The scope of Digital spans all the new technologies including mobile, the Internet of Things, Drones, 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, sensors and actuators of all descriptions and Virtual or Augmented Reality. It really is – everything.
The change that Digital forces on testers and Assurance is profound:
The New Model for Testing is an attempt to identify the distinct thought processes involved in exploring sources of knowledge and the system under test and to scope, design and select meaningful and valuable tests of systems.
The key to better testing is not better process or more sophisticated tools. Rather it is the interpersonal, communication and thinking skills of testers. If the role of Assurance is to increase the chances of Digital System success, then the person or team doing Assurance must acquire and exhibit the very best of those same skills.
We provide the following range of services in Digital Assurance:
We have delivered testing services since 1992 and have gained a reputation for innovative independent thinking based upon an honest open relationships with clients. Our clients tend to have difficult or unusual problems that involve issues of scale, culture, technical strategy or implementation, for example. These cannot usually resolved using simple off the shelf solutions.
Assignments are usually initiated with a FREE Diagnosis Workshop. We offer to spend a half-day with the right people in your company to explore the problem you have or to figure out a way to solve it. You might have a project that needs a strategy or resources or perhaps there's a quality problem or you want to reduce your dependence on manual testing and use more tools; you might be transitioning to a DevOps regime and need your testers to get more technical.
If we are able to help, we will prepare a costed proposal for services to support your goals.
Every assignment is different, but the pattern we tend to follow is:
Paul has a track record in providing advisory services to executives and practitioners in the software field. He is currently a member of the TestPlant Technology Advisory Board, for example. Paul was the founding Chair of the ISEB Testing Certification scheme through which hundreds of thousands of testers have acquired a qualification. He was a member of the working Party that created the first general-purpose Testing Standard BS 7925. He was the Programme Chair for the Testing and Finance Conference in 2011 and for the 2014 EuroSTAR Conference. He is the Founder and Host of the UK Test Management Forum and Linkedin Group.
Over the last twenty years or so, we have been called in to investigate testing problems many times. Our experience, again and again, is that many problems in testing are often symptoms of problems elsewhere. We promise to call a spade a spade and not attempt to impose testing solutions on teams whose problems are caused elsewhere. Of course, testing teams do have problems, and we'll suggest appropriate courses of action for those.
Whatever your testing problem, take advantage of our half day Diagnosis Workshop free of charge.
This is what we do:
If you’d like to know more about how we work, please contact us directly. Our key software testing services are listed below:
There are three main reasons why many clients choose to involve a third party to assist them in testing:
All IT project development plans include a number of testing steps, many of which are on the critical path of the project. Testing specialists, independent from the developers, should perform these tasks to gain the maximum risk mitigation.
Typically, these tasks include:
First and foremost, Gerrard Consulting brings a goal-oriented, stakeholder-obsessed, proven methodology for creating a test strategy quickly, taking into account the project’s schedule and budgetary constraints. Test strategies always include a clear definition of scope, priorities an approach.
We assign trained experienced resources such as test architects, test managers, tool specialists, security and performance specialists when required, as well as the more traditional teams of systems testers and help for the user testing team. A managed testing approach ensures that the testing is done efficiently and effectively.
The measure of success of this service is that the right resources are available at the right time. An additional benefit is that the service frees up senior testing resources from recruiting activities (reviewing CVs, interviewing, taking calls from agencies). This is particularly valuable at project start-up when these activities can occupy a significant portion of the test manager’s time.
As well as providing dedicated testing resources, with a managed team approach, Gerrard Consulting will provide advice and support to help clients over any particular problem or resource demand.
The team is managed using ‘best testing practice’, and even when we are called in after a test strategy has been set, we will make suggestions for improvement if we believe that testing can be done more effectively if a change of practice is adopted.
Contact us and we'll arrange to meet you to explain how we can help.
It’s our experience that a test approach should to be tailored to meet the specific needs of an organisation and/or a project.
There is no 'one-size fits all'.
Testing needs to take into account organisational culture, people, suppliers and method of working which together combine to make a unique situation. No two organisations are exactly the same. For a project, testing has to account for stakeholder goals, business objectives, technical environment and development approach being deployed. No two projects, even for the same organisation, are the same. We apply our extensive knowledge and experience along with industry good practice to define:
*** If you are interested in an on-site workshop, see our 'Test Strategy in a Day' workshop ***
Test Assurance critiques your test approach for suitability and effectiveness. At the project initiation stage it’s a form of insurance, supporting the identification and application of the most appropriate testing approach. Test Assurance provides a subjective view with direct feedback to stakeholders and is totally independent from the delivery of the project. When projects get into difficulty, Test Assurance rapidly identifies the issues relating to testing and provides practical & pragmatic actions to get the project back on track. We can provide this service directly or work with your organisation to set-up an internal test assurance function. Both services deliver:
We help you find smarter and more effective ways to address your testing issues.
We have extensive experience in addressing these challenges. We will work with you to understand your specific goals and challenges and we will target our service to your specific requirements. If you’d like to know more, please contact us directly
We can help you meet the challenges in the selection and management of your current and prospective external/internal suppliers and partners. We can help your supplier management by:
If you’d like to know more, please contact us directly.
We offer to:
Expert assistance in automating testing from Gerrard Consulting will help you meet tight delivery dates, ensure user satisfaction and reduce risks.
If the idea of Computer Aided Software Testing (CAST) tools is new to you, Gerrard Consulting can give you impartial advice. We don't sell tools of our own, but we can help you choose the right one and implement it successfully. We’re experts in putting test tools to work.
The fast pace and high risks of web development have encouraged many organisations to 'Go Agile' and purchase automated test tools for both functional and non-functional – performance and capacity testing.
A test tool can replace repetitive functional regression testing. For web systems, with their heterogeneous and distributed architectures, and target user communities of thousands or even millions, there is no feasible way to ensure adequate performance under load without automated testing.
Though the potential benefits of test automation are clear, and the tools are sophisticated and mature, the payback from test tools often falls far short of expectations. It doesn't need to.
There are many important "soft" issues that affect how much you’ll benefit from a test tool. You can choose the right tool from a market-leading vendor, improve your testing processes, sell the idea of automation internally, train your staff, do all the 'right things' and still end up with shelfware. Why?
Test tools look easy enough to be used by manual testers or even business analysts. But to get the best from a tool, automators need many of the same technical skills as programmers with additional experience in the unique problems of test automation. Would you ask your business users to write programs? Do your developers want to spend time testing?
Our experience shows that resolving the "hard" technical issues of test automation is a crucial success factor. To make the most of test tools, you need testers with specific skills in test automation.
There are many situations where test automation specialists can get you off to a good start with a test tool, add capacity to your test team on pressing projects, recover lost automated test assets, or simply demonstrate conclusively that automated testing works.
Automated testing services from Gerrard Consulting are specifically tailored to your needs. To start, a senior team member will help you assess the requirements. We can then supply a fully managed independent team or work within an integrated team, with individual Gerrard Consulting experts working alongside your manual testers, business analysts, and technical administrators. We can manage the integrated team or work in a team under your own management.
We are equipped to provide a long term outsourced automated testing function or to plan for a shorter-term injection of resource. We can transfer skills to your own staff and establish automation “best practice” and standards as a sound basis for the future.
Gerrard Consulting has relationships with the leading test tool vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, Original Software and TestPlant.
Contact us and we'll arrange to meet with you to discuss the pros and cons of tools, where open source can help, and what you can do to maximise your chance of benefiting from them.