Transition of testing services including knowledge transfer
An International Defence Engineering Company
Managed Test Services, Functional/Non-Functional Testing, Test Automation,
The customer is a global defence engineering company with multiple divisions including a UK-based division that supports the delivery of complex programmes that support and contribute to the growth of the customer’s exports.
The customer embarked on a digital transformation programme to enhance and develop existing, regulatory audit and control processes. The programme was delivered over six independent projects, coordinated by a programme management team. Ten10 was engaged to deliver a managed test service 2 years into the 4-year programme. At this point the six projects were at different stages in the development lifecycle, ranging from inception to post go-live support; some projects were following a waterfall methodology and others an agile/ iterative methodology.
What we did
Transferred knowledge from the incumbent test team using Tenology’s structured and controlled approach to knowledge transfer.
The Ten10 team was engaged 2 years into the programme. The programme and project teams were well-established, the test strategy was defined, and several projects were in flight with delivery milestones agreed with all stakeholders.
The first stage of the Ten10 engagement was to transition the delivery of test activities from the incumbent test provider to the Ten10 team. Using Ten10’s proven 4-step knowledge transfer approach defined in Tenology (Ten10’s proven delivery methodology) the Ten10 Delivery Manager and Programme Test Manager:
- Outlined the Ten10 approach to knowledge transfer (KT) with the customer and incumbent test provider teams.
- Defined and agreed a KT plan across each of the 4 stages – Onboard, Shadow, Transition, Perform – with the incumbent team.
- Shared the KT plan with the customer’s programme team to confirm completeness and agree timescales.
- Actioned the KT plan while tracking progress, managing risks and blockers, and providing regular status updates to the customer Programme Manager.
Ten10 adopted a phased onboarding approach to:
- Stagger the KT process, reducing the impact to ongoing test delivery.
- Allow time to learn lessons from the first rounds of KT, and further streamline and improve the approach for subsequent rounds.
- De-risk the departure of the incumbent test team, some of whom had been on the programme for 2 years, by deferring the transition until after key project milestones had been achieved.
Avoiding gaps in knowledge transfer from the incumbent test partner:
- Adopted Ten10’s proven, structured and controlled approach.
- Completed a “discovery” exercise to scope the KT and estimate the likely duration
- Documented a KT plan, with estimated duration for each task.
- Conducted reviews of the KT plan with the incumbent test partner, test management and project/programme stakeholders to confirm content, completeness and timescales.
- Confirmed progress via regular reporting.
- Highlighted any gaps or blockers early so they could be resolved within the agreed timescales.
Balancing knowledge transfer activities alongside ongoing delivery:
- Understood project and programme priorities and work to avoid handover at significant programme/project milestones.
- Build working relationships with customer and third-party supplier teams to ensure continuity and minimal disruption.
- Incorporated ‘parallel delivery’ as recommended in Ten10’s KT approach.
- Agreed with customer stakeholders.
- Continued incumbent test team delivery alongside the Ten10 test team.
- Ramped down the incumbent test team over a timescale that met the projects’ needs.
- Completed knowledge transfer while continuing to progress the project.
Effecting change when test strategy and approach has been established
- Conducted a review to capture what is working well and what could be improved.
- Shared a prioritised improvement plan with the programme team – agree the priorities.
- Implemented the improvement plan, tracking progress and refining when needed.
- Established ongoing and continuous improvement via regular retrospectives, seeking feedback, innovating and driving change.
The Ten10 knowledge transfer approach has delivered the following benefits to the customer:
- A smooth transition with the Ten10 team quickly established as product SMEs.
- Zero knowledge gaps identified following completion of the KT plan.
- Confidence from programme and external stakeholders retained at all stages.
- No impact to project and programme milestones.
- The materials collated and produced as part of the knowledge transfer have been maintained and used to support additional Ten10 team onboarding (e.g. when flex team members were required).
- The KT materials were used to support the transition from Ten10 to the customer’s BAU support team when the programme closed down.