There are many challenges to overcome when building quality into the delivery of enterprise-wide strategic initiatives, such as system conversions and new product rollouts. At Monticello Consulting, we have developed and refined a framework to ensure that quality is integral to the program from the outset, starting with the generation of high quality business requirements that are traced through to completion in our comprehensive test plans. Once testing is initiated, our test governance team supports all essential components of testing. Whether in an Agile or a Waterfall program, our framework incorporates information feedback to achieve ever-higher levels of quality in the end product.
Our consultants understand that for organizations to survive they must adapt to the disruptive forces, both internal and external, that are effecting continuous change to their operations. The challenge today, for many of our clients, is to not lose sight of the importance of quality in the face of these rapid changes. At Monticello Consulting, we view quality as an integral part of the organizational mindset—as important as a particular set of tools or testing routines.
In one recent engagement, in response to a mandate put forth by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to increase market transparency, Monticello Consulting implemented testing governance for a top broker-dealer to report all OTC derivatives to the DTCC’s new centralized reporting platform. OTC notional calculations were transitioned to the DTCC’s industry standard formulae, and Monticello Consulting oversaw the impact testing for the broker-dealer’s credit risk, collateral management, and regulatory reporting groups. We were retained by our client for this project not only for our focus on quality and our expertise in test governance, but also for the deep understanding our consultants have for the client’s business and the industry forces driving change.
In the banking sector, much of the new regulations that stem from the financial crisis of 2008—including Part 43/45 of Dodd-Frank Title VII—require registered swap dealers to conduct coordinated testing across all product areas. Several product groups in scope for testing represented systemic risk and were at the center of the recent crisis. In 2013, Monticello Consulting remains actively engaged in this industry-wide effort by managing the testing governance for clients with compliance obligations to the global regulatory regimes for reporting complex and potentially risky derivatives.
If implemented properly, Agile has the opportunity to significantly improve quality while lowering the total cost of QA. While traditional quality programs rely heavily on testing at the end of a product development cycle, Agile introduces QA to each sprint. This builds quality into the development process itself and reduces reliance on significant post-development inspection. For more information on our consulting services for Agile QA, click here.