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Legal IT case study: SQS delivers regression testing for Irwin Mitchell

SQS Software Quality Systems, a specialist in software quality, has helped Irwin Mitchell introduce automated regression testing into its systems development programmes. The first project to benefit has been Irwin Mitchell’s legal case management system, where SQS’ expertise, especially in automated testing, has had a direct, positive impact on project timelines and quality.

Since 2009, Irwin Mitchell has been developing and improving its legal case management systems. These business-critical systems involve complex workflows, updating documents, diaries and other business systems. Accuracy and reliability of the information is critical – not only could a system error lead to corruption in data quality in multiple systems, but failure to send the right information at the right time could have serious legal ramifications.

Testing and quality assurance were critical considerations when updating the case management systems and Irwin Mitchell asked SQS to help develop and implement test automation strategies to support its development work. The focus of the test automation was on regression testing: maximising test coverage of each system release and reducing the risk of defects being introduced into production systems.

SQS and Irwin Mitchell developed a test automation Proof-of-Concept (PoC) to demonstrate that new case management system releases could be quality assured reliably, quickly and with little manual intervention, freeing up internal Irwin Mitchell resource to concentrate on other strategic inititiatives.

Following the success of the PoC, automated regression testing was expanded to cover Irwin Mitchell’s full case management system development and SQS delivered a fully scalable and maintainable test automation framework within just three months.

Ian Fowles, Head of Programme and Portfolio Delivery at Irwin Mitchell: “Irwin Mitchell is dedicated to implementing best-of-breed testing practices so we selected SQS due to its depth of expertise in testing and test automation.

“Testing throughout our systems lifecycle, from beginning to end, plus identifying and resolving any issues before they arose, was just one benefit of working with SQS. Another was SQS’ ability to run tests out of hours and distribute any changes over multiple machines, implementing the system’s release into our existing operation.

“As we continue to broaden the scope of this test automation project to other areas of the business, there will no doubt be even more potential to add value as a result of SQS’ automation work.”

Stephen Fice, Managing Director at SQS, comments: “Having worked with some of the UK’s largest law firms we understand how important reliability is in case management systems, however, their complexity makes assuring reliability difficult and time consuming. Project owners are faced with the challenge of delivering new systems at pace, while maintaining confidence that new releases will be adequately quality assured. Our work for Irwin Mitchell demonstrates how automated regression testing dramatically cuts the time taken to test complex system releases while increasing the number of system features actually tested.

“Our regression testing work with Irwin Mitchell is a great success story, both the SQS team and the Irwin Mitchell team should be proud of their achievements in accelerating development and test cycles without compromising system or data quality.”

• About SQS Software Quality Systems
SQS is a specialist in software quality. Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, the company employs approximately 2100 staff. Along with a strong presence in Germany and the UK, SQS has further subsidiaries in Egypt, Finland, France, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and the US. In addition, SQS maintains a minority stake in a company in Portugal. In 2011, SQS generated revenues of 189.1 million Euros. SQS is the first German company to have a primary listing on the AIM (Alternative Investment Market) in London. In addition, SQS shares are traded on the open market of the German Stock Exchange in Frankfurt am Main.

With over 5,000 completed projects under its belt, SQS has a strong client base, including half of the DAX 30, nearly a third of the STOXX 50 and 20 per cent of the FTSE 100 companies. These include, among others, Allianz, Beazley, BP, Centrica, Daimler, Deutsche Post, Generali, JP Morgan, Meteor, Reuters and Volkswagen as well as companies from every other conceivable industry. For more information visit