Banks and Financial Institutions are increasingly investing in improving the credit origination process, introducing a higher degree of automation and tracking. Test is key to helping these efforts due to various factors. One of the major challenges faced in LOS Testing is the complex operational processes. Here is a checklist that will help banks and financial institutions to do away with implementation woes through better planning.
- Automate early, as you will have to test often – ‘Fail fast, fail early’ is the mantra in testing. By automating early, it is possible to maximize the reuse of tests effectively. This forms the basis for Continuous Integration, prioritization and fixing issues accordingly.
- Planning and estimation – Despite significant advances in development methodology, Workflow systems are significantly more fragile than operational systems. Due to the dynamic nature of workflows, empirically a higher degree of errors and breakdowns have been observed. A proactive approach is necessary for estimating the amount of effort and time necessary for implementation and LOS application testing. This typically includes the establishment of a test bed, generation of test data, and test scripts.
- SME led Test Automation design and execution – The goal of testing is to ensure a high degree of accuracy, and hence it is important that BA/SME get to execute tests without the need for specialist programming skills or technical assistance. This will make it easier for Functional Testing, Integrity Testing, Usability Testing, and User Acceptance Testing. SME’s should be a mix of
- Internal operations personnel who can anticipate unique business scenarios that were discussed but remain undocumented and
- Specialist testers who will bring a standard methodology and ensure systematic and comprehensive coverage.
While application knowledge is desirable, considering that institutions significantly tailor the workflow to their unique process, this might not provide a significant advantage.
- Preparation of quality test-data to provide maximum coverage – To ensure comprehensive coverage of all scenarios and different types of tests, data requirements have to be planned well in advance to cover all conceivable scenarios. This needs to include existing, expected and “expected unexpected” conditions of tests for achieving maximum coverage. Significant planning for upstream data is required to ensure that downstream conditions can be validated.
- Transparent defect management – Fixing issues needs to be transparent and in a manner that has all parties on the same page. The nature of LOS makes it multi-tiered and interlinked to various departments and processes. One of the primary functions of Testing is to keep the mainline code working always, and this needs to be achieved by involving/updating all concerned departments/stakeholders.
- Frequent Regression – Regression tests need to be conducted frequently. Financial institutions introduce new products, and releases, consequently, there is a need to conduct regression testing often to ensure that modifications do not impact other operational areas. Test cases need to be segregated and an automated regression testing approach (Risk Based Testing) needs to be put in place.
- Mix mode testing – The goal of reducing testing efforts can be met by intelligently mixing manual testing and automation testing. Each form of testing is best suited for certain test cases, and the ideal implementation of LOS Software needs to include a mix of both automation and manual testing.