Global vendor had no plan to correctly support testing.

Client: Bank

Category: Vendor, Quality, Program Management

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A major bank with tens of thousands of employees in multiple jurisdictions decided to replace its homegrown software for a vendor product.  They hired ETHITEQUE to define the Test Strategy and Plan, and to lead the test effort.

ETHITEQUE soon discovered that the contract made no provisions for the vendor to support the test effort.  The bank’s lawyers had arranged for a “99.9%” up time and rapid defect resolution only once the vendor software was implemented.  They had missed putting vendor accountabilities into the test phases.

After we alerted our client to this fact, the vendor indicated to them that it would support testing on a “best effort” basis.  Although our client’s lawyers had ensured that the vendor contract committed the company to robust support once the application went live, it would not help the project keep to its timelines.

Given the nature of payroll software, cutover had to be planned and tested for a specific cut-off period, in this case, Year End.  Because we were unable to get the support from the vendor in a timeline fashion, we alerted the client to the costly delays and a new plan with new cutover timelines was developed.

In addition to the vendor challenges, we identified a serious weakness in the way our client’s Business team had specified its payroll requirements.  The cut-over delay allowed for the Business to restate their requirements which not only improved their chances of receiving the product they expected but also strengthened the test team’s ability to test for the right things.

Built solid Test Strategy and Test Plan that uncovered issues prior to the start of testing
Directed development of solid test cases and traceability matrix
Identified weaknesses in both vendor contract and client’s requirements.

While it was unfortunate that the client was unable to implement the software for its original Year-End cutover date, our client was able to strengthen its relationship with the vendor, improve the terms of their agreement, and clarify their product requirements so that the next cutover date could be met.