Banking businesses thrive on market relevance and ever-evolving customer preferences. It matters a lot for banks to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. They can never compromise business quality as it may harm their reputation, incur a monetary loss, and take away their customer reliability. Compromising the quality of their services and systems may lead them to pay a significant penalty. Hence, testing is crucial in the event of new system installation or upgrades in banks.
Banks ensure to reform their services based on current trends and technologies as customer demands and preferences keep evolving. To stay relevant to their customers and stay ahead of their competitors, banks incorporate the latest technologies and improve their services, eventually improving the business metrics. Hence, banks must validate every business and system upgrade to retain customers and offer them a seamless experience.
Testing is an integral part of the banking systems which demands a more strategic approach than a random one. It involves a great amount of strategy and planning to ensure that the projects go live successfully without any glitches. As so it may look simple on the surface, testing the business and system upgrades are usually a critical process. There are many steps that an enterprise must consider during the testing of the upgrade projects. Here we have discussed 10 critical steps in testing that the enterprise business must not overlook if their end goal is to serve their customers well and succeed.
Steps in testing the banking business and system upgrades:
Before we consider the step for the execution of successful testing of the business and system, it is important to define the goals and objectives of the testing projects. Here are key considerations to make while determining testing projects of banks once you have determined the objectives of your testing project.
- Requirement gathering based on the project scope.
The testing projects of the business and system upgrade begin with an understanding of the project requirements. The scope of testing, the banking modules, menus, submenus and more are the essential components of any project.
Understanding the project requirements is a complex task as banking applications are quite diverse with multiple features and functionalities. The QA team must have a thorough understanding & awareness of banking modules, functionalities, various layers of application integration and more. The process can be complicated and the project scope may remain unidentified if the teams don’t gather adequate project requirements.
Is it an elaborate exercise to gather project requisites?
Requirement gathering is the entry phase of the software testing project. As a part of the project strategy, it is essential to gather the project requirements and understand the scope of the projects.
By gathering project requirements and understanding the project scope, it is easy to strategize, define, and measure the testing project outcome. It also helps in deploying manpower and determining the time and cost of the project. The team understands what is to be tested; they also understand if they are missing out on any important components, or any potential risk involved so that they can discuss with the stakeholders to have a detailed knowledge of requirements. The team also creates the requirement traceability matrix (RTM) to map the test cases.
- Requirement validation based on available resources (Time, money, and manpower)
Validating requirements helps the team streamline the testing projects and segregate them into categories to individually address the issues in each category and allow to resolve them immediately. Based on the project categories the requirements can vary. After gathering the project requirements, the team takes an overview of the available resources and validates if the available resources match the project requirements and identify the test environment.
Banking applications are usually complicated with multiple requirements. Also, based on new trends and customer requirements, the application features may change frequently. This dynamic nature of the requirements can further add complexity to the validation process, as they are subject to frequent changes based on the changing application features. Additionally, resource availability in terms of time, funds, and manpower may experience small variations, influenced by the specific project requirements and scope.
Can project requirements change frequently? Does frequent changing project requirements affect the testing project outcome?
Frequent changes in project requirements may not affect the project if requirement gathering is done considering all aspects. The diversions are evaluated by the project team to ensure they can accommodate frequent changes without affecting the project or workflow. Changes in applications are part of the project plan, so a pre-defined strategy and a thorough requirement validation can help the team to prepare with the time, money, and manpower for a successful test execution of business and system upgrades. The frequent changes will significantly not impact the project outcome if the requirements are gathered, assessed, and validated adequately before initiating the project.
- Planning tests under the scope of the AUT
Planning the test is a critical step for the effective execution of the software testing life cycle. Testers define the test plan, application under test, scope of testing and more to yield expected results. Based on requirement gathering and validation, the team also effectively calculates the effort, time and cost required for testing. The project team also develops the test strategies, methods, and techniques during this stage. They also identify the test cases, test deliverables and milestones. The planning stage will only be successful when a detailed plan is presented, reviewed, and approved.
The test planning stage can be complicated because this is the stage when all the essential components are defined. If one or more project components are not added, then there will be a lack of clear understanding of the project, testing objectives, and scopes, leading to issues in deliverables. Since the executable test cases are identified in this phase, if the roles and responsibilities are not assigned, and test plans are not reviewed and approved, it will be tough for the project team to move on to the next step.
Can the project team accommodate application changes if the request is raised at the later testing phases? Will it harm the project plan?
