Category Archives: hp quality center

New Opportunities for QM

On September 20, 2011 Dr. Andreas Birk and Gerald Heller provided some insights about the opportunities and challenges for testing in agile development organizations at an event at HP Switzerland.

While many test organizations still puzzle how to react on the agile development approach from a testing perspective there is a growing set of experiences on the practice side. Agile methods have a lot of quality practices already built-in. For example, when looking at scrum the following QM related practices are often applied:

However, there are also a couple of activities that present challenges to testing in agile environments:

E.g. Setting up test environments in more complex project contexts might require so much time, that parallel system testing within the development cycle cannot be established. In such situations a testing team needs to find an alternative solution together with the development team, so that the goals of testing can be achieved.

However the top challenges are found where roles and competencies are touched. For example: joint estimation for user stories sounds good, but often testers don’t even participate in sprint planning meetings. And if so, they aren’t allowed to add testing effort to the size of the story. Becoming a full member of the team requires often needs time, where active change management and coaching continuously must address those topics.
The full presentation is available on request.

Peter Vollmer from Hewlett-Packard’s development organization provided interesting insight how HP addresses these challenges in its global agile development context. In particular HP not only uses HP Quality Center, but also the HP Accelerator for agile planning and status tracking. His presentation is available on request.

Effective RM with HP QC: Connecting Business Goals and Quality

Gerald Heller presented jointly with Bernhard Weiss from Hewlett Packard “Effective Requirements Management with HP Quality Center: Connecting Business Goals and Quality” on June 22, 2011 in Zurich.

For details see Swiss requirements day website: www.swissrequirementsday.ch

New Agile Project Management Module

On March 30, 2011 HP hosted an online event called “HP Software Expert Day”. Experts from HP responded 24 hours to questions around Quality Center and ALM raised from the community.

When I skimmed over the questions my eyes stopped at one named “Further development of agile tools”. The author was looking for better agile solutions than those provided today.

The HP expert provided some encouraging words about the future. HP is working on an agile project management module that is targeted for the next major release. Beyond supporting good management of requirements and tests it will also track progress and backlogs with burndown rates.

That sounds promising to me. As HP is pretty late on this I have the hope that it will release finally a cool agile management client which is build on the new REST API, so that it can be used across a variety of platforms.

The information was posted on the HP blog “Quality Center Information and News” on March 30, 2011.

New Version Of Agile Accelerator

HP announced by the end of December 2010 a new basic version of the agile accelerator 4.0. There is now a version for QC 10 and a version for QC11/ALM available. New support is included for unit testing. Development tasks can be tied to unit test cases (NUnit, JUnit, or FitNesse). Continuous integration tools like Cruise Control/Hudson can be called from within QC to start the build process. Agile reporting is streamlined. There is also a new team-based Sprint burndown chart that shows a burndown comparison across teams.

The basic module can be freely downloaded from this link.

HP Quality Center Agile Evolution

Recently, I provided an agile perspective on the Vivit TQA Webcast “New Features of HP Quality Center and Product Roadmap” by Raziel Tabib.

The webcast was focusing on version 11 of QC.

I got feedback, that existing customers of QC wonder how QC supports agile development in earlier versions. So I created an overview, which describes agile support from version 9.2 up to 11.0. It’s not meant to provide an in depth detailed description about features. Rather, it should provide orientation for existing and new customers what they can expect from different QC versions to support agile development.

There are 3 horizonal layers. On the bottom I’ve listed “agile enabling features”. Having those in place experts are able to build “custom agile solutions” which I have described in the middle layer. The upper layer holds “ready made” agile solutions. Currently HP provides the “Advanced agile accelerator” here.

Each QC version includes the features of previous versions. That’s why I decided to only list new features for a specific version. (Click on the picture to view an enlarged version).

HP QC support of agile in various versions

Agile Support In HP Quality Center 11

On September 7, Raziel Tabib presented “New Features of HP Quality Center and Product Roadmap” in a Vivit Webcast. Raziel is a Sr. Product Manager in the HP ALM suite of products.

In this blog I review the webinar from an agile perspective. The complete Webinar along with Q&A is available as archived session for Vivit members. Note, that basic Vivit membership is free.

http://www.vivit-worldwide.org/article.cfm?id=1199

Raziel started the announcement with a big bang: The presentation content is no longer roadmap, but reality, “HP Quality Center 11 is available as of today”.

In this release HP sets the focus on the application lifecycle management (ALM) message. They even place an ALM product on the pricelist, “ALM 11.0”. It represents a suite of products that helps customers to manage their products along the entire lifecycle, e.g., Requirements Management, Development Management, Quality Management, Performance Management and Project Dashboard. This supports the agile perspective insofar as it provides a holistic view on all development activities.

One aspect of the holistic view is the integration into developer environments. QC 11 comes with an out-of-the-box integration into the eclipse IDE. Once a Sprint has started the developer can stay in his working environment – e.g. Eclipse IDE – and update user stories, tasks and defects. All changes will be reflected in HP QC. This integration provides a large potential to accept QC as an agile repository for the project. Overhead is minimized; no switching of tools (from developer perspective) once a Sprint has started.

