Getting Started with Software Test Automation

By Celerity on Oct. 23, 2017 View Comments


Software test automation makes use of specialized tools to control the execution of tests and compares the actual results against the expected results. With automated testing, you can record and playback predefined actions or scripts and report upon the results quickly and efficiently. While it requires an upfront investment, the benefits are clear.

Here are three reasons why software test automation will help your organization:

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5 Steps to Your First User Test

By Craig Phillips, UX Designer on Oct. 3, 2017 View Comments

The barrier to entry into user testing has never been lower. Forget size and budget. Companies who interact with users on a regular basis will swim, while others sink. Despite the ease of entry, many still neglect testing and rely on internal opinions to guide product decisions.

Though investing in a user researcher is ideal, this hurdle shouldn't stop you. Look on your team for a strategic thinker and good listener to get started. When you witness the insights and aha moments that come from a test, the value will be clear as day.

These 5 steps are a simple introduction to user testing for non-researchers. It's a flexible process to follow, avoiding the complexities in favor of action. With clear goals, and a sincere desire to gather honest feedback, you're already well on your way. Jump in and get started. You may never look back.

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Operational Readiness: 3 Keys to a Successful Takeoff for Any Large-Scale System

By Nicole Helfrich, Delivery Director, Project & Program Management on Sep. 19, 2017 View Comments

After you’ve spent months preparing for the launch of a large-scale initiative, the last thing you want to experience is a deployment debacle due to untested systems and unprepared users.

I recently attended a project management training class that referenced one of the airline industry’s worst. It’s a textbook example of what can happen at deployment with any system when certain, seemingly mundane, operational functions are dismissed during testing.

It happened on March 27, 2008, opening day for Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, which today is hailed as British Airways’ most technologically advanced and lavish terminals in the world. On launch day, however, Terminal 5 suffered debilitating operational glitches like a malfunctioning car park system and its baggage software being left in test mode. These operational software glitches caused a cascade of issues, including 23,000 misplaced bags, 500 canceled flights, and a 5-day recovery from the debacle.

The pains felt by employees and travelers of Terminal 5 could have been avoided with focus on a few key areas that are often forgotten due to inexperienced project leads or lack of resources to support these operational readiness efforts.

Here are three steps to ensure a smooth takeoff for any new system:

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Your Mobile Strategy Needs More Than Just an App

By David Donze, Mobile Expert on Sep. 5, 2017 View Comments

Is your business focused on mobile? Mobile web browsing has long since surpassed desktop browsing and users are spending, on average, more than three hours per day on their mobile devices, 90% of which is spent in apps. What does this mean for you? Mobile is everywhere, so not having a mobile strategy is no longer an option.

It’s a common mistake to assume that you only need to develop a mobile app, release it to the AppStore, and call it a day. Your mobile strategy may only require a mobile website, or it may rely heavily on a suite of mobile apps, or it may fall somewhere in between. But it needs to be heavily integrated into your overall web and marketing strategies and afforded a high level of investment and commitment similar to your web strategy.

Successfully generating mobile ROI requires a solid plan and a lot of work beyond developing an app. Instead of thinking in terms of an “app,” think in terms of a “mobile experience" that will keep users engaged and coming back for more.

Here are six key considerations you'll want to focus on as you develop a mobile strategy:

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How to Streamline Quality Assurance for Agile Scrum Development

By John Mark Swartz, Consultant on Aug. 22, 2017 View Comments

I have learned over the years that tried and true quality assurance (QA) practices work great in a waterfall approach. QA is regimented by nature and lends itself perfectly to the methodical nature of waterfall development, only with a lot of extra fluff. Can we cut out some of that fluff to match the streamlined nature of Agile Scrum development? I believe we can trim down some of the QA practices included in waterfall, keeping the highest quality of standards and even improving on them by being more efficient with our time.

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A Logical Approach to Requirements Gathering

By Chris Alexion, Consultant, Service Delivery on Aug. 15, 2017 View Comments

Requirements gathering is a critical, foundational step in all software development. It will either set the project on a course to great success if done well or doom it to failure if done poorly. As Janet Leon pointed out in her blog, The True Cost of a Software Bug, the earlier you catch a bug in the software development life cycle, the less costly the bug will be. So it should be our goal to get the requirements 100% correct in order to eliminate bugs. With the stakes high and the challenges many, here are a few items to consider during requirements gathering that will ensure your project charts a successful course.

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Website Design: Making the Case for Modular Design

By Claire Patenaude on Jul. 31, 2017 View Comments

The digital and marketing landscapes are shifting. User expectations are becoming more and more demanding and customers anticipate a timely, personalized, and integrated experience with your brand across all devices and channels.

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7 Ways to Effectively Manage a Product Owner Backlog

By Todd Miller, ScrumMaster, Product Owner on Jul. 11, 2017 View Comments

Product backlog management is an art form that requires relentless attention. As a Product Owner, it’s your responsibility to run a well-oiled machine and keep the product backlog healthy. This includes accommodating stakeholders, development teams, and most importantly, users. But how do you manage a product backlog in a way that is effective and results-driven?

Here are 7 tips from an Agile Product Owner who’s been around the block:

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Choosing an Automatic or Manual Content Migration

By Celerity on Jul. 1, 2017 View Comments

Website redesign or re-platforming projects are often the most exciting and dreaded undertaking for marketing teams. No matter how much you look forward to a shiny new CMS, there’s no denying that the arduous task of content migration can zap some of the joy out of the process.

