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Case Study

Transforming an Oil Trading Platform

Defining the pattern for Global IT Modernisation Programme, by implementing Test First and Continuous Testing across multiple teams

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Members of the ClearRoute team had the chance to work alongside one of the world’s leading integrated oil and gas companies, with operations across the globe. They operate in the complete end-to-end oil & gas lifecycle from exploration & extraction to delivery to consumers. Their trading function, is one of the most profitable in the industry, and deal with not only the buying & selling of oil & gas but also the logistics of transportation and delivery.

There was a department-wide push to improve engineering and digital delivery capabilities, and under the guidance of a new CTO wanted to undertake a number of re-platforming initiatives. It was well known, that their current preferred supplier did not have the modern engineering resources and leadership to accelerate the new changes so they invited the ClearRoute team to undertake a review and make recommendations engagement on one of their core trading platforms.

Working with key members of the leadership and development teams, it was quickly identified that poor engineering and development practices where causing severe delays. The heavy reliance on manual testing and poorly developed test automation frameworks where causing long regression test cycles, and low release frequency and predictability. This in turn was impacting business and IT relations, with end users reluctant to help drive software improvement and rarely engaged with the development teams.

The ClearRoute team focused on implementing a ‘Test First’ Process, and rework the ‘Continous Testing’ approach, introducing effective test automation and CI/CD strategy. This approach revolutionised their Route To Live and allowed them to gradually increase their release frequency, and eliminate but all of their scripted manual test effort.

Regression Test Cycle
Increased Release Frequency

Some highlights from the program of work include:

  • Coached and trained both permanent and vendor staff in Agile practices and Test First development approaches, leading to better collaboration between team members and up front test design.
  • Re-engineered server side test automation pack developed in IBM RIT to open source Cucumber-JVM. This lead to an increase in release times, as the new framework would reduce test execution time down from 3 days to 22 minutes. Automated all manual environment releases using Jenkins pipelines, with integrated test automation runs.
  • Built dashboards and visualisations using Azure DevOps giving both business stakeholders and engineering teams the data they needed to plan and act. Implemented test automation strategy across WPF, Net front ends and Java service layers, leveraging concepts of the test pyramid.

ClearRoute teams work on the platform allowed the organisation to drastically reduce their release cycles from 6-months to daily, and was so successful that it became the blueprint of a global transformation programme.

Reduction in automation test run

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