Sunrise believes in delivering great quality, tailored to serve customer needs. This is part of the motivation for moving its application development practices to a more agile delivery model. Stefan Berchtold, Manager Release Management and Testing for Sunrise explains: “We want to deliver innovative services faster and be a true partner to our business colleagues taking on joint responsibility for the successful delivery of new services to our customers. As an end-to-end telecommunications company, we manage many applications, some on a daily release schedule. They range from customer-facing ‘My Account’ pages, to middleware, and back-end CRM and ERP solutions. We have a mix of on-site and off-shore developers and testers: transparent communication is key to the success of our distributed team.”
The company had been using Micro Focus ALM/Quality Center to govern its application lifecycle management activities. This was tightly integrated with Confluence, used to capture new requirements, and JIRA which is in daily use by the development teams. Sunrise was pleased to discover Micro Focus ALM Octane, designed to ensure high-quality application delivery and continuous integration via enterprise DevOps agile management.
To assist the move to agile, Sunrise adopted the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). This is a set of organization and workflow patterns intended to guide enterprises in scaling lean and agile practices. Change does not happen overnight, and as the application lifecycle would take a hybrid form between traditional waterfall-based and agile development for some time, it was important that ALM Octane could support both models.
Agne Gecevice, Release Train Engineer (RTE) with Sunrise, explains the process of moving from ALM/Quality Center to ALM Octane: “With over 1,000 users of the solution, this was a major project for us. We gained agreement to run both solutions together for six months. This gave us the opportunity to clean up our test data and ensure we only migrated active data, about 3,000 reusable and active test scripts in total. We also used the time for thorough system testing and user training by job function, showing testers, project managers, business users, and developers the relevant ALM Octane features and modules for them.”
It took just two months to complete the full data migration for the defect, requirements, and testing modules. As soon as the data was migrated, an ALM Octane test and training system was introduced while ALM/Quality Center still ran in parallel. Workflows and rules were defined while system synchronization took place, and ALM Octane was fully configured.
Leadership engagement combined with education and training is important for a successful agile transformation. SAFe provides guidance for all roles that are actively engaged in solution development within the enterprise. Following a defined process supported smooth user onboarding for Sunrise. The result is greater alignment and visibility across the organization, connecting the business strategy to execution. This creates a faster and more predictable delivery path.
Full integration was a must for the success of this project. While an in-house developed macro was used to integrate Confluence with ALM Octane, Sunrise leveraged Micro Focus Connect Core to integrate JIRA with ALM Octane. Connect Core is a strategic integration and synchronization technology. It lowers administrative costs by providing a single integration hub and smart synchronization capabilities. Connect Core also enables full transparency and traceability of software delivery across teams, projects, and locations. “Connect Core worked well for us. It’s easy to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong and we have received great support from Micro Focus for it,” says Gecevice.
Confluence-captured requirements are loaded into Octane via API, using an in-house developed script. These are then translated into JIRA user stories to be worked on by select development teams, as not all teams leverage JIRA in their development efforts. Defects enter the system via ALM Octane where they are logged for tracking purposes, and then pushed into JIRA for development work. ALM Octane also integrates with a ‘bug page’ – a read-only extract where the status of defects and bugs can be checked in real-time. ALM Octane uses LDAP services to verify user credentials, and it also has links to the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), as well as operations automation and external reporting solutions. All reporting and testing are based on the requirements in Octane.
Jenkins is used as the test automation application server. The end-goal is to develop a full continuous integration pipeline but, for now, increased visibility, especially in defect status, is a great result. The wider development team will take advantage of ALM Octane Developer licenses. These lower-cost licenses provide a ‘lite’ ALM Octane functionality. This is sufficient for developers to collaborate effectively with other stakeholders in the application lifecycle and increases visibility of the overall process.
All ALM Octane modules are in use within Sunrise, with the requirements module in heavy use by the release management team. The issue, quality, dashboard, pipeline, and team backlog modules are all leveraged. ALM Octane Team backlog is designed to help teams quickly document business needs and map them to supporting artifacts in the software development lifecycle. Each team is then assigned a sprint velocity, which determines the overall release capacity and creates optimal work plans. “Our team especially likes the social aspects of this module: they can communicate via Teams which makes their lives really easy,” comments Gecevice.
Gecevice also appreciates the dashboard module: “We hold a daily meeting to monitor testing and defect progress, and to manage the overall number of defects. ALM Octane really facilitates this with a great dashboard to drill into individual defect status. The clear information keeps the meeting focused and positive.”
Berchtold concludes: “After a short transition period to test the system and train our users, the actual migration was done in a ‘big bang’ fashion. Thanks to our preparations, in collaboration with Micro Focus, and the ease of use of ALM Octane, we received great feedback. Users report a streamlined process with fewer clicks, and a helpful user-friendly GUI. ALM Octane itself is fast, with intuitive search and easy navigation between modules. Our goal is to introduce ALM Octane to all agile teams at Sunrise.”
Users successfully trained for migration
Carefully selected test scripts migrated
Month implementation timeframe