Historically, Kellogg’s application development teams have used a linear waterfall approach to software development, moving through distinct stages from initial design to final delivery. However, to provide a speedier and more transparent service, it decided to also introduce Agile methodology, to increase collaboration between clients and project teams.
“Our journey started many years ago with HP Quality Center and it is an integral part of our Application Lifecycle Management (ALM),” says senior manager with Kellogg’s QA Centre of Excellence, Venu Cherukuri. “We have no issues with that tool. It is very much blended into our philosophy across the globe but we were looking for new tools that would support our Agile transformation.”
“Our primary goal was to have a single, global ALM platform that supports all our Agile and waterfall needs. A tool that not only supports the Agile planning piece but also the bonus of quality DevOps.”
“When we started evaluating ALM Octane we were doing a wider market scan and we found that there was no other tool on the market that truly did end-to-end Lifecycle Management for both Agile and Waterfall including DevOps. We realised that ALM Octane could be our single ALM tool covering both methodologies, even though it leans more towards Agile through its looks, design and processes,” says Cherukuri. “We had looked at four other tools but because of its breadth of coverage and variety, it was a no-brainer to make the bold decision and move onto ALM Octane for all projects.”
Firstly, Kellogg’s moved its Quality Center projects onto ALM Octane and has now migrated 100% of its testing onto the new tool. Because Quality Center had been used for many years, Kellogg’s training emphasised the differences between the two tools and they were pleasantly surprised with how smoothly it went.
Even in the early days, Kellogg’s had some 70 workspaces and more than 30,000 tests that had either been migrated or created in ALM Octane.
“ALM Octane is very refreshing and responsive. The collaboration is simple yet very powerful and because of its modern UI, the user experience is great,” says Cherukuri. “It’s browser agnostic, very intuitive and has simplified some of the things that we traditionally used to do. An example is that we used to break Quality Center testing down into test plan and test lab. In ALM Octane we just go into a single screen and single test module.”
The test teams make extensive use of ALM Octane’s tags and identifiers, and the application module enables them to think about their solutions in terms of function and business process, then measure quality in line with those criteria. Although they still work independently on the majority of products, they are also moving to a more collaborative DevOps model with testers embedded in specific teams, and this is an innovation that will grow with the support of ALM Octane.
“ALM Octane is now our standard tool, and it helps us in our Agile planning process with such things as list planning and backlog management,” adds Cherukuri. “We are still in the early stages of managing the specific gains but we have established KPIs and they are trending towards positive.”
The next step in a two-year roadmap will be a global rollout of ALM Octane for both Agile and Waterfall projects and integration with the company’s project portfolio management tools – upstream in the service management tool and downstream with the DevOps tool chain.
“The partnership with Micro Focus has been great,” concludes Cherukuri. “It was important for us to be successful in the migration to ALM Octane and we worked very actively with Micro Focus R&D. We had monthly contact with our account manager and we interacted closely with customer support. We submitted ideas in the idea portal and we had a great account team who have been very interactive almost on a weekly basis.”