Michigan Manufacturing Company supplies seats and components for more than 25 million cars a year. With one in every three seats in the world coming from its facilities, it works with all major automakers and vehicle classes. Founded in 2016 it now has 250 assembly plants and 86,000 employees. Its market share is nearly double that of its nearest competitor.
Michigan Manufacturing Company maintains this position through its commitment to getting things right, which is how it creates superior products for its customers and their end-consumers.
Stringent IT testing is an important part of that ethos but Michigan Manufacturing Company’s test teams had a complex infrastructure. Micro Focus Agile Manager was synchronized with Quality Center and with Micro Focus Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to create a testing and delivery model. Micro Focus Performance Center and Unified Functional Testing One were also in the mix.
“We needed a good solution for one of our biggest business units. What we wanted was to give the teams Agile capabilities but also the testing available in Quality Center and that put us in a dilemma,” says the ALM Platform Architect, Michigan Manufacturing Company.
Michigan Manufacturing Company wanted to bring all the platforms into one single ALM solution and at that time, ALM Octane introduced a testing module.
“We liaised with Micro Focus professional services and R&D to bring Agile Manager into ALM Octane, bringing testing into ALM Octane as a single solution,” explains the ALM Platform Architect. “We tailored three specific requirements for Epics, features and user stories and then reorganized all of our requirements within that so that they would point directly at Octane, which is now used primarily for teams that are interested in DevOps and Agile delivery.”
Octane is used for some 7,000 tests of which approximately 600 are automated. These include Human Resources, Manufacturing, Finance, SAP, Engineering, Quality, Performance and Monitoring.
“We have a lot of the day-to-day maintenance, constant request enhancements, fixes, patches, and upgrades, and ALM Octane fits that so much better,” adds the ALM Platform Architect.
ALM Octane is used primarily for teams who are interested in DevOps and CI integrations – anything to do with Agile delivery where functions and features can quickly be delivered and then tracked.
“We use a hybrid solution,” says the ALM Platform Architect. “A lot of the really sophisticated elements of the workflow are still specific to Quality Center and if you really need that deep tightly controlled workflow, ALM/QC is still where you want to be. Because ALM Octane is designed around more of an Agile approach you don’t need that level of detail or really tight controls so it’s a case of using the best tool for the situation.”
“ALM Octane tracks time and progress, monitors defects in quality and then feeds that back into the dashboards. That’s totally cool. Savings for an automated process over a manual one can be as high as 1/100, but you cannot ignore the conversion creation effort to get to that point.”
Apart from UFT One, all Michigan Manufacturing Company’s test suite is delivered through Software as a Service (SaaS) and that is another distinct advantage for the company. SAP is business critical to the company and it mandates that applications which support it must be on the latest version minus one.
“The only way we could maintain that level of continuous upgrade pattern was to move it to SaaS because we simply could not do what we’re doing if it was all on-prem,” says the ALM Platform Architect.
“Most of our work comes down to deliverables; to be able to get stuff out quickly and that is where ALM Octane comes in. It is used for new project delivery, test and validations for in-flight apps, platforms and operating system changes, and the on-going maintenance, upgrades, migrations, and conversions for existing systems. Overall the most important benefits from Octane has been the ability to manage an ever-changing set of demands and deliverables in a dynamic IT environment.”
The next steps will be to integrate Micro Focus Project and Portfolio Management with ALM Octane which will give the team the ability to set up and incorporate many different types of projects, providing senior management a vision of what IT is doing.
With ALM Octane, we can prioritize and rank all the things that project owners have asked for and give them estimates of how long it can take. They can then pick and choose what they actually want, which can reduce delivery times from months down to weeks, days or even hours.
ALM Octane tracks time and progress, monitors defects in quality and then feeds that back into the dashboards. That’s totally cool.