Outokumpu Corporation
REFERENSSIT
TESTAUS

Navigating Complexity: Outokumpu’s Testing Journey in a Large Scale Transformation

The importance of comprehensive and efficient testing is undeniable. As technology continues to push boundaries and redefine possibilities, so does quality engineering and testing. This reference case highlights the importance of business process driven approach on independent testing service approach in global, multi-year business and IT transformation programs.

 

Client: Outokumpu Corporation
Region: Finland
Industry: Stainless Steel Manufacturing
Offer: SAP Business Assurance

Outokumpu is a global leader in sustainable stainless steel, with a notable global presence. Central to Outokumpu's mission is the relentless pursuit of the lowest carbon footprint in the industry. As a part of this endeavour, the company has achieved a remarkable milestone - manufacturing stainless steel comprising 95% recycled material content.

The groundbreaking achievement demonstrates Outokumpu's dedication to sustainability and exemplifies their ability to achieve ambitious sustainability goals through partnerships with customers and suppliers.

Independent Testing Partner to Secure Quality at Your Digital Core

As a company of significant scale, Outokumpu operates with intricate business processes and complex systems. The company's significant acquisitions and expansion to newer global territories resulted in an increase in the number of legacy systems that needed to be integrated and aligned with their operational workflows. Recognizing the importance of robust test planning and strategy, they prioritized these aspects from the outset of their SAP and integrated systems transformation journey.

In 2016, Outokumpu embarked on a multi-year business transformation program that included developing, harmonizing, and improving several core business capabilities and migrating to SAP systems. The company needed an independent testing partner with extensive experience and domain-specific knowledge in testing large SAP transformation projects. The partner needed to quickly scale up or down to meet Outokumpu's testing requirements and adapt to the complexity of the company's integrated IT landscape.

Outokumpu found that trusted partnership in Sogeti for their expertise in Quality Engineering and Testing, who defined a well-rounded test strategy for the SAP implementation and upgrades. Sogeti created a roadmap for the greenfield implementation and planned a tailored testing methodology. The business-driven testing methodology is well structured and flexible making it suitable for global and dynamic transformation programs.

Business-Process Driven Test Approach at Scale

Sogeti started by establishing core services and streamlining the testing process. This also involved building a new transactional backbone into existing complex legacy landscape without any business disruption. To achieve this, all relevant business stakeholders were participated in the planning phase.

Sogeti was managing all phases and types of testing in efficient and focused work packages in the transformation program along with providing tool services for test automation and SolMan for test management. Apart from SAP, tool support was also provided for on-premise and in the future for Azure environments. Sogeti used amongst other ‘lights-out testing’ to automate the end-to-end regression testing process. This helped to ensure that the changes made to the software did not introduce any new defects.

After an intensive review with the business stakeholders, Sogeti and Outokumpu together built a representative suite of end-to-end test cases to manage complex processes and technical solutions. The suite included hundreds of test steps that simulate real-life scenarios, encompassing the entire journey from customer quotation and procurement, to steel manufacturing, transportation, invoicing, and payments. This rigorous approach ensured every aspect of the process to function smoothly for running the business operations.

Transparent Management Combined With High Agility

Sogeti served as an independent testing partner, ensuring unbiased testing outcomes. However, this setup did lead to a certain amount of to-and-from communication with the various development teams. Gradually, both Sogeti and the other partners established efficient and transparent collaboration to comprehensively test and share insightful feedback on quality and defect process.

 

All the different teams understood that they cannot deliver alone and over time the collaboration between the tester, functional team and architect became so close that they worked as one unit,” stated Päivi Rosenborg, Head of IT Development and Architecture at Outokumpu.

 

Implementing a robust Rightshore® approach ensured access to a global talent pool spanning across time zones, ensuring required testing coverage and reducing turnaround times on queries or urgent requests between teams.

Effective knowledge retention emerged as a key factor, ensuring that expertise was not limited to specific individuals but could be seamlessly transferred among team members, enabling consistent progress.

 

The testing team remained constant for a long time, which stabilized performance. Changes in the team quickly ramped up with a good process. A shared repository of all functionalities allowed for easy transfer of duties within the team,” Rosenborg added.

 

Following this, Sogeti was also entrusted to provide training to Outokumpu’s relevant users on the testing processes, tools and beyond that when needed, hands-on training in the business processes.

Furthermore, the extensive test repository provided by Sogeti allows Outokumpu to effortlessly access tailor-made test scenarios with detailed steps, making the testing process efficient and effective.

Achievements

The success of the testing transformation project was built on three pillars: adaptability, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

The testing quality ensured go-lives without business interruptions in a challenging, dynamic and global environment in a multi-year program. The key factors were the relentless improvement of test management and ability to adjust to the phases of the program in an agile manner.

Outokumpu and Sogeti’s partnership continues to grow as they’ve embarked on the largest deployment for the largest integrated stainless steel mill in the world. This transformation program sets the stage for continuous innovation and excellence in Quality Engineering.

 

Testing usually takes a lot of time and we didn’t want to lock in our resources. Sogeti came in as a testing professional with their toolkit and test strategy. They were able to provide industrialized solutions depending on our needs and the complex system landscape and this took the load off our shoulders,” Rosenborg concludes.

"Our perspective on global business transformations, including large-scale systems consolidation and migrations within the digital IT core, such as those undertaken by Outokumpu, emphasizes the importance of engaging in and conducting independent end-to-end testing services to minimize potential business risks and ensure quality, thereby ensuring business continuity. This approach not only secures the successful implementation and deployment of large-scale projects but also introduces a new, more efficient method of managing quality and testing during the production and operational phases of transformation within the ERP landscape. Outokumpu's program management has consistently demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing this strategy throughout their transformation." Juha Vaitilo, CSO, Quality Engineering & Testing Practice Leader, Sogeti Finland

 

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