SUCCESS STORY

Halliburton Successfully Utilizes Offshore Resources in Agile Environment to Reduce Defects by 97%

Industry

Gas & Oil

Country

United States

Company size

50.000 + employees

About our Customer

Halliburton Company is an American multinational corporation and the world’s second largest oil service company and responsible for most of the world’s largest fracking operations. The company helps customers maximize value throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir – from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the asset.
  • TestArchitectTM
  • TestArchitectTM for Visual Studio®
  • QA Training and Consulting.
  • Software Testing Services QA.
  • 84% decrease in defects found in beta.
  • 97% reduction in issues found at product shipment.

The Challenges

Landmark Graphics’ Decision Space Nexus, a cutting-edge reservoir simulation software suite, saw a shift in development practices as the Nexus team fully embraced Agile methodologies in a more structured Scrum environment. A crucial lesson learned was the necessity of an automated regression test suite for GUI functionality.

Before finalizing commitments, the team executed the development regression suite and relied on additional testing methods, including a customer regression suite, a manual smoke test, and exploratory testing. The developer regression suite proved effective, fostering confidence in check-ins. However, it failed to uncover issues in complex customer models, complicating matters as the customer regression suite demanded nearly a week for computation on a high-end cluster to determine test outcomes.

Moreover, subtle changes in data, algorithmic code, or processing environments led to inconsistent output results. Beyond the time-intensive nature of these tests, debugging issues in complex customer data posed significant challenges for the Nexus development team.

The Solutions

Landmark chose LogiGear for its cost-effective engineering talent and expertise in test automation, particularly with TestArchitect, LogiGear’s platform for large and complex software. Despite Landmark’s interest in internal GUI test automation, their team lacked the bandwidth and expertise. This created an opportunity to enhance Halliburton’s domain talent with LogiGear’s proven test automation services and Agile project experience.

The initial project started with a small team of three testers in Vietnam and a part-time project manager in California. The goal was to automate key workflows, freeing Landmark’s reservoir engineers for exploratory testing. LogiGear provided experienced test automation engineers and a customizable TestArchitect platform, crucial for automating all test cases. The collaboration aimed to increase automation coverage and optimize Landmark’s testing processes.

LogiGear adopted the Action Based Testing approach, crafting test cases as sequences of keywords (actions) with arguments. The focus was on automating actions rather than entire test cases, making the automation effort more manageable. With fewer actions than test cases and shorter action implementations, the approach proved efficient. Using TestArchitect, modifying only a few actions was necessary when the application changed, showcasing the system’s adaptability. LogiGear prioritized productivity by training test engineers in test case design for enhanced reusability and maintainability.

The Results

The collaborative endeavor to enhance product quality yielded a notable improvement compared to the previous year. Landmark conducted a three-month beta program with specific key customers, and the quality enhancements were substantial. The results, outlined in the “Key Benefits” table on page two, highlight an 84% decrease in defects identified during beta testing and a remarkable 97% reduction in known issues discovered at the product shipment stage.

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Lessons Learned

Before this initiative, the Landmark team was working diligently but faced challenges in keeping up with quality issues. While their existing automated testing was invaluable, they heavily depended on manual testing.

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The Landmark team possessed effective automation and exploratory testing, yet recognized the potential for improvement in their testing efforts. Instead of simply increasing the number of tests, they focused on identifying tests that would provide the most value. Their strategy involved incorporating an extra set of functional tests and automating routine testing tasks, resulting in a successful outcome.

Landmark discovered the effectiveness of outsourcing test automation when partnered with the right collaborator. The successful formula involved combining LogiGear’s test automation expertise, Halliburton’s domain knowledge, and U.S.-based project management. This collaboration enabled the globally distributed team to operate efficiently within an Agile development environment.

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Through aligning LogiGear’s expertise with Landmark’s strengths, the team effectively utilized their collective talents. Landmark identified skilled petroleum engineers who made significant contributions, complemented by adept testers with a deep understanding of GUI test automation. The mutual desire for success was evident, with both Landmark and LogiGear equally invested in each other’s success.

Through aligning LogiGear’s expertise with Landmark’s strengths, the team effectively utilized their collective talents. Landmark identified skilled petroleum engineers who made significant contributions, complemented by adept testers with a deep understanding of GUI test automation. The mutual desire for success was evident, with both Landmark and LogiGear equally invested in each other’s success.

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The teams were distributed globally, prompting Landmark and LogiGear to minimize distribution overhead through a common software development pattern—loose coupling and tight cohesion. Their goal was to create locally cohesive teams while acknowledging the existence of coupling and dependencies across distributed teams. To address this, they initially identified and understood these dependencies, implementing a robust monitoring and management system.