improvement in test case traceability
reduction in test execution time
decrease in test case validation documentation
Headquartered in the U.K. and U.S., Calyx employs nearly 2,000 professionals across seven offices in six countries, providing 24/7 service to many of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Calyx’s customers include the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, and to date, their technology and services have supported over 60,000 trials across all clinical phases.
Formed by the divestiture of the Informatics arm of Parexel in 2021, the business is now structured around three key specialist areas: medical imaging, tech-enabled interactive response technology, and enterprise technologies such as clinical trial management, electronic data capture, and regulatory information management.
Luke Barfield, Senior Director of Testing, recognized a timely opportunity to transform how his team approached testing following Calyx’s shift to independent ownership. While their former test strategy was largely guided by FDA principles published in 2002, Barfield understood how far testing technologies had advanced in the 20-year interim and sought to elevate his own team’s testing practices to that scale. Given the industry’s stringent software compliance regulations and the exacting detail needed to support Calyx’s lifesaving work across thousands of global clinical trials, he developed a plan to ensure visibility, traceability, and compliant quality assurance practices, starting with centralizing their test management strategy.
“When it comes to defect leakage, we have a zero-tolerance policy,” Barfield says. “In our line of work, a large product defect can carry huge negative consequences, so we knew we needed a test management tool that could show us our entire environment.”
With a top-level directive to enact transformational change across the business, Barfield recognized that a quality engineering shift could accelerate both faster releases and reduced risk. With numerous bottlenecks in production occurring at traditional waterfall testing checkpoints, he looked for a solution that would streamline test case ownership in order to bypass those obstacles.
Many of these roadblocks occurred in the form of disparate test management instances and less-than-optimal integration performance, resulting in an area of the software development lifecycle that Barfield knew was waiting to be innovated upon. Previously, the team relied on two different test management systems to cover as much of their environment as possible, but the lack of native integrations between test management tools and Rally/Jira caused bottlenecks within their continuous integration pipeline that required manual, often tedious resolution.
When Barfield evaluated test management tools, he defined three criteria:
He eventually determined that Tricentis qTest fulfilled all three criteria better than any other tool on the market, and the team adopted qTest as the first step in revolutionizing their quality engineering approach.
As a catalyst for change, Barfield wanted a tool that would prove easy to adopt and scale. qTest’s agile test management, out-of-the-box reporting capabilities, and support for migrating test assets from legacy tooling and spreadsheets fit the bill.
“One of our fears of choosing a new tool was that my team wouldn’t see much difference besides a slightly shinier tool, and they wouldn’t use the tool because of that,” said Barfield.
qTest also seamlessly integrates into the team’s Rally instance to create a real-time feedback loop with developers. With qTest API, the team can now centrally manage, kick off, and report on test automation across strategies, teams, and tools, including Tricentis Tosca. And it’s proven easy to adopt and scale across Calyx’s software testing teams, with future goals of implementing similar integrations with the team’s Jira instance.
Finally, Luke’s team saw a marked difference in how qTest was implemented into their testing environment compared to legacy test management tools. The intensive attention to detail and level of support set a new standard for post-acquisition enablement and assistance for Calyx, and that “while other legacy tools offered decent support for new teams using their solutions, Tricentis took their support to the next level in helping us adopt qTest.”