Backlog management with QC 11 will be much more intuitive than before. The key to usability is a new feature named “custom ordering” in the requirements management module. With this long-awaited functionality it is now possible to drag a user story exactly to the position which represents its priority in the backlog. Prior versions of QC needed to use custom attributes and workflow programming in order to achieve that functionality.

A whole new set on reporting is available in Quality Center. From an agile perspective the possibility to integrate those reports into external web pages, like wiki-pages is the most interesting one. Now, teams can use their agile reporting environment of choice. QA managers can check-out their dashboards without the need to log into QC.

Sprinter

Manual testing is greatly enhanced by a new tool called “Sprinter” (any Scrum affiliation is purely coincidence J). Better screen usage, annotation possibilities, recording of test actions and parallel testing of multiple target systems summarize the new functionalities. Agile teams practicing “exploratory testing” will love that tool.

Side by side clients

Starting with HP QC 11 it is possible to have several client versions of QC on a single machine. While this isn’t an intrinsic agile feature it will contribute to a successful transition to agile development.

Agile teams can explore the newest HP QC 11 version with all of its features for agile teams. Still they can work with a different HP QC version in operation.

HP is taking the agile movement serious. Release after release they have added functionality to make life easier for agile teams. The only challenge for customers is that it is not that easy to see. Most of the features are just built-in enablers. With the exception of the agile accelerator experienced users are needed to turn these features into great agile solutions.

Business Process Modeling and QC

Gerald Heller

Those of you who are engaged or interested in business process modeling might enjoy the following news.

On July 27, 2010  I got aware that HP currently works on a built-in integration with modeling tools (ARIS,Provision…). The integration will support any modeling tool that supports BPMN (with the ability to export to XPDL file format).

The information came from Adi Kidron, an HP employee. It was posted on the LinkedIn HP Quality Center Group.

This integration will not only strengthen the testing side of HP Quality Center, but also support better the requirements process.

It will be interesting to see what other built-in modeling interfaces we may see in the next version of HP Quality Center.

Agile ALM with HP and CollabNet

Gerald Heller

On June 15, 2010 CollabNet® announced a collaboration with HP that will provide customers with an end-to-end Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution that supports software application development from requirements definition, through development and testing, to release. The end-points of the integration are HP Quality Center and the CollabNet TeamForge™ platform.

While CollabNet® has a pretty general integration and synchronization framework, this solution is specifically interesting because of its agile context. The integration provides bi-directional synchronization of requirements, epics, user stories, defects, tests, and more.

I’m pretty impressed by the outcome. It allows developers, project leads and testers to stay in the environment they use most. For example, if a developer adds a new task to a user story in TeamForge/Eclipse, the task will also appear as a sub-requirement of a user story in HP Quality Center. As a result a tester, who works in Quality Center will have the same information at hand. All relevant data is synchronized between the two environments. Even comments are being synchronized.

This looks pretty cool to me. It will definitely be worthwhile to give it a try. There is quite some potential for increases in work efficiency.

There is a recorded demo from CollabNet®, which provides a good impression of the integration.

HP Accelerates Its Move To Agile

Gerald Heller

Recently, HP has started a campaign to accelerate its offerings in the agile context. A Forrester study conducted for HP found that an application modernization strategy will help IT organizations to overcome old technologies that hinder business success. A major role of that strategy is seen in applying agile techniques.

The full study can be accessed at www.hp.com/go/agile.

HP currently markets this story on major newspapers.

As a consequence you can expect to see even more emphasis on agile in the upcoming Software Universe 2010 event.

I’m curious to see in which areas HP will deliver new agile solutions for its customers.

Agile Perspective on HP Software Universe 2010

Gerald Heller

HP Software Universe 2010, the annual conference of HP Software & Solutions, will take place on June 15-18 in Washington D.C. I checked out the event program at https://www.hpsoftwareuniverse2010.com and put particularly attention at the agile perspective. Overall, the track on agile application development includes ten presentations. Five of which will be presented by customers, five by HP.

There is one session that really caught my interest. It is called Demonstrating ROI and breaking down the barriers between development and QA and will be presented by Todd DeCapua from ING Direct. Todd will talk how a 180-person development team overcame organizational barriers and formed 16 agile scrum sprint teams that delivered new features and functions to customers on a weekly basis. That looks cool to me; it will be very interesting to learn how HP tools have contributed to this approach.

In the session Using HP Quality Center workflow and customization interface to manage testing process flows Michael Deady from JCPenney will show how testing groups control the process flow for various testing methods, including agile, using QC 10 workflow customization.  This may give valuable insights into things that work.

HP provides a couple of talks which will provide insights into how it uses QC for their own product development. Probably the most interesting session from HP about agile will be How HP BTO applications support agile development today and in the future, by Raziel Tabib, Product Manager at HP. You can expect to get some impressions about agile support in the upcoming HP Quality Center release.

Stay tuned. In subsequent articles on this blog, I will keep on reporting about news from the upcoming Software Universe.