Application changes are normal and can be raised at any stage. The changes are purely based on regulatory and technology updates as well as customer demands. Hence, the updates may come frequently, which the team must accommodate accordingly. Since the application changes are flexible there are greater need to incorporate these changes. Feature and functionality changes are integral parts of project plans.
- Selecting the test cases for the sanity check
This is an interesting phase in the testing project where you identify the new functionalities, feature changes, and any bug fixes. Since the objective is to perform a quick and fast sanity check, there is no requirement to write new tests. This step ensures that the newly implemented changes are working without any errors.
The process can be complicated as only a small portion of test cases are selected for sanity checks. The team will fail to determine the impact ratio if the right test cases are not selected. The project team must thoroughly understand the project requirements and select only those test cases that might have the highest impact on the application’s functionality and performance.
What is essential to identify the test cases for sanity checks?
Based on the project, application under test, project scope and test environment, the project team can identify the test cases based on their test predictability. The project team usually handles multiple test scenarios to understand the test cases that can have the maximum impact on application features, functionality and performance and choose the most probable test cases. Usually, the requirement gathering and analysis, understanding of AUT, project scope and the test environment are the essential aspects to identify the test cases for sanity checks.
- Designing and developing the actual test cases
This is the actual phase when the testing team starts designing and developing the test cases. The team prepares the required test data for testing, and the quality assurance team reviews it. The team identifies the test cases that must be designed and developed and writes them to ensure that the written test cases are easy to understand. They also create test data and scenarios for test cases, identify probable results, and review and validate test cases. They update the requirement traceability matrix (RTM) with new changes.
The main objective for the team in this phase is to have a set of accurate and relevant test cases to ensure that they provide complete test coverage of the software and application. It helps the team to have a 360-degree overview of software quality. A comprehensive testing process allows the team to detect potential errors in the software before it is released. The team prepares the test data and keeps it ready for test execution. In the test case development phase, the testing team creates, verifies, and reworks test cases and manual and automated test scripts.
Banks may face two types of complications at this stage. First, if the team lacks the skill and knowledge to identify accurate and relevant test cases, and second, if due to multiple changes, the number of rework test cases increases. It may consume an ample amount of time and money to find skilled people for the job and validate the increasing number of test cases due to frequent changes in applications.
Can there be a possible solution to reduce the effort and time of rework?
It is time-consuming to find skilled developers and testers when your projects are time-bound. Even if you manage to put the entire team together, you might have to meet with one more challenge of accommodating frequent reworks. The project team might have very less time to meet the project deadline and time-to-market. So, banks hire third-party vendors to handle the testing projects to ensure they go live confidently without worrying about software quality. Since the amount of rework increases with application changes, it occupies a significant segment of the software testing lifecycle compared to new changes. Hence, the team selects a robust test automation solution to reduce the rework or regression test time.
- Understanding the available test environment
Some banks and financial institutions have a conducive test environment with the necessary hardware, software, and network configuration for test execution. While the team designs and develops test cases, they can simultaneously evaluate the existing test environment. If the test environment does not support the massive business and system transformation and upgrade projects. The team must consider setting up the test environment for an effortless test execution project.
The process is complicated if the bank runs long on its legacy system and has a massive amount of data to migrate. Banks find it tough and time-consuming for seamless execution of the testing process without a favourable test environment. Moreover, they must delegate skilled people for the projects or hire a new team.
What is the possible solution if you do not have the required team strength, bandwidth, and allocated budget to set up a test environment?
Banks can consider hiring a third-party vendor to take care of all their test requirements and deliver the project on time by meeting all the quality standards and regulatory compliance. The QA solution providers have the required test environment or can set up one to ensure timely project completion.
- Setting up the right test environment for seamless test execution
The test environment defines the condition on which the software is validated. Setting up a test environment can be simultaneously conducted with designing and developing test cases. In this stage, the project team determines the software and hardware conditions for testing the product. As the activity is done by the development team, the testing team may or may not be involved in the process. However, they check the readiness of the available environment, and this is known as smoke testing.
The first step in setting up the right environment is to understand the required architecture. The team must be skilled and aware of the available architecture. The test environment needs to be adaptable for seamless test execution. The process can be complicated if the environment is not favourable for test execution and is not ready with the test data set up.
How can the team ensure that the environment is built-ready for seamless test execution?
