Testing Center of Excellence: We can implement and operate a Testing Center of Excellence for clients, either at the enterprise level or within specific business units. Accenture primarily delivers these services through our Global Testing Centers of Excellence (TCoE) Network, located in 18 countries. The network combines skilled people, established processes and reusable assets to offer cost-efficient and consistent access to extensive, industryleading capabilities on a 24/7 basis. In each center, our testing professionals focus on providing integrated service delivery and use a successfully demonstrated Testing Maturity Modeldriven approach to help establish, maintain and improve operational excellence of testing organizations. Given our emphasis on quality, the Global TCoE Network is ISO and Capability Maturity Model Integration-certified, and offers other relevant industry certifications as well. Figure 2: Accenture Application Testing Services 5

7 Figure 3: Global Testing Center of Excellence Network The Next Testing Frontier: Quality Centers of Excellence It is commonplace for companies to conduct testing offshore and to automate testing to improve productivity. What is next in testing after offshoring and automation? Where should an organization add testing resources? Are there additional ways to increase quality in the testing process? To answer these questions, Accenture is forging ahead with a strategic concept in testing for clients Quality Centers of Excellence. We are known as an industry leader in clean code-automation, flexible models, a global network of testing resources and end-to-end quality measures. Through Quality Centers of Excellence, we are breaking new ground in the testing field by taking a strategic and methodical approach to improving quality upstream in each phase of the application development life cycle. A Quality Center of Excellence creates transparency through an end-to-end view of defects, addressing them where they were injected, not where they were detected. Quality Centers of Excellence focus on incorporating measures and visibility into the application development life cycle, and providing insights into where to drive targeted improvements. By using a Quality Center of Excellence to identify root causes and reduce defects earlier in the cycle, the quality of code sent to a Testing Center of Excellence, which is responsible for delivering testing services and outcomes without control over the quality of the system, is significantly higher. Quality code also makes the testing turnaround time even shorter, which translates into speed to market for our clients. 6

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9 Specialization Improves Testing Speed The majority of Accenture s testing professionals are focused on functional test delivery. However, as our quality and testing professionals become more senior, they specialize in an industry vertical in the Global TCoE Network. In addition, a number of our testing team members are aligned with various technology platforms, including SAP and Oracle. Industry or ERP specialization allows Accenture to provide faster, more focused testing services for industry applications and functionality, such as manual and automated testing scripts for health, property and casualty insurance claims. Our testing professionals find that a deep understanding of the industry context also improves our end-to-end focus on quality and productivity, making transitions smoother and delivery less risky. This can translate into tangible reductions in the time required to manage the testing service from our clients. Accenture Innovates in Testing Accenture continually strives to be ahead of the curve in application testing. As part of our commitment to quality and productivity in every phase of the application development life cycle, our people collaborate to develop trendsetting testing and end-to-end quality related innovations. We help our clients achieve their stated IT objectives by offering patented and patent-pending testing assets and tools such as: Applied statistics testing Accenture is leveraging the Hexawise test design tool to incorporate applied statistics-based testing into Accenture Delivery Methods for Testing, our industrialized testing approach. Applied statistics-based testing is a method for conducting more rigorous, up-front testing planning to optimize test coverage and quality while minimizing test effort. Quality Centers of Excellence We are establishing client-specific Quality Centers of Excellence to drive quality upstream in each phase of the application development life cycle through process, training and tools. (See sidebar entitled The Next Testing Frontier for more information.) Testing in a cloud Accenture is actively piloting ways to use the cloud to create virtual, ad-hoc testing environments to allow organizations to quickly scale and conduct testing using available public computing power, thereby eliminating the need for additional infrastructure purchases. Accenture Test Automation We use a proprietary framework for accelerating the development of automated test scripts for ERP applications to reduce test execution effort, shorten the testing cycle and redirect testing resources to higher-value testing activities. Our framework includes a keyword-driven test designer interface, which is integrated with HP s QuickTest Professional software and IBM s Rational Functional Tester, to help compose reusable test scripts and assemble tests; a test execution engine that interprets component logic and executes test procedures and reports test status; and test data management to reduce test bed data setup time, and adapt or align test best data to the environment. Remote Test, Offshore, Simulate and Automate (ROSA) Handset Device Testing Accenture offers a successfully demonstrated model of testing libraries, simulator labs and remote testing labs to help original equipment manufacturers and mobile operators to test mobile devices. Using our ROSA model, clients can deliver higher quality handsets with potentially up to a 60 percent reduction in testing costs, while improving time to market and increasing the volume of release testing. As an example of our innovation in action, Accenture extended the usability capabilities of a leading test management tool while conducting a testing engagement for a large UKbased communications provider. We established and now run a Testing Center of Excellence to support end-to-end testing and deliver cost reductions, quality enhancements and continuous productivity improvement. Through the center, a team of 400 Accenture testing specialists provide ongoing functional test, test architecture, test environment management and demand management for approximately 100 of the client s enterprise applications. To maximize cost reductions, we established an output-based pricing model called test points using comparative period-byperiod metrics. To date, the center has reduced testing costs by 50 percent while providing more than 100 continuous quality improvements in the first year. 8

