SBAB wanted to upgrade its core financial system from Wallstreet Suite version 6.5 to 7.4 in order to take advantage of extensive new functionality and improve performance. This was a major project with Board-level approval and visibility, requiring significant investment and impacting key areas of the bank. A high-quality implementation and timely delivery were both essential. During the project scoping, the project management team decided to revise and re-configure many aspects of the existing long-standing system set-up, such as naming of portfolios and other static data. “These additional changes would bring us really worthwhile benefits, but they added to the complexity of a large project,” says Helena Tummings, business project manager for SBAB. Another challenge was the number of interfaces and dependencies with other departments, since each of these would need sign off before the project could complete.
We knew SkySparc for their deep knowledge of their well-developed testing methodology and for their OmniFi testing platform. Given the emphasis on quality and auditability of the project, it was very helpful to have SkySparc manage the end-to-end testing as an expert third party with a clear and documented methodology.
Helena Tummings, Business Project Manager, SBAB
To ensure the project and its results were fully auditable and robust, a threepillar model was defined to segregate responsibilities for configuration (led by Helena Tummings), interface development and IT (led by another external partner together with SBAB’s IT department) and testing, which SBAB asked SkySparc to manage. Says Tummings: “We knew SkySparc for their deep knowledge of Wallstreet Suite, their well-developed testing methodology and for their OmniFi testing platform. Given the emphasis on quality and auditability of the project, it was very helpful to have SkySparc manage the end-to-end testing as an expert third party with a clear and documented methodology.”
SkySparc provided two business consultants, who were on-site throughout the implementation, and a testing manager for the project. First they scoped and agreed the test plan with the client and built a library of test cases, suitable for use throughout the testing phases. The SkySparc team then managed the configuration testing, unit testing and systems integration testing and coordinated the user acceptance testing for final sign off before go-live. This required SkySparc’s consultants to work as part of a multi-disciplinary project team and with business end-users during the user acceptance testing.
The extensive re-configuration of the system meant the configuration testing was particularly challenging, requiring extensive mapping from old formats to new before the testing could commence. OmniFi’s easy-to-use graphical user interface makes mapping straightforward and its automation features ensure that testing can be completed much faster than manual processes and with complete consistency. As a result, the extra work was completed, ensuring the reconfigurations were fully checked, without impacting the overall project timetable. “SkySparc brought a lot of experience and problem-solving capacity to the project,” says Tummings.
Implementation of the upgrade project was scheduled to run for just over a year – and it completed on time and within budget limits. Importantly, these targets were met without compromise to the original scope of the project and with sign-off given by all relevant departments and user groups. “We achieved everything planned,” says Tummings, “and the clean-up and re-configuration of the data and portfolios has really delivered the performance benefits we wanted.” “The success of the upgrade project has been widely recognised across SBAB; it has become a reference project within our organization,” says Tummings.
Tummings also values the knowledge transfer from the project, which has allowed the in-house team to use OmniFi extensively and understand how it can increase efficiency in the finance department. “We have had OmniFi for some years, but by working with SkySparc’s consultants during the project we have seen its versatility across different processes. We now have some powerusers in our team, who will be able to exploit OmniFi’s potential in other areas as well.”
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