The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) is a $32 billion public pension system serving more than 350,000 members. Its mission is to administer a cost-efficient retirement plan that provides lifetime pension payments to public employees and serves to attract and retain a quality
Recently, a planned major upgrade to its system administration software required IPERS to standardize its testing process in an effort to streamline its communication between the IT team and the business stakeholders. Through an RFP process, Original Software was selected as the best technology tool to accomplish its testing goals.
Prior to 2015, IPERS did not have a formal testing strategy. Sharon Stilwell, a management analyst at IPERS, says “Our testing was left up to the individual, who relied on spreadsheets and self-knowledge to test what they felt was needed.”
Testing was done more on an ad-hoc basis rather than a documented process that tracked test results. Each tester followed their own best practices; some used screen-shots for documentation and others did not.
IPERS testing process suffered from a lack of structure, documentation, detailed
scenarios and consistency. With a major system upgrade in the near future, it was
essential to standardize the overall testing process.
The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) is a $32 billion public pension system serving more than 350,000 members.
To standardize the overall testing process
Streamline communications between IT & the business.
Provide an easier way to communicate test results with their software vendor
Reduced time to prove testing
Created an audit trail
Improved consistency of process
Better interface with vendor
Using Original Software’s Qualify AQM and TestAssist, IPERS was able to accomplish its goals to transform its testing process in an environment where communication between IT and business stakeholders could flourish. Chief Information Technology Officer Rick Hindman says, “Original Software creates an environment where both IT and business users are held accountable, with an enhanced transparency of processes. Original Software provides a single view of the entire Quality Management process.”
Pointing to the critical nature of the system administration software services provided to IPERS, Moen wanted to ensure a good relationship was maintained.
To that end, the vendor has three analysts on site with access to Original Software solutions.
This has improved communications, resulting in quicker defect
resolution and a much improved vendor-client relationship.
Linda Rogers, a system analyst, increased her efficiency using an Agile methodology (Original Software supports Agile, Waterfall and Hybrid methodologies).
Sharon Stilwell wanted to apply consistency of process across all testing efforts, as well as improve planning ability for both IT and business users.
With Original Software, not only can defects be fixed quickly and more easily, the consistency of process now makes the testers’ lives much easier!
Creating an Audit Trail
Another challenge developed for IPERS after applying patches. There was no means to determine how the software performed.
Now, with Original Software, the specific point in the process where the function works correctly can be identified and IPERS is able to document that action.
Additionally, historic data gathered from each phase is extremely helpful to plan future testing and identify team members with specific testing knowledge.
Proof of testing with a complete audit trail, including screen-shots, improves efficiency.
The Vision Moving Forward
With a more efficient process in place and a centralized view on quality, IPERS’ next step is to increase automation in user acceptance testing.
Hindman sees Original Software at the core of this vision of excellence. He feels that Original Software will drive more efficiency and free up time for planning in such areas as onboarding process documentation and training.
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