Wolters Kluwer

How qTest enables Wolters Kluwer to drive consistent quality at scale

Company overview

Wolters Kluwer is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for healthcare, tax and accounting, financial and corporate compliance, legal and regulatory, and corporate performance and ESG sectors. The company helps customers make critical decisions by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, the company serves customers in over 180 countries and maintains operations in over 40 countries.

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    Industry: Information services
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    Organization size: 20,000+ employees
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    Location: Netherlands
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Ensuring quality keeps pace with growth

Wolters Kluwer started almost two centuries ago and was originally a print company. Over the past few decades, the organization has been on a sweeping digital transformation journey and introduced new technologies that rolled out at a rapid pace. The company has grown exponentially over the last few years, and a large part of that success can be attributed to ensuring that everything it delivers to customers is of high quality.

Paul DiGrazia, Director of Quality Engineering at Wolters Kluwer, says quality metrics are the most important. “From a quality engineering perspective, the most effective metric is our escaped defect. We also look at our customer experience metrics and have a preventative action process aligned with it,” said DiGrazia.

DiGrazia and his team test a wide scope of applications and platforms and the technology behind them.

“I’m responsible for hundreds of applications and probably half a dozen major platforms. We did a big cloud migration, so it’s everything from Azure and AWS and web technologies like Java, .Net, databases, SQL, and Oracle. We have newer platforms and products and some older technologies that have been around for 20 years,” shared DiGrazia.

Maintaining consistency and quality

DiGrazia is part of Wolters Kluwer’s Quality Engineering Center of Excellence and the Digital Experience Group, the technology arm of Wolter’s Kluwer. The groups are trying to centralize the technologies from Wolter Kluwer’s different businesses to drive consistent standards and tooling across the enterprise.

Wolters Kluwer’s quality engineering team created a mantra to drive the same set of values and policies at scale: ‘excellence through innovation.’

“We wanted to have something that everything we do and every decision we make backs into that mantra. It has worked, and it seems when we back into that kind of behavior, I think it drives some of that consistent way of thinking, which trickles down through the whole organization,” expressed DiGrazia.

But as the enterprise has scaled its quality, it has been challenged with getting several hundred people to do things the same way consistently, even with having rules and methods in place.

Transforming testing at scale with Tricentis qTest

DiGrazia’s test automation philosophy is based on the typical test automation pyramid. “Years ago, Tricentis came up with a nice charter about the pyramid that I use all the time because it shows where you want to make the heavy investment on your API level and unit testing and then make sure that you can get the right amount of UI testing that’s going to provide that return on investment. That’s how we’ve been able to operate fast for all of our test automation.”

Wolters Kluwer uses an open-source framework that integrates with an in-house tool and BlazeMeter for performance. For testing, the organization used everything from manual spreadsheets to Word documents to tools such as Jama. It needed a test management solution to keep all the testing sources unified and centralized and to start adding more test automation.

Wolters Kluwer selected qTest for its test management solution to maintain visibility and control across a diverse test automation toolset. The team uses qTest to orchestrate automated testing and to standardize, centralize, and scale testing best practices across the enterprise.

With this unified approach, the team has achieved 100% automation at the UI and API levels for its core platform applications. For many others, their automation rates range from 30% to 60%, with a focus on repeatability to maximize their ROI.

“We focus automation on some of those highly matrixed and repeatable types of regression tests. That ensures we can free humans up for finding the negative test cases, and then we can get through our test cycles more quickly without having this massive regression burden,” said DiGrazia.

“qTest is where we drive all our testing metrics from in terms of test execution, test development, and percent of automated tests. We leverage the qTest APIs to feed all that data into an internally home-grown tool married with Jira. We have a full picture of tests run and what the quality is on the other side,” said DiGrazia.

Wolters Kluwer has invested in training to instill consistency across its divisions, but DiGrazia said, “There is no way that we could scale if we didn’t have some of the tools like qTest.”

Accelerating data-driven, high-quality releases

qTest is Wolters Kluwer’s anchor testing product with 400+ users and has added testing guardrails and permissioning to Wolters Kluwer’s method of work. The tool is significant for onboarding because it can quickly get contractors up to speed and only allows access to those who need it.

Wolters Kluwer has seen the impact of qTest with improved escaped defect and fail containment numbers. The enterprise uses an escaped defect analysis (EDA) process for a feedback loop that ties in with qTest in Jira. This approach allows the testing and development teams to continually understand where they can improve with quality within the organization and the overall SDLC.

“qTest and the process we have wrapped around it have been key to release readiness. Before we had qTest or a centralized test management system or a common set of metrics-driven from that, it was a lot of human judgment. It was gut feeling,” concluded DiGrazia. “And now it’s all data-driven, which has allowed us to have more consistent and predictable high-quality releases, and that’s driven down our escaped defect rates.”