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quality assurance & testing

how to build a robust and sustainable QA structure from scratch

Benoit Tran, Sénior Consultant - QA Manager, Itecor Paris · October 30, 2023



Our client is the leading French company in the field of physical and electronic document archiving, with over 45 years of expertise. They provide physical storage solutions in secure warehouses and software solutions that facilitate the management of all document-related processes, including scanning, Document Management Systems (GED), and digital and physical archiving management.

Currently, these services and solutions are used by over 11,000 clients, and 98% of companies listed in the CAC 40 index.

After conducting an audit on the client’s software quality processes and proposing associated recommendations, Itecor was chosen to implement these recommendations.

The main objective was to accelerate the pace of production deployments and enhance the overall software quality of all products offered in our client’s catalog.


Through its expertise, Itecor became the primary partner and player for the client in establishing a QA community working on their 5 key products as early as 2020.


Initially, the client did not have a unified and industrialized QA policy.

In this context, they sought our expertise to provide ten structural proposals, with the mission of creating the software quality function from scratch, defining a global strategy, and gradually implementing it within the different teams.

The main challenge of our mandate was to provide operational advice to the client on the following points: defining the testing policy, recruiting and integrating experienced QA profiles into squads, implementing change management, defining processes, monitoring and reporting KPIs.

Recruiting the right profiles

To meet the client’s high requirements and successfully manage the change process, it was crucial to integrate qualified, certified, and agile talents into the team.

ISTQB Test Manager, Automation/Performance Expert Engineer certifications were evident prerequisites in the recruitment process, demonstrating our ability to deliver state-of-the-art testing processes.

Furthermore, beyond in-depth technical interviews, the Itecor consultants selected for this mandate were particularly assessed for their “soft skills” and service orientation.

Establishing processes and standards

To ensure software quality, it was essential to identify key processes, including:

  • Defining responsibilities, milestones, and associated timelines.
  • Formalizing expected deliverables.
  • Selecting the tools to be used.
  • Managing requirements through the creation of test scenarios in Gherkins format.
  • Harmonizing the ticket workflow in Jira for bug handling.
  • Expressing quality criteria, such as the absence of blocking bugs, defining a tolerance threshold for major and minor bugs, requirement coverage rate, and number of validated and executed tests.

Defining standards was a crucial step as it set the guidelines for test execution, documentation production, naming conventions, and bug management policy.

These standards needed to be clear, understandable, and applicable to all parties involved.

Selecting and implementing testing tools

The client collaborated with several public entities in the development of a digital archiving software package. As a result, they needed to demonstrate total independence and ensure data protection in compliance with the constraints of the Patriot Act.

In this context, Itecor primarily considered European market solutions. The client finally chose French testing tools such as Squash TM for test management and a codeless tool for web, desktop, and mobile application automation.

Itecor also proposed and integrated a recognized performance testing solution to ensure the robustness of the solutions before their production release.

key success factors

Our main team consisted of a task force experienced in all testing domains: manual testing, automation, performance, and strategy.

An Itecor QA Manager led the team, ensuring cohesion among internal and external resources, project management, reporting, and client interface.

The ability to build trust and satisfaction with all stakeholders: Director of IT, Chief Technical Officer, Chief IT Operations Officer, Chief Product Owner, Product Owner, and Developers.

The capability to capitalize on knowledge and facilitate exchanges between the QA tribe (10 people) and the 6 development squads.


Defining Scope and Objectives

Itecor relied on the TMMi model to assist the client.

TMMi is a reference model that allows evaluating and improving the maturity of testing processes within an organization. It consists of five levels of maturity, ranging from initiation (level 1) to continuous optimization (level 5).

By using TMMi, Itecor objectively assessed the client’s maturity level and identified areas for improvement. This served to define the scope and objectives to be achieved step by step and provided an overall progression vision to the client.

Defining Prioritization Management

We applied the Risk Based Testing (RBT) method to manage functional coverage. This method evaluates the risk based on the probability of dysfunction occurrence and its impact on users and the environment.

Defining Associated Testing Context

Initially, we created a foundation of regression tests (TNR) by building a reliable and standardized test data set. This practice enables the comparison between versions with stable reference data.

Once this test repository was validated, we could create automated tests in suitable environments dedicated solely to software qualification purposes.

Defining the Place of Software Quality within the IT Department

We conducted a change management process inspired by Prince2 to ensure a smooth transition and successful integration of new processes into the existing workforce.

We communicated the reasons and benefits of establishing a QA tribe to all organization members, gaining their support.

Additionally, we provided in-depth technical training to QA resources to meet the client’s expectations and facilitate their onboarding.

benefits & results

The establishment of the QA tribe has provided numerous advantages:

key figures

QA experts
development squads
QA coverage for 5 flagship client products.
Over 4,000 tests referenced since 2020.
Accelerated CI/CD.
Release management facilitated by QA adoption.

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