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Review: BioRiver Working Group IT – Test Management

24. June 2020

On June 9th, the first meeting of the IT working group took place as an online event, for which around 15 participants came together in the digital team meeting room. The aim of the working group is the exchange of experiences between the members on a wide variety of IT topics with a focus on practical relevance. For this first AK meeting, the participants of the February IT forum spoke out in favor of the subject of test management.

Best practice example Miltenyi Biotec

After a short welcome by Constanze Duhme from BioRiver and the two working group leaders Norbert Schmeißer from Medeora and Georg Stromer from LIMS at work, Josephine Müller-Gorski took the floor. The experienced software tester has been working as an IT test manager at Miltenyi Biotec since April 2019 and as such is responsible for the implementation of a test management tool as part of the SAP HANA upgrade project in the company. At Miltenyi Biotec, the Enterprise Solution from SAP is used worldwide by all departments involved in purchasing, production, logistics, quality assurance and finance. With the introduction of a test management process and the implementation of a corresponding tool to control any errors that occur in advance, it should be ensured that the go-live of the new version does not affect the company-critical business processes at the locations. According to the AK motto “From practice for practice”, the speaker focused on the practical approach. Below is a general overview:

Initialization – create internal structures

The first step in the initialization of a test management is to determine the group of testers. In this specific case, in addition to the SAP experts for implementation, system and integration tests, there was also a user group (“key users”) for system tests, data transfer tests, interface tests and user-friendliness. The key users were selected people from different departments who also had the task of creating the test cases for their work areas. During the test case creation phase, it became apparent that it is helpful to meet regularly with the key users to go through the test cases personally, especially when employees are entrusted with tests for the first time.

software selection

At the same time, various test management tools were evaluated within the framework of live demos, workshops and presentations. According to Müller-Gorski, the evaluated solutions largely corresponded to the prioritized catalog of requirements in terms of their test functionalities to a similar extent. The decisive factors for the choice were therefore the factors of user-friendliness as well as the availability of the service team and the training concept of the provider.

With test management for a smooth upgrade

After the training, the test cases already created in Excel (approx. 2,000) were transferred to the new tool and new test cases were then created directly in the tool. In the run-up, the test manager had expected 3,000 – 3,500 cases, in the end there were around 4,000 test cases. However, these 4,000 cases had to be cleaned up again (among other things due to congruent topics or insufficient preparation in Excel), so that there were around 3,300 test cases in the end. Therefore, her practical tip at this point is to allow sufficient time for the continued cleanup of the test cases. The control of the test case execution (test steps with test reports) and occurring errors was then carried out completely via the tool, which is also used to manage the roles with their authorizations (who is allowed to do what). Traceability and audit-proof storage is thus guaranteed for each test case. The introduction of the tool represented an additional challenge for the project participants, but the project was still able to be completed on schedule and within budget. By using the tool, over 3,000 test cases could be carried out by over 100 key users, so that errors could be eliminated before the SAP ERP upgrade was transferred to the live system: the go-live went smoothly.

At this point, once again, many thanks to Ms. Müller-Gorski for the informative presentation. Thank you to you and all participants for the subsequent open and interesting discussion!

Outlook: topics and dates
After the questions and answers about other aspects of test management, the participants discussed ideas for further working group meetings. The topics of specifications or “requirements list” with risk analysis as a prerequisite for painless upgrades and the validation of computer-aided systems (Gamp 5) were suggested. BioRiver members who are interested in giving a practical presentation on this or would like to propose further topics are welcome to contact Constanze Duhme (duhme @ bioriver.de) from BioRiver or the head of the working group Norbert Schmeißer (n.schmeisser @ medeora.de ) and Georg Stromer (stroemer @ limsatwork.de).

The next meeting of the AK IT will take place on August 25th, then it will be about the topic of cybersecurity from a contractual point of view. Registration via the event website is now possible.

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