The client provides a wide range of services that enable clinical commissioners to focus their expertise and leadership in securing the best outcomes for patients and driving up quality of patient services. It provides services to 15 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) representing over 500 GP practices serving a population of 3.9m.
ROQ became a key partner of the client after the dissolution of Primary Care Trusts, which were replaced by CSUs.
The client required a revised test approach for the newly created CSU. At the point of ROQ’s engagement, there were several data repositories and many different Business Intelligence (BI) tools in place, and the main challenge for the programme was to find a way to consolidate all data processing into a single central MS SQL Server Data Warehouse, and subsequently reduce the number and variety of BI delivery systems presenting the data to a variety of stakeholders.
In addition, there was no internal test team in place, and the programme manager recognised the need for independent testing to be put in place as a priority, as part of a long-term solution. The client wanted to introduce an all-encompassing approach to quality assurance going forward, and have in place sound foundations for future testing capability, which included training in-house team members in the selected testing techniques and approaches.
Develop a strategy and quality approach to give solid foundations for the organisation
Implement a test method that supported both Agile and Waterfall delivery methods that were used on the programme
Mobilise a testing team with the necessary technical skills to test both data warehouse and BI applications
Utilise a core/flex model giving the capability to ramp-up to deliver automation and performance testing when required
Tools deployed: SpiraTest; Facilita Forecast; eggPlant Performance (cost-effective due to the ability to rent licences for VUsers); Red Gate SQL data generator (deployed to allow generation of sufficient test data aligned to test cases) Test Phases: system testing; systems integration testing; UAT; OAT; PAT; PGLS; data migration
Create improved test environments and put in place structure to use virtualised test environments going forward
Data validation migration and data cleansing related testing
Meet regulations by de-personalising data to ensure anonymity
Implement a suite of customised BI tools to deliver functionality, reporting and metrics via Tableau, a web-based front-end tool
Ensure conformity to information governance and patient safety guidelines
Database interrogation; integration testing; engaged for the full set of testing approaches
Remain mindful of budget and delivery timescales
Ensured data was secured and protected whilst remaining accessible to clinicians
Cleansed data to ensure accuracy
Ensured the solutions would perform under the anticipated load
Successfully embedded the ROQ team into existing client teams, quickly understanding requirements, working in partnership with the client with a proactive approach and collaborative focus
The client acknowledged that the service delivered by ROQ exceeded their expectations. It was considered that although the project raised many challenges and constraints, the testing expertise and experience of the test team was first-class
The significant number of critical defects found in the early releases of the solution meant risks identified and mitigated early (shift left)
ROQ stood firm against the exit gate criteria and the release was ultimately delayed. This was regarded as a positive step by the business sponsors, as ROQ’s independence and expertise (backed up by solid evidence) enabled this money-saving decision. This initiative encouraged the development company to improve its standards to ensure future deliveries didn’t fail in a similar way. Thus, the quality criteria in future releases was met earlier in the life cycle, saving money and delivering business value.