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MN Pension Management

Building a better world one application at a time
175
billion euros of assets under management
2+
million pension participants
30
applications under test by the TCoE
image

Overview

MN is one of the largest pension administrators of and asset managers for Dutch pension funds, with more than 175 billion euros under management. Every aspect of their day-to-day is calculated to benefit the greater good of the people they serve to “enjoy a good pension in a better world.”

Focused on future-proof solutions, MN takes the evolution of the technology that supports its efforts very seriously. To facilitate the mechanics of supporting its customers, the IT department is responsible for maintaining and improving close to 70 tailor-made applications. These applications are critical to providing up-to-date information to customers on the balance of their pension plans, as well as facilitating payouts.

“In the testing center of excellence, we ensure all deployments to production have passing results and meet our quality guidelines.”

After evaluating the efficiencies of releases on critical internal systems, the team recognized there was room for improvement.

Testing had been limited to predominantly manual efforts for each of the applications as well as for end-to-end testing. Testing was often performed after the completion of development, which created a bottleneck with the limited time available to complete comprehensive testing for both the application and adjacent systems. Peter Van Dongen, head of the MN Testing Center of Excellence, said, “We needed more testing, but we didn’t have time for it.”

Progress on testing was often difficult to share and report to development and leadership, who were responsible for making the “go/no-go” decision for each release. This was especially true for communicating results of tests run on the integration of systems, where teams would share the responsibility of testing. The inability to create greater and more efficient end-to-end testing drove the decision to consider what options were available.

MN turned to their longstanding partner Sogeti to help them navigate the test tooling strategy moving forward, especially as it related to test automation.

Challenges

  • Manual testing limited the scope of regression testing possible for each release
  • Considerable time was required to complete testing for each release
  • Failure of end-to-end testing in pre-production exposed testing gaps to be addressed
  • The testing team did not have the technical expertise to pick up code-based test automation solutions quickly 
  • Limited visibility to leadership on testing progress and ownership of testing failures
  • High public visibility of defects in production

“We have significantly improved the quality of our applications, not just through better code, but because we take out the larger risks for each release through testing. We are enabling all teams who are making software to make test automation a regular part of the development lifecycle.”

Solution

After a market evaluation, MN decided to move forward with Tricentis Tosca for test automation. In addition to its low-code automation that would be easy for manual testers to quickly adapt to, leadership was intrigued by the success of other organizations who had taken up similar automation initiatives leveraging Tosca.

The team quickly undertook efforts to upskill the manual testing team and were automating systems within a few months. A business decision was made to focus efforts on newer systems being built on OutSystems to replace many of the legacy systems that would be sunset. Test automation is now leveraged for regression, integration, and end-to-end testing on all new applications.

End-to-end test automation serves as a quality gate for each release. Reports built in PowerBI are easily shared with leadership after nightly executions for faster feedback loops. This process is enabled entirely through Tosca with the help of the email module. This enables more informed decisions on when to release for the highest quality.

Service virtualization and test data management was the next step in MN’s test automation journey. Previous tools proved to be user unfriendly for the team. Testers struggled to adopt the existing solution, which hindered their ability to complete full end-to-end testing when systems were offline.

Results

  • No-code automation to complement low-code development
  • Automation is created for each new application by testers who have been upskilled
  • Automation is created in Sprint+1
  • Test data delivered at the push of a button
  • Service Virtualization allows for quick and reliable testing, even when systems are offline
  • Regular testing reports shared with management on progress through PowerBI dashboards and pushed out through Tosca
  • Faster feedback loops allow for more informed go live decisions

“People rely on us to get their monthly payout of their pension. Its critical each payment or reporting of account balances and rights are correct.”

Because of the compliance aspect of the financial services industry, all testing data is required to be masked and maintained for testing environments on a monthly basis. This had previously created significant work for the team, especially as tests needed to be completed in varying scenarios and test data needed to be updated monthly.

Service Virtualization and Test Data Management (TDM) capabilities through Tosca now solve both of these complex issues. Service virtualization through test automation ensures integration testing can be completed quickly at any time with reliable results and removing dependencies from other, often external, applications. Test data management provides the team with instantaneous provisioning of on-demand masked test data that meets the GDPR requirements for testing compliance. “With a push of a button, we can change the responses for our mock-up according to the requirements of the new test environment,” says Van Dongen.