A Multinational Energy Company’s Success With Zephyr Scale
Simplifying end-to-end test management in Jira
About this Energy Company
Their purpose: let everyone make the most of their energy and resources, bringing progress and sustainability to all.
They operate with the belief that access to energy and digital solutions is a basic human right, and aim to integrate process and energy technologies. They help businesses to be more efficient and sustainable, and offer a full range of control and software services.
Problem: Needs for Energy Solutions Are Only Going up
This company’s integrated solutions are built with safety, reliability, and cybersecurity for everywhere people need: homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and industries. They cover a lot of ground, but for test manager Ishtiaq Qureshi, the most important thing is ensuring that quality assurance is adhered to as they grow, no matter what part of the company they’re dealing with.
“We do a lot of different things, but primarily it’s making electric components,” says Ishtiaq. “Electric switches, telemetry systems, lighting tunnel solutions. In my role, we look at telemetry systems to monitor air and water pressure, and canal or river levels. It’s not a typical software house setup; I’m more overseeing the process.”
Because of that non-traditional setup, Ishtiaq is also a Jira administrator. He looks at the process, ensuring that the engineers who are also the testers follow the QA guidelines. “For example, putting in the right data and creating cycles.”
“But aside from that, I’m looking at the actual DevOps side of things. Looking at continuous integration, getting some of our tests automated and into that pipeline.”
Things Were a Bit “Disorganized“ at the Start
“When I joined, I was responsible for looking after Jira and rolling out the test process using the previous test management tool,“ he says. “The configuration of the test tool wasn’t optimal and was a bit fragmented. I was able to set it up to its most efficient effect, but it still wasn’t as efficient as it could have been for us.”
“A complaint against our then-current system: not being able to put together simple information, end to end. For example, from the requirement all the way to the defects and tests – it was a series of simple tasks that got way too complicated.”
Ishtiaq noted that, from that point, there were several tools worth looking at on the Atlassian marketplace.
Looking for the Practical Solution
As mentioned above, the main goal of Ishtiaq’s team is to effectively manage testing, end to end, without it being complicated. “As one of the engineers puts it – without being onerous,“ he says. “You simply attach this to here and then go to another screen without making it more complicated than it needs to be.”
Ishtiaq goes on to say that the other test management systems he looked at created tests and executions as issues, and “that can add an extra burden” to manage.
“That was the main reason we chose Zephyr Scale: it separates those test entities, but also keeps that link within Jira. It remains native within Jira and managed nicely.”
"The main goal of Ishtiaq’s team is to effectively manage testing, end to end, without it being complicated."
Hit the Ground Running
One of the examples Ishtiaq commented on was installation. “On other systems, you install it and have to set up the workflow and everything. The fields, the layout, everything. With Zephyr Scale, it’s simply a case of installing the add-on and then enabling the module for the project. And then everything is there. You’re good to go.”
“With some of the other ones, you have to set up the workflow and everything, you have to set up the fields and the layout. Whereas with Zephyr Scale it’s simply a case of installing the add-on and then enabling it for the project, and then everything is there.”
It’s the Small Things
“One thing that surprised me was that when you go into a story and you can see which tests are attached. With that kind of view it was really useful to see all the executions in the Jira Issue view,” Ishtiaq says.
“That’s quite useful to see while adding the cycles to the actual story. It helps for traceability and keeping track of the overall cycle progress. Small things like that are very useful.”
Single, Unified Library
Another feature Ishtiaq commented on was the main portal for Zephyr Scale, and its ability to let you quickly switch between tests and cycles.
“That’s a big benefit simply because you can track where you are. The other tools don’t have that view. You can’t switch quickly between them, so it requires you to navigate back and forth. With Zephyr Scale, you have a central test library view where you can quickly go to the cycles.”
He noted the big improvement over their former setup. “And then you have our original test management system. It required you to go to the test, then to the test executions, then you had to fiddle around columns – but none of it is within the same view. Even though you have all the test executions there, it’s still not organized in any way.”
“When using Zephyr Scale, you can add folders on the sides. For example, if you want to categorize your cycles. Zephyr Scale is more flexible in that sense.”
Usability That Speeds up Adoption
Ishtiaq reckons that usability is far more important for helping with the adoption of a new tool or process in the company. And Zephyr Scale proved to be up for the task.
“You can do the same thing across all tools,” he says. “For example, they all have hierarchical test-folder structure. But which one’s easier to use? Which one’s more beneficial?”
“When the team set up that former test management system, they created the tests as issues, but no one used that hierarchical test-folder structure. It was basically neglected because it was not there on the main menu. Whereas in Zephyr Scale, you have it there in front of you, so you end up using it.”
He concluded, “You have to make it as simple as possible. Otherwise people are just going to ignore it.”
“You have to make it as simple as possible. Otherwise people are just going to ignore it." Ishtiaq reckons that usability is far more important for helping with the adoption of a new tool or process in the company.
Scaling up Testing in Jira
Ishtiaq then mentioned how they plan on going the next level up. “We’ve got 4 to 5 big projects coming up, and have a standardized workflow in Jira. So, we’re using Jira quite heavily to manage our stories and epics.”
Plans are to use Zephyr Scale in a more managed way. “For example, when planning the cycles quite early on, and putting the timings in Zephyr Scale,” he points out.
The scale of testing is also going up for Ishtiaq and his team. “At the moment we’ve had, say, a hundred tests. Soon this is going to be about 500-600. That’s our plan. It’s scaling up a lot cause they’re quite massive projects.”
And it’s not just the number of tests that’s growing, but also the team itself.
“In addition to getting more testers, there is going to be a lot more developers and project managers using the whole Jira platform at the same time.
Especially the project managers. I can think of at least four or five that will be interested in those dashboard reports.”
The Result: Scalable, End-To-End Test Management
Ishtiaq’s story shows how he was able to take advantage of a scalable, performant test management with Zephyr Scale.
With a familiar look and feel, it seamlessly integrated with Jira to help teams get up and running quickly. New members are now getting onboarded at increasing rates.
With flexible workflow, you have better collaboration between teams, while end-to-end traceability ensures enhanced coverage and impact analysis.
To see Zephyr Scale in action, schedule a demo or take a free trial today. For more info about Zephyr Scale, you can also visit the product page.