Novarica's thoughts on the key steps for successful core system testing

Novarica’s Martina Conlon identified policy system replacement as a top priority for over half the insurers in an Insurance & Technology webinar, “Achieving Success in Core System Testing”. Novarica’s survey found that top-line growth represents insurers’ dominant strategic goal. Next was improved operational effectiveness. Replacing core systems is crucial for achieving these priorities, followed by digital end-user experience and data and analytical projects.

What are the benefits gained? Improved product development speed, faster time to market, faster product modifications, flexibility, reduced cost of legacy systems, and internal cost efficiencies within internal operations. Moreover, modern solutions let you analyze data for real business insight.

Testing Reduces The Fear Factor

Replacing policy administration core system projects scare insurers because it affects the enterprise. The antidote for fear? Pre-planning that assures effective testing. “Plan your project before you begin it,” said Conlon, who urges insurers to study and define their testing strategy months before engaging vendors. Consider how the project will proceed and identify milestones throughout the six stages in a typical core systems project lifecycle: Pre-Project Planning, Inception, Discovery and Requirements, Development Sprints and Iterations, A Dedicated Testing Phase, and Production Deployment. Be flexible. Even the best planning needs modification so adjust the plan in each stage to expedite progress.

Key Questions Demand Answers

First things first. Seek answers to the key questions.

  • Which tests to execute? Baseline, unit, functional, end to end, integration, UAT, stress, security, and others? Determine scope and approach for each and when to execute it.
  • Who will plan testing? The project manager, scrum master, test manager, QA lead, or others?
  • Who will execute testing? Developers, sprint QA analyst, an independent QA team, business users, or others?
  • Which tools will manage and execute testing activities and how will you use and integrate them with requirements tools/templates for traceability and development activities?
  • Who will develop test cases and what format they will assume?

Staff For Success

Devote resources to your team’s testing strategy and testing education. Confirm and fine-tune the testing strategy with vendors and partners. Educate all team members on project scope, schedule, plan, application/data architecture and delivery approach. Develop plans for each test that address a detailed scope and schedule, resources assigned and who’s responsible, exit/success criteria, tools and processes, and who develops test cases and what format they’ll be in.

Use Best Practices

Best practices are testing’s best friend. Apply these best practices to the entire project’s testing strategy, not just new system functionality but all interfaces’ downstream feeds, legacy remediation/changes, decommissioning functions, conversion, and so on. 

Achieve success in core system testing

Pre-plan core system testing and plan throughout to see the big picture and vital details. So-doing allays fears attending core systems replacement letting you better align IT and business objectives. And that’s instrumental to achieving the capabilities and efficiencies that create a growth-oriented enterprise.

Click below to view the webinar Achieving success in core systems testing on-demand featuring Novarica, Farmers Alliance, American National and ValueMomentum to better plan for core systems replacement.

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