QA as the gatekeeper in core system replacement - learn from ANPAC

Novarica, Famers Alliance, American National and ValueMomentum recently teamed up to present a webinar titled Achieving success in core systems testing. The panel included Martina Conlon (Senior VP, Novarica), Andy Edwardson (CIO & VP IT, Farmers Alliance), Kathy Blankenship (Director QA, American National), and James Carlucci (VP Insurance, ValueMomentum) who talked about how P&C insurers can successfully lead core system testing initiatives. This article specifically discusses the role of QA as the gatekeeper in core system replacement project of American National insurance company as shared in the webinar.

QA as the gatekeeper in core system replacement - learn from ANPAC.jpegAmerican National completed two core system transformation projects for their P&C claims systems and commercial billing system, which resulted in:
  • Consolidation and modernization of multiple claims systems into one robust system.
  • Alignment of IT systems with Business needs to promote speed-to-market.
  • Mitigation of the risks of the legacy systems, which were becoming unsustainable.
  • Improvement of data quality and integrity for decision making and fraud detection.
  • Efficiency gains by eliminating manual workflows and processes in favor of automated workflows and processes.
  • Added value to clients in providing a broader range of payment plans.


As part of the execution of their QA testing strategy, they undertook a few new approaches.

  • Established a strategic vision with a defined roadmap and thoughtful planning for sprint and release delivery.
  • Established a key partnerships with the outside vendors.
  • Fostered continuous, proactive, and visible leadership for decision making.
  • Encouraged and expected clear communication and managed those expectations
  • In order to enable QA as a gatekeeper for the transformation project in partnership with the business:
  • They build a dedicated and focused QA team.
  • They ensured that the team actively participate in the project from the inception phase.
  • Involved QA in evaluating quality goals for each sprint and release.


There are a few critical elements that lead the team to successful realization of the QA strategy.

  • Advocated for quality throughout all the phases of project lifecycle including requirement gathering, development as well as change and release management.
  • Continuously measured strategic and operational metrics (quality, cost and time) for effective and efficient QA testing
  • Identified early the integration points and defined testing scope of each sprint and release.
  • Supplemented traditional testing practices with both Exploratory and Negative testing to uncover defects in the edge case scenarios.
  • Applied priority throughout the project to ensure high-value tasks are completed and tested first.
  • Continually optimized and updated the regression suite in an effort to avoid the pesticide paradox of this suite going stale
  • Made optimal use of automated testing in an effort to supply vast amounts of robust data as well as assist in regression and Web services tests
  • Focused on complete end-to-end testing, “day in the life” testing throughout system integration and user acceptance testing.

Throughout the project, the QA team monitored strategic metrics to do course correction of their testing efforts. To track quality of test, they measured test coverage and percentage by role. Focused their testing on critical roles from an operational standpoint and measured the test coverage by state focusing on those states for which they write the largest volume of business and by product that are more critical for their business.

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.

The Importance of Testing from project inception in core systems transformation.png

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