Led a cross Operator/Supplier assessment of testing roles & responsibilities and generated actions to significantly improve the teaming, quality, and results of the end to end testing.
Challenge: A Tier 1 telecom service provider was experiencing ongoing issues with deploying products from one of their major equipment suppliers into their Enterprise and Consumer wireless networks. Both companies were frustrated by frequent delays caused by problems being discovered during acceptance testing or deployment, rather than upstream testing, and by the difficulty of ensuring multi-vendor network solutions worked the first time.
Action: The Service Provider and Vendor came together to jointly engage SkeensMcDonell to conduct an assessment of their end-to-end testing process and practices. This assessment started with the up-front inter-company planning and requirements processes, and extended into Vendor QA testing, acceptance testing in Service Provider labs, and deployment into the Service Provider’s networks.
Findings: SkeensMcDonell determined that the number and unpredictability of “fix releases” (many requested by the Service Provider) made it very difficult to manage the testing and delivery/deployment process effectively. We also found gaps in the customer requirements management process between the companies, and mismatched expectations of “who does what when” in customer vs vendor labs.
Results: Based on SkeensMcDonell recommendations, the Service Provider agreed to make their labs available earlier in the product lifecycle to facilitate interoperability testing by the Vendor. The two companies jointly agreed on a set of key actions with measurable metrics and success criteria; these initiatives were assigned owners from each company, managed at weekly program management meetings, and reviewed quarterly at the companies’ executive Operations Reviews.