Case Study | Retail Remote Testing Delivery

At Spike, we work with leading retailers to deliver an outstanding customer experience and enable business growth through innovative digital platforms.

This is how we recently improved remote testing delivery with cloud infrastructure, open source tooling and coaching for a major UK fashion retailer.

Benefits:

  • Produced a Return on Investment of £240,000
  • 80% reduction in regression testing effort
  • Shorter change delivery windows
  • Ten-fold increase to 10,000 automated regression tests running per month
  • Modernised tooling integrated to Continuous Integration cycles
  • Use of AWS cloud to reduce costs for servers when not in use

Our engagement with our offshore partner on our automation journey has advanced greatly since the changes that Spike95 and the team have landed. The confidence that our new approach gives to our business and product owner communities is clear, in terms that can be comprehended and evaluated against business risk. Over the last 8 months there has been significant change in the approach to allow complete/subset and highly targeted runs to be executed.

Head of Testing and Transformation

Background

A major UK fashion retailer embarked on a 3-year programme of work to implement a new global online retail platform and safely migrate away from their legacy estate.

  • Once the initial programme came to a natural conclusion, business focussed Scrum teams were to be assembled to drive software change to production while providing the agility to quickly determine business demand delivering the greatest value.
  • With a high degree of business change in the backlog, Spike were engaged to provide technical leadership to ensure the new teams would shift the paradigm radically and drive improved change velocity.

Our Approach

We implemented AWS virtual machines with the necessary firewall rules to integrate into the client estate as shared resources to be used by the performance and automation teams across multiple global locations.

Release automation
  • Refactoring the Micro Focus UFT solution to allow simpler maintainability
  • Traceability through requirements and test configurations
  • Micro Focus ALM Workflow using API’s for governance
  • Integration into CI process using Jenkins and source controlled using Atlassian BitBucket
  • Production smoke testing for live deployment proving
Performance testing
  • Migrated from Micro Focus StormRunner to JMeter delivering cost savings on licensing
  • Migrated Legacy pack from The Grinder to JMeter to align solution technology, consistency and skills
  • Cyber Week and Christmas peak performance testing in production environment
  • Grafana dashboards for real-time performance monitoring
  • Implemented Jenkins to control scheduled execution and DevOps build triggers
Squad automation
  • Cucumber, Selenium, Java using page object pattern
  • Integration with Atlassian Jira testing solutions using APIs
  • Reducing overall maintenance of the test suite by removing duplication
  • Implemented a json data layer to simplify Cucumber features
  • Reducing the length and complexity of features from 100 steps to<10
  • Coaching, mentoring & training offshore delivery capability
  • Introduced Kanban workload & integration into BitBucket for branching & merging

Conclusion

  • Constant communication, coaching, mentoring and a clearly articulated vision are needed to provide the necessary foundations to build a remote technical capability
  • Most teams are open to transformation and change, but often benefit from external help, expertise and guidance
  • Collaboration between suppliers is possible with strong leadership

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