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How do you transform testing at scale in an enterprise organization?
That was the challenge facing Nationwide, one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. Technology leaders assessed the company’s testing practice and found that while it produced higher quality results than the industry standard, it was also more expensive.
Based on these findings, Nationwide set out to reduce costs by modernizing testing, all while maintaining a high standard of quality. Here’s how they made it happen.
Nationwide made a decision early on to embark on a true transformation. The organization’s leaders understood that simply purchasing new tools wouldn’t get to the heart of the problem. There is a fundamental difference between a manual-heavy test strategy and the highly automated, Continuous Testing approach that Nationwide sought to implement.
While the enterprise wanted to increase efficiencies in testing, leaders also saw an opportunity to transform the Nationwide workforce and improve speed to market by introducing a new strategy focused on quality.
Testing leaders developed a business case for a program called “Test Engineering and Automation.” The key to true transformation, they posited, was focusing on people first. Transitioning to test automation is a major strategic shift, the success of which hinges on an evolution in both mindset and process. They’d need to train the team in this new way of thinking, then define new testing processes and implement new technology.
Nationwide’s testing transformation goal centered around improving value for the organization and better aligning testing practices to industry trends. The company identified moving from a traditional test environment to a culture of quality engineering as the best way forward.
To achieve this goal, Nationwide focused on transforming:
With its vision for a future state well-defined and a transformation underway, there was only one outstanding hurdle facing the Nationwide team: How to scale the transformation across such a large organization.
Nationwide had an IT workforce of 8,600 people, which included 200 Agile development teams that worked on 2,500 applications across 50 primary technologies — all resulting in $1.3 billion in annual IT spend.
The solution was a controlled-growth approach, which would allow each teams to transition at a pace that made it easy for the leadership team to oversee, stepping in to troubleshoot or right the course as necessary. Technology leaders split Nationwide’s 2,500 applications into five waves:
Within each wave, the Nationwide team followed a set approach to optimize and automate the core test suites. Here’s how they presented the approach:
Nationwide has already made enormous progress in its testing transformation, but there is still work to be done. Having a clear business plan in place has allowed the team track results and prove the value of their efforts, which has helped maintain buy-in from executives and other stakeholders.
The team has also committed to remaining nimble by adjusting their plans as needed to stay aligned with evolving testing and technology trends. This agility has proven essential to delivering a best-in-class testing organization that keeps Nationwide ahead of the curve.
Check out this session from Tricentis Accelerate 2019 featuring Nibs Mishra, AVP – Testing Service Owner at Nationwide, and Tina Oelschlager, Director – Analysis Capability Leader at Nationwide, to learn more about Nationwide’s testing transformation and continued plans for growth.