The team must validate the readiness of the test environment to ensure seamless test execution through smoke testing. They must understand the hardware, software, and network configuration well to ensure that the environment supports the test execution without any disruption.
- Executing the test cases
In this phase, the test cases and test scripts that were created in the design and development phase are executed to detect defects or issues or errors in banking software. The evaluated results are gathered and assessed by the team. Test execution combines the two phases, planning and developing that verify the software quality. The activity also helps report bugs or technical glitches in the software. If the testers report bugs, the errors are reported to the developers who fix the bugs, and the testers test the software again.
The process can be complicated if there is no adequate test, or if there were any issues in the planning and development of the test cases. Also, if the test environment is not favourable or the test execution did not happen as per the test plan. The team must also put the stages together to finally execute the test cases.
Can multiple test execution degrade the software quality?
The objective of software testing is to validate the accuracy, stability, reliability, usability, efficiency, flexibility, portability and more. Software is tested to ensure that it successfully passes all the criteria. Multiple test execution does not degrade the software quality, instead, it delays the product release. It may not be necessary to test the same feature again and again. Moreover, testing the same feature repeatedly can be time-consuming. It is a good practice to test only applicable changes, performance, and security instead of testing the complete software functionality and menus. It saves time and effort and does not disturb the existing feature of the software.
- Tracking and reporting defects
Tracking and reporting defects is one of the objectives of testing the software and its quality. The defects or issues are logged in defect tracking systems that are raised during the test execution. The details of the defects include descriptions, defect severity, priority, and more. The test execution results are examined to verify the software functionality and performance and simultaneously detect defects if any.
If the team identifies defects, it is sent to the developers for resolving the errors and retested again to ensure that the defects are fixed. After the defects are fixed team documents and report the test results to the stakeholders. The end objective is to identify and resolve the defects to ensure that the software can be released without any errors. Hence the software must be tested multiple times to ensure all defects are resolved. The process can be complicated if the team does not have an adequate mechanism to identify defects. Finding defects manually is a complicated process.
What solutions can organizations opt for to reduce the rework and multiple retests?
Multiple defect-tracking tools in the market can reduce the manual effort of identifying defects in the software and reduce the rework. For its benefits, organizations use defect-tracking tools that can be easily integrated with testing or test automation solutions. This saves time and effort and reduces rework. The team can confidently fast-track product releases.
- Planning exit test followed by test closure
This is the final stage of the test execution and a critical one. In this final stage, the quality evaluation of the software is completed and determined if the product is ready for release. In this phase, all testing-related activities and formalities are concluded and documented. The testing team by now must have a clear understanding of the software quality and reliability. Whatever issues have been detected this far must be resolved. The team must document the testing process and improve the testing processes based on their experiences. It helps in removing the bottleneck from future testing projects.
The stage comprises preparing test summary reports, defect tracking and reporting, cleaning up the test environment, preparing test closure reports, transferring knowledge, and providing feedback for process improvement. The main objective of test closure is to validate the software quality and ensure the product market launch. It also confirms that the test execution was organized and completed efficiently. The process will be complicated if there is a lack of relevant information, or the team fails to capture feedback and critical lesson learnt from the project.
How to ensure that the report is whole and comprehensive?
Recording the project reports manually will be liable to errors as there can be a chance of missing out on information. There are a few test automation solutions in the market that comes with easy reporting solution. As reporting is a tedious, elaborate, and time-consuming exercise, these solutions are convenient and useful for the project team.
The steps, scenarios, and situations mentioned above are our understanding of the business and system upgrade projects we delivered. Yethi has supported 125+ banks and financial institutions in 30+ countries in their transformation and upgrade projects. In the 700+ projects we have completed so far, we have achieved quality and punctuality by completing the projects within strict deadlines.
We manage end-to-end test lifecycles efficiently to ensure customers receive quality outcomes within the project deadline. We have conducted end-to-end functional testing and non-functional testing in upgrade testing projects. We have also validated the robustness and responsiveness of systems while ensuring stability and flexibility in data migration and systems performance testing.
We leverage the highest potential of our robotic codeless test automation solution Tenjin during repeated regression cycles in a project. Our intuitive and intelligent solution comes with banking and FI-specific plug-and-play adapters that reduce implementation hassles with banking applications. Tenjin offers data-driven test execution and covers pre- and post-regression cases and effortless system integration testing, user functionality testing, user acceptance, regression testing and more. It comes with easy report generation capabilities and integration with defect management tools to generate test summary reports.