TTC enables Media Client to Reduce Duration and Cost of Test Cycle

Inspiring New Zealanders on Every Screen

  • John Mulrennan
  • 20 March 2020

TVNZ is New Zealand's national broadcaster, operating four channels - analogue and digital – and an online "catch up TV" service called ‘TVNZ OnDemand’. TVNZ's Strategic Plan, titled "Inspiring New Zealanders on Every Screen", emphasises TVNZ's strong focus on providing viewers, consumers and customers with the content and services they want and expect from New Zealand's leading television and digital media company.

About 90% of TVNZ’s revenue is gained through commercial activity such as advertising, licensing, merchandising and hiring out production resources. The other 10% of revenue comes from government sources. The system used for booking and managing TV channel advertising and associated revenue is a product called MediaBook. TVNZ worked with TTC to help establish a maintainable, scalable and cost-effective test automation solution to aid in cost reductions for Mediabook Projects

The manual test suite for MediaBook consisted of 2,500+ testcases across the 16 different functional modules and 15 interfaces to internal/external broadcasting systems, giving system coverage of close to 90%.

Many of the tests required such an extensive data set-up component prior to the start of test execution that it took 15 person-days per test cycle to prepare the data. Additionally, given the nature of the business, the data used for TV broadcasting decays over time (as soon as it is aired), so it cannot be reused.

Each new release had a test cycle which lasted 3-4 weeks. Due to the complex nature of the application, a test cycle would require 5 business users and 5 testers, to set aside blocks of time during which they would first set up the test data, and then run through the manual tests.

This had a significant negative impact on TVNZ’s regular work schedules. Typically the full test suite would not be completed within the allocated time frame, resulting in a lower than desired coverage and an increased risk of undetected defects. Also, due to the amount of effort required and the disruption to business users whenever a manual test suite had to be run, TVNZ were not able to upgrade the system as frequently as they would have liked in order to benefit from newer releases.

The primary objective of automation at TVNZ was to reduce the duration and cost of a test cycle and therefore increase the frequency with which upgrades could be made. Additionally, TVNZ sought to reduce the negative impact of the extended work load on its business users, especially taking into account the extensive and inefficient “one-off test data” setup task required for every test iteration.

How did TTC help solve these challenges? Read Case Study Here