City University of London Case Study

The investigation took place over 3 days on site at the City offices in London with the remainder used for analysis and report writing. On completion, the findings were presented to City stakeholders. The scope of the Health Check centred around the following areas:

SAP (HR, Finance, Payroll & BW Reporting):

  • Business Analysis / Development
  • Unit Testing
  • Acceptance Testing
  • Documentation & Process
  • Regression Testing
  • Test Management
  • Defect Management
  • Project Management
  • Hardware & Infrastructure
  • Environments


  • Internal Development
  • Acceptance Testing
  • Environments
  • Defect Management

We presented a set of prioritised recommendations, which included the following, at a high level:

  • The implementation of test automation on both SAP and SITS systems, together with supporting process.  Regression scripts should be prioritised and broken down by functional area for each system / module, so that a menu of tests is clearly available, from a central repository.

  • Establish a common approach to testing so that everyone understands their responsibilities, adopts a common approach and records defects in a structured and consistent manner.  Develop a test strategy to define what testing means for each department, what tools should be used, testing templates, documentation repositories etc.  The test strategy should be the central common definition for testing in the organisation, defining all levels of testing, responsibilities and what testing is appropriate in each circumstance, i.e. change / fix / major release etc.

  • Appoint a Test / Quality Manager – there is a need for someone to be responsible for testing strategy and standards in the University.  This person would own the process, tools, templates and other test assets and would ensure that the processes put in place were followed, ideally as a part of the Change Advisory Board.  The test manager’s remit should also include the review of third party deliverables and corresponding testing documentation / evidence, in an attempt to increase the quality earlier on.

  • Documentation Standardisation: testing lacks consistency and the documentation is not testing focused.  Unit Test Plans tell people little about what testing has been carried out and would benefit from additional information being included, in particular where other areas of the system that have or have not been tested, relating to the change that has been made.

  • Test Management Tool - to facilitate best practice and encourage a central store of test assets – scripts, results, defects and even requirements, a Test Management Tool should be considered.  This would link to the strategy and would encourage consistency and allow the collection of metrics so that the effectiveness could be monitored and improved over time.  A test management tool could also link into a Test Automation tool, so that the results of manual and automated tests could be recorded.  It is often also possible to execute automated tests using a test management tool.

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