Test strategy and delivery for product control at a global bank

By Certeco | March 17, 2017 | Categories: Case Studies | Tags:


Product control is critical in banking, as it is responsible for the financial reporting of the trading floor and the monitoring of trading activity. Our client was undergoing a major product control transformation (PCT), streamlining IT systems and processes in a bid to create efficiencies and cost savings. The transformation was complex, given the intricacy of the global IT architecture and the fact the programme spanned a number of countries, with their different regulatory and legal frameworks.

The programme was experiencing problems with software testing. There was no programme-wide testing strategy, little visibility of test coverage and critical defects were being identified in later test phases or even in production. As a result, confidence in the testing capability was low.

One challenge, which is inherent at many large organisations, was the lack of collaboration between the business and IT. The business was often involved too late in the test and development lifecycle, which led to the duplication of activities, causing delays and increased costs.


The bank came to Certeco for its quality assurance (QA) expertise and depth of financial services experience. Certeco essentially bridged the gap between the programme’s business and IT teams, working with both sides to create a programme-wide test strategy, which was aligned to the bank’s transformation framework and programme governance structures. The test strategy introduced comprehensive, standardised processes, which could be tailored to suit various development methodologies, including v-model and agile. After creation, Certeco embarked on socialising and embedding the test strategy across the programme.

Certeco’s expertise in test management, planning and scheduling was critical in ensuring the programme’s complex software releases were successfully delivered. Certeco worked closely with the client’s regional testing teams to improve testing outcomes through: the introduction of a risk based test approach, which uncovered previously hidden interdependencies and provided test coverage prioritisation; and the introduction of a defect management process that ensured defects were prioritised and effectively managed. Certeco also coached regional testing teams to adopt the principles of early business involvement.


  • Improved business confidence through reduced defect exposure: Certeco’s test approach reduced UAT defect exposure from 80% to 32% due to earlier defect detection, improving business confidence and defect fix costs.
  • Decline in rejected defects: Certeco used defect root cause analysis to identify and improve testing outcomes i.e. the number of rejected defects attributed to end user knowledge was reduced by 33% due to early engagement with business testers.
  • Creating best practice: The test strategy became the blueprint for all project testing approaches within the programme. The intention is to use the blueprint as a foundation for a testing centre of excellence.
  • Confidence: Consistent stakeholder engagement brought clarity and greater visibility of how the solution delivered against requirements.
  • Building a collaborative team approach: Certeco‘s diplomacy, communication skills and understanding helped to build bridges between the business and IT teams and create a more collaborative environment with an emphasis on teamwork.

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