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3 Myths You’ve Heard About Content Migration (And Why They’re Wrong)

By Celerity on Jun. 27, 2017 View Comments

Let’s face it – Content migration is complex. Like, really complex. After all, CMS solutions hold a lot of important data and moving it to a completely new system is risky business. You don’t want to be that person responsible for losing documents, lengthy downtime or underestimating the project entirely. It’s time to get realistic about the process.

Here are 3 myths about content migration that often lead to misguided projects. Let us set the record straight:

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Keys to BPM Software Success Using Agile Methodologies

By Jason Foster, BPM Delivery Director on Jun. 13, 2017 View Comments

For most application workflow projects, the Agile development methodologies have proven a superior approach over the traditional waterfall method.

But even with a proven delivery method like Agile, insufficient understanding of business processes can derail your project. This is especially true when the project involves a complex workflow component.

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5 Ways to Better Manage Project Communications

By Nicole Helfrich, Delivery Director, Project & Program Management on May. 16, 2017 View Comments

Throughout my project management career, one of the areas I consistently strive for excellence in is communications. I feel it is critical to the success of any project—big or small—so I wanted to share five ways that I effectively manage communications for my projects.

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Why BPM Consultants are Pros at Organizational Change Management

By Celerity on Apr. 18, 2017 View Comments

Change is hard. Have you ever heard the following objections to innovation from your organization? “My department is unique.” “That sounds great in theory, but it wouldn't work in our environment.” “An outsider doesn’t understand the way we operate.”

Business Process Management (BPM) consultants hear these objections at the beginning of virtually every project we undertake. It’s true that we’re not experts in every field; but we are experts in process improvement and efficiency. We understand that every business is different and that most organizations are, at best, minimally resistant to change.   

By partnering closely with your team’s stakeholders, listening to their needs and understanding their positions, consultants prove that fresh tools and strategies can be implemented in harmony with existing structures and cultures to produce incredible results.   
Here are five reasons why organizations should make external BPM consultants an integral part of a continuous improvement culture:  

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Hitting It Out of the Park with Your MVP Launch

By J. Lawson & K. Long - Digital Experience Team on Apr. 3, 2017 View Comments

No, that’s not your Most Valuable Player—it’s your Minimum Viable Product!  

For die-hard baseball fans, Opening Day is full of limitless possibilities. The air sings with hope and excitement. The whole season lies ahead, culminating perhaps with a trip to the Series! (Oh, and don’t forget about the hot dogs.)

That same feeling of excitement ignites in product executives the moment their digital product goes live. They are the biggest fans—and most rabid competitors—of all. But how can you bat 1,000 in such a competitive space? How can you ensure that your minimum viable product (MVP) or minimum marketable product (MMP) will last the season?

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Mobile App Development Cost: The Top 6 Budget Factors

By Jay Kissman on Mar. 30, 2017 View Comments

Recent studies show that 86% of consumers' mobile time is spent on mobile apps. To keep up with this growing trend, 90% of U.S. enterprises are increasing their investments in mobile app development.

But what slows people down from actually executing an efficient mobile app development process, is not knowing how to plan and budget for them.

Many of our clients struggle with getting their arms around scope and cost for mobile app projects because each app is unique and dependent on several key business decisions. Our work developing apps for small-, medium-, and enterprise level-clients has taught us that no matter the size of the project or budget, there are 6 things that impact the mobile app development cost:

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Create a High-Functioning Work Space with the 5S Methodology

By Celerity on Mar. 21, 2017 View Comments

In Business Process Management, Lean methodology is centered on the idea of eliminating waste. This process sounds simple in theory – “Get rid of defects, cut out steps that add no value” – but actually implementing these ideas requires strategic planning. The 5S methodology presents an organized way of eliminating physical waste and standardizing the use of equipment and processes across an entire functional unit. 5S stresses that cleanliness, organization, and standardization are key in creating the most efficient and effective work processes. The method originated from five Japanese words which have been translated into English.

Here’s how you can implement the steps:

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Episerver Ascending: Takeaways From Episerver’s 2017 Conference

By John Dymond, .NET CMS Architect on Mar. 13, 2017 View Comments

In the last year, Episerver's significant investments into its product have truly made it stand out in the competitive CMS landscape. I had high hopes in attending the Ascend conference to see what’s in store for 2017, and it did not disappoint! There was a lot of great information shared at the conference from both IT and Marketing perspectives. The following are my top three takeaways from the conference as well as some points worth considering if you are looking to grow or transform your web presence:

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Setting up Episerver to Run as an Azure Application

By John Dymond, .NET CMS Architect on Feb. 21, 2017 View Comments

Episerver is a leading CMS that helps companies create an effective user experience across all channels and devices. Episerver was recently featured in the Forrester Wave WCM 2017 and was listed as the leading .NET CMS vendor and 1 of the 3 leaders in the report. 

 

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5 Ways to Think Beyond Salary When Negotiating

By Jill Barlow and Amanda Paga, Corporate Recruiters on Feb. 15, 2017 View Comments

You’re interviewing for your dream job, and everything has been smooth sailing so far. You nailed the first interview, and you’re anxious and excited to meet the rest of the team. Your phone rings, and it’s the recruiter who initially contacted you about the position. He has great news - you’re the top candidate so far, and he is calling to schedule your final interview!

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Mastering Agile Product Development

By Celerity on Jan. 31, 2017 View Comments


Recently, Celerity’s Agile experts put together an interactive webinar on Mastering Agile Product Development – an area where many attempt to conquer but few succeed. Their first question to the audience was:

True or False: New product ideas primarily come from management in my organization.


The audience was split 50/50 on their answers. The next question asked if securing funding for a product was difficult. Once again, the audience was split down the middle. The same respondents, however, who agreed that new ideas come from management also said that funding a product was not difficult.

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