P&C insurers who are undergoing or plan to undergo core system modernization projects, need to identify Quality Assurance as a key element for success. QA plays a pivotal role in achieving the desired outcomes without overshooting time and budget of the project. An effective QA strategy ensures a clean roll out of not just of the functional requirements, but also of all non-functional requirements including those from an end-users' perspective.
This article discusses three key areas, shared by James Carlucci, VP Insurance ValueMomentum in the webinar Achieving success in core systems testing, that P&C insurers’ QA strategy should shift focus to successfully drive core system modernization initiatives.
Test automation is critical for success
Because of the magnitude and complexity of the project, QA strategy should leverage test automation as much as possible for faster testing. Generally, test automation is limited to test execution automation, which delivers only 30% efficiency considering the entire life cycle activities. Insurers' QA strategy needs to be optimized to include test automation across test life cycle i.e. from test design to test execution for functional, regression and end-to-end testing.
Comprehensive test coverage and application specific testing are the keys
To achieve the goals of improved quality, reduced cycle time, optimized costs and reduced defect slippages, insurers’ QA strategy needs to include comprehensive test coverage including multiple variations of test data across business transactions such as quote, issue and endorsement.
For achieving an optimal test coverage, insurers test strategy requires a very application specific approach to perform exhaustive testing of applications such as policy, claim, or billing considering various application dimensions.
Besides, business processes need to be tested thoroughly across products, state, and other variables. Individual user roles including agents, underwriters, CSRs, billing and claims personal among many others have to be considered while testing. Each of these role have unique needs in using the core systems on a day-to-day basis. These must be tested comprehensively across multiple transactions and products.
Adoption of Agile testing methodologies
To match the fast pace of Agile software development schedule, insurers’ test strategy needs to adopt the Agile testing methodologies. Agile testing methodology helps ensure testing team meets the goals of sprint releases, system integration testing, and regression testing phases.
In addition to the functional testing within a sprint, sufficient time needs to be allocated for validating functionality that is not exclusively defined in the requirements, which are commonly referred as exploratory testing. After completion of the sprint testing, you need to optimize the test cases based on risk parameters and then prepare an integrated regression suit of the previous sprint functionality. This approach helps minimize the regression during the system testing phase.
So, the success of core system transformation is largely dependent on Quality Assurance. An effective QA strategy ensures quality goals are met within predefined time and budget. Appropriate investments in test automation and comprehensive test data management are the crucial aspects of a successful QA strategy. Most importantly, P&C insurers need to have a program governance model where QA does have a voice to assure all the quality needs are considered and concerns are addressed.
Click below to view the webinar Achieving success in core systems testing on-demand featuring Novarica, Farmers Alliance, American National and ValueMomentum to learn how two P/C carriers successfully led their core system testing initiatives.