How Cardinal Peak Ships Every Release On Time and On Budget - TestRail
How Cardinal Peak Ships Every Release On Time and On Budget

Learn how TestRail empowers Cardinal Peak’s QA testing team to efficiently manage test cases, plans, and runs in alignment with development sprints, execute tests and track the results that matter most — all in the same place.

How Cardinal Peak Ships Every Release On Time and On Budget

Founded in 2002, Cardinal Peak is a product engineering services company that helps bring products to market. With more than 800 projects resulting in 200-plus commercialized products, they are a trusted leader in the product engineering space doing everything from electrical engineering and embedded systems to mobile and cloud development. The company works on a wide breadth of projects and has over 100 engineers, of which approximately 20 are involved in testing. Cardinal Peak has always made it their priority to apply quality assurance at every step in the development process and ensure that their products and releases are always on time and on budget.

The Challenge:

Because they work with vastly different clients, projects, and different systems under test, Cardinal Peak’s biggest software testing challenges come down to time and flexibility.

On top of every customer and product being different, being a services company means that the level of expected communication and customer direction also varies greatly. Testing a consumer electronic device is very different from testing a cloud application. That means that the engineering team at Cardinal Peak needs to be able to build test plans quickly and in alignment with what they are trying to accomplish for their customers.

Moreover, they need to be absolutely confident that their products are ready for manufacturing, production, or release. As Pablo Maurin, Director of QA Engineering at Cardinal Peak, put it, “If I have a project that is only going to be nine months long, I need to build a test plan and test cases quickly, I need to have testers assigned to the project, I need to have a reporting mechanism that I can share with a customer and I need to do it fast.” 

The nature of Cardinal Peak’s business and the lean approach they take requires them to have the flexibility to quickly scope out what is needed, make the decisions on what type of testing will be done, and make it very clear who is going to do what. Pablo explained,

Sometimes, even though we have a well known target at the end, some of it is exploratory in nature from both the software development standpoint and for the testing of the application as a result. We have to be able to understand that projects, technologies, and implementations change and we have to be flexible and adjust the plan accordingly as we test.” 

In the past, Cardinal Peak’s testing teams tried Zephyr for Jira, a popular test case management add-on for their Jira projects. However, they quickly ran into limitations around the lack of flexibility, customization, and specificity when dealing with test case management. According to Pablo,

“The biggest problem with Zephyr for Jira is that it forces you to treat a test in the same way that you consider all the tasks and/or issues you have in Jira, and test cases and plans don’t work that way. You’re trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.”

The Solution:

As the Director of QA Engineering at Cardinal Peak, Pablo Maurin ultimately decided to move to TestRail for its automation API, reporting capabilities, and overall usability. 

“TestRail empowers our QA testing team to efficiently manage test cases, plans, and runs in alignment with development sprints, execute tests and track the results that matter most — all in the same place.”

Pablo Maurin, Director of QA Engineering, Cardinal Peak

Usability:  

TestRail’s ease of use, customizability, and ability to visualize and organize tests into test runs makes it easy for Cardinal Peak to quickly spin up runs and track progress. Pablo stated, “TestRail is a simple enough tool that it doesn’t have a high burden for training and makes it very easy for us to spin up a new product quickly.” 

The usability factor is also bolstered by streamlined workflows that allow Cardinal Peak’s testing team to seamlessly plan, execute, and report on manual testing right alongside the tests that they have automated.

Like many teams, Cardinal Peak’s QA team automates as much as they can, but there is always some element of testing that needs to be done by humans. TestRail’s test management workflows and user interface allow the Pablo’s team to quickly identify what needs to be tested, update test status as they carry out the tests, and report results of testing (such as images, screen recordings, or log files).

Finally, TestRail provides Cardinal Peak with seamless integrations with their bug tracking tools. Pablo stated, “TestRail integrates well with our bug-tracking system so that we can report issues back to developers or have traceability back to the system’s requirements, linking tests back to found bugs.” This integration has allowed Cardinal Peak to track the version of the software that was executed and assign sets of tests to all the various testers on their team so that they can execute tests in parallel and improve workflow.

Rich API:

TestRail’s rich API allows Pablo and his team to capture test cases, assign them for execution manually, push in test results from automated scripts and log results programmatically. He stated, “Since TestRail doesn’t assume anything about the execution environment, it is versatile and we can tie our automated tools into TestRail, whether we’re working on an embedded or cloud project or a mobile application. Having that rich API means that I can go ahead and just write my tests, submit my results to have them available in my reports, and I can develop that fixturing that I need for the products that I’m working on.” 

Reporting:

TestRail also provides Cardinal Peak more customized and robust reporting options than other tools they used previously. This helps Pablo easily and quickly communicate status and current level of product stability within internal teams and to external customers, and field retrospective requests.

Customers want to know if their projects are ready to ship and TestRail allows the team at Cardinal Peak to demonstrate –with confidence- that they have coverage of the project’s unique requirements and that the product has passed all tests. 

“Our customers really appreciate the level of visibility that I’m able to provide them with the status reports from TestRail.”

Pablo Maurin, Director of QA Engineering, Cardinal Peak

 The Results:

TestRail’s usability, flexibility and reporting empower Pablo and the QA teams across Cardinal Peak to efficiently manage test cases, plans, and runs during development sprints, execute manual and automated tests, and track the results that matter most — all in one place.

The rich API allows for flexibility when tying in their automated tools and tracking all testing operations through one central platform helps the team apply QA at every step of their software development process.

Through improved usability, built-in visibility and rich API, TestRail has enabled the QA function at Cardinal Peak to confidently support their wide breadth of projects without sacrificing quality.

TestRail makes it very clear where we stand especially in terms of the test execution and readiness for release. I really don’t know that we would have been able to do that with other tools.”
Pablo Maurin, Director of QA Engineering, Cardinal Peak

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