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Our client is a San Diego biotech company that developed a cloud-hosted web application synchronizing medications across all patient levels, including pharmacy, nursing, and IT, to provide patients with the correct dosage and avoid costly mistakes.
When we joined the project in June 2018, the client needed a way to successfully test their software under various circumstances to ensure fast, secure, and quality delivery.
The best way to give our client what they needed was to integrate manual testing vs automation testing for their project.
A medical device software testing service is significant in the medical industry, where the correct functioning of an application can be a life-and-death matter.
The end goal of any medical device software testing service is to reduce manual overhead, gain faster response times, and ensure all tests are consistent with expected outcomes.
Selenium, Azure, Octopus
Medical Device, Manufacturing
While our initial client engagement focused on manual testing, our Integrant team aimed to show the client the advantages of automation testing over manual testing.
Soon after, the team introduced its test automation services and transitioned the client to an automated test environment, increasing performance, efficiency, and overall business value. This is the story of our successful partnership!
Developing automated testing web applications is a challenging feat. Each application and environment will present its own unique set of challenges. However, in the medical industry, application systems and protocols are generally very complex.
The first challenge was primarily technical in working with our biotech client and getting ready to integrate our test automation services. We were confronted with a considerably complex, high-stakes environment that involved interactions with three different infrastructures, 4-5 ways to import data into the medication management system, and hundreds of screens for managing that data.
We needed to understand the application well enough to write down the test cases and run the scenarios correctly.
The next element involved the business challenges – primarily relationship building with our client, coordinating workflows, and setting up a distributed team across Egypt, Jordan, and San Diego.
As demonstrated below, we addressed these challenges primarily by adopting an agile approach focused on transparency, collaboration, and relationship-building.
When it comes to automation vs manual software testing, building an integrated test automation environment within a complex medication management application presented us with several technical and business challenges.
However, through an agile approach comprising daily standups, sprint planning, and sprint retros, we helped ensure everyone agreed on the same page and agreed on our automation test plan.
As a result, we were able to engineer an automated environment that increased time to market, improved efficiency, and reduced cost. Here are the best practices and “soft skills” we adopted that helped us deliver that value to our client.
The crux of this program involves adding another engineer to a project for every four billable engineers so they can “shadow” and become easily integrated into an existing workflow.
This approach enables us to rotate our engineers across departments more seamlessly and provides each team member with 10 “free” weeks for technical and soft skills retraining. This system encourages a healthy work-life balance and increases retention and employee morale.
When we kicked off work with our biotech client, we immersed ourselves in learning about the environment by reading documentation, asking questions, and conducting client meetings to fill in gaps.
Thanks to the discipline provided by the 4Plus1 program, our developers were already accustomed to an agile mindset and able to adapt quickly to the complex needs of this new project.
If someone requested vacation, for example, project work continued uninterrupted because we could integrate another developer who was already engaged and knew how to step in.
Another pillar of success behind our 4Plus1 program is how we undertake knowledge management. We’ve found that conducting data dumps and briefings with the client and then recording those into videos provides a handy resource for onboarding our new engineers.
We’ve also created a Sharepoint environment where we post the videos and other supporting documentation on the testing standards we ask our engineers to review. Gathering these materials is a lot of work, but the tradeoff is well worth the effort. The payoff is the increased efficiencies we’ve seen as we’ve rotated new engineers into the project.
At Integrant, we are always committed to exceeding our client’s expectations every time. We believe one of the secrets that keep us so focused and efficient is our flexible work schedule.
If someone wishes to start their work hours early or leave late, we leave that up to them – as long as the client’s core hours are covered. Maintaining flexibility has enhanced and strengthened our team culture and given us a sense of ownership that benefits our client and team.
This flexibility also helps us to stay organized and efficient. For example, to set everyone up for success, the team added a centralized repository of tools and resources to help facilitate our agile workflows, including testing tools to assist with our test automation services (Selenium), deployment (Octopus), cloud hosting (Azure), and content and data facilitating (SharePoint) to name a few.
But every good process can still become better. As our team’s involvement in this medical device software testing project grew, we realized the need for another level of transparency and accountability.
To facilitate this, we adopted a rigorous peer review process to gather and discuss each user story to ensure everyone was on the same page. We also adopted a series of exit interviews and discussions on resourcing and stepped in to address information gaps where necessary.
The last step was a final review and spell check before handing the user stories to the client.
One of the core principles behind our success as a team in general and with our approach to implementing test automation services is our focus on building solid relationships with our clients.
During our client engagement over the past two years, we visited onsite half a dozen times, especially during critical peaks around major software releases.
These frequent visits created a sense of shared respect. The client saw and appreciated our commitment and began to trust us implicitly to work independently.
We integrated exceptionally well into their workflows and established an extremely organized and efficient collaborative process.
The favor was returned when our client’s Quality Global Lead visited the Integrant offices in Egypt and Jordan to show appreciation and solidarity with our team efforts.
Many things have changed since our partnership with our biotech client began in June 2018. Our original aim was to undertake manual testing vs automation testing on their medication management application. But as we integrated into the project and deployed our agile best practices for managing a large distributed team, the client quickly took notice of the advantages of automation testing over manual.
We started participating in some of the automated medical device software testing efforts onsite, and before long, the client entrusted us to write the remaining user stories and automated tests. Two years and 150 test cases later, the partnership remains very strong!
Integrant’s Vision is to transform the software development lifecycle through predictable results.