21 February 2018


Lucy Clark - Certeco

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Disruption in Retail Banking

Growth in internet and mobile technologies has transformed many industries and economies. The market forces and competitive landscape has completely changed in many sectors. iTunes has fundamentally changed music industry, Amazon has driven most big brick and mortar book sellers out of business, Expedia is one of the worlds' biggest travel company….. the list goes on. Internet and mobile technologies are big disrupters for most industries. What started (and tapered a bit!) with the dot com boom of 2000 has become a lethal threat to most business models today. Powered by mass adoption in mobiles phones, proliferation of smart phones and cheaper band-width, internet and mobile technology have changed many industries. The banking industry in has been dominated by a handful of big global or regional banks for 100s of years. While the credit crisis has shaken this industry, the core market forces for the industry have not changed. Will Innovation in Internet and Mobile technologies disrupt retail banking? Will there be 5 new names in global top 10 retail banks in 2020?

Banks and agile - how does the role of testing change?

07 November 2012  |  5808 views  |  0

As more and more financial services organisations embrace agile, the role of testing and the testing team is definitely changing. There are the obvious facts, such as many testing tasks are being relinquished to the Scrum Master and there isn’t the same requirement for test documentation that there is in waterfall methodology, due to the iterative nature of agile.

But banks and insurers need to be aware that testing still has an integral role to play in helping support the overall test processes for the business. In agile, testing needs to work much more closely with the business than they typically would in waterfall – the team focuses much more on collaborative working. Testing is able to define the organisational test policy and test strategy for agile and define the agile tools strategy. It can help support the overall transition from waterfall to agile.

And testing practices are actively helping agile teams to be more successful, allowing them to keep a focus on speed and performance whilst not jeopardising the software quality. For example, developing an automation framework and regression test pack is key, as is helping organisations to develop their core testing practices. And it is vital to engage testers early on in the process. And Test Driven Development (TDD) is an integral part of helping organisations transition to agile, although, not all tests should be automated.

The question of what type of functional and non-functional testing should be executed entirely depends on the project. Non-functional tests will always depend on the expected performance of the system and includes requirements such as scalability, reliability, security etc. These should be run as early in the project as possible, so it can flag up any problems at the earliest opportunity. Functional should include manual and automated testing, as manual testing will identify specific defects.

It is also important for the team to have clarity on what is considered “done” as this will ensure that each sprint phase and subsequent release is completed successfully.

As financial services organisations accelerate agile take up, it is important they consider the challenges as well as the upsides. Agile is not suitable for all projects – organisations need to carefully consider each implementation to check whether they are "agile appropriate." Testing still has an integral part to play in an agile environment – teams need a clear idea of their objectives, their strategy and then address testing accordingly.

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