10 Assets to Deliver on Expectations Accenture s testing assets, methodologies and tools are applied throughout the testing components of the applications development life cycle to enable more cost effective and faster services while confirming that quality is woven into every phase. (See Figure 4.) Accenture leverages our Test Metrics Framework to drive transparency across the applications development life cycle and serve as the basis for service-level agreements when we operate a TCoE for our clients. We also use rigorous dashboards and tools to measure aspects of the testing process, including how quality and productivity are improving in each testing effort. Accenture takes a vendor agnostic approach to application testing services. However, we maintain strong relationships with a number of major testing tool suite owners in order to quickly assemble an appropriate solution for our clients. For example, Accenture has been HP/Mercury s Partner of the Year for three of the last six years. Figure 4: Accenture Quality Life Cycle Innovations 9

11 The range and size of its testing contracts have enabled Accenture to rapidly evolve its internal capabilities in test automation with reusable components, refined methodologies, and processes to accelerate the quality and speed of delivery for clients. Copyright IDC MarketScape: Global Testing Services, 2010 Vendor Analysis (IDC # ), July References 1 Accenture High Performance IT research Combining Levers to Maximize Cost Reductions All organizations care about their bottom line. Testing can help improve a company s financial position through cost reductions, which can be achieved by pulling any of three levers: quality improvements, productivity improvements and flexible sourcing. More about these levers, which can be fine-tuned into multiple permutations, follows: Quality improvements Accenture s focus on quality across the application development life cycle through the implementation of standard methodology, processes and tools improves our clients quality maturity levels and reduces the cost of poor quality (or rework). We have worked with dozens of organizations to improve their overall quality maturity as measured by the Testing Maturity Model (TMM). Accenture is on the TMMi Foundation Board of Directors and has developed a patent-pending test assessment framework to measure and improve our clients quality maturity levels. Productivity improvements We specialize in helping our clients centralize their testing capabilities, enabling the synergies made possible from a shared services organization. We establish and operate centrally managed Testing Centers of Excellence to enable standardized testing services across the enterprise and eliminate redundancies. Similarly, automation, which contributes to productivity improvement, is ideally suited for a shared services model. Flexible sourcing Accenture s global scale enables us to provide alternatives for sourcing our testing engagements. As good fiscal stewards, we staff our testing engagements with skilled professionals from a mix of geographies, enhancing the skills of the resources along with the cost. 10

12 Contacts To learn more about how Accenture Application Testing Services can help your organization reduce testing costs and improve productivity while embedding quality into the application development life cycle, visit us at or contact: Jeff Wilkinson or John McEvoy About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 244,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, Its home page is Copyright 2012 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture /

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