Hunter Industries Ensures Accountability, Strengthens QA Process with TestTrack

Premier golf courses, corporate facilities, municipalities, and homeowners rely on Hunter Industries, the third largest irrigation company in the world, to streamline their landscape management efforts and create professional-quality automated water and lighting programs that are both cost- and resource-efficient.

Hunter Industries' product line includes patented gear-driven rotors, water-efficient sprinklers, weather sensors, valves, and controllers, as well as high-quality LED and low-voltage outdoor lighting. Many of their products have internal controllers that manage user settings and commands.

Hunter Industries

Prior to 2010, the engineers who worked on electronics and coding were also doing the testing for the controllers, and requirements, test cases, and defect tracking were being managed with a combination of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. This was more than sufficient for years, but as the company grew, reviewing the development and testing process to ensure quality and completeness became a burden for the controller division team.

With hundreds of thousands of systems and parts in development and production at any time, a rigorous quality assurance process is essential, and Hunter Industries has always been dedicated to delivering top-notch quality. They were aware that any malfunction caused by an undiscovered controller error could result in financial loss for themselves and their customers, or a damaged corporate reputation. Finding a more reliable way to manage quality assurance and track the entire controller software development process was critical.

Shoring Up Quality Assurance

The team began looking for a software solution to that would alleviate much of the manual cross-checking in their QA process. They needed to find a tool that would provide a view of the entire project lifecycle, from requirements to test cases to defects, so they could quickly and easily track development artifacts at every stage in the process.

While the team was already using TestTrack for defect tracking, their new software QA manager had extensive experience with competitor HP Quality Center.

"I wanted to make sure we invested in the very best software for the job rather than just extending our TestTrack licenses simply because we already had them in place," said Kifah Samara, Software QA Manager. "I was already familiar with HP Quality Center and, quite frankly, was already leaning toward them, but it made sense to see how Seapine's TestTrack capabilities compared."

Seapine had to prove the value of TestTrack to the controller division team as if they were coming in at ground zero. The Seapine team worked closely with Samara during both the assessment and budget development processes, providing temporary licenses so he could fully test the functionality of the TestTrack suite. In the end, TestTrack won Samara over.

"Both solutions had the main features we really needed, but Seapine as a whole offered such incredible customer service that it really tipped the scales for us."

—Kifah Samara, Software QA Manager, Hunter Industries

TestTrack Ensures Accountability and Confident Results

Soon after expanding their use to the full TestTrack suite, the controller division realized a new level of certainty. Now, each design verification testing (DVT) project begins and ends in TestTrack. Requirements are entered in TestTrack, which automatically generates test cases based on that information. When a test case is executed and a defect is created, it is linked directly back to the test case and the requirement, and eventually to a testing result.

Samara no longer has to spend hours manually reviewing everyone's work. With just a click or two, he can see if all the requirements are covered, easily identify any significant turning points, and confirm all the defects are linked to a test case.

From a management perspective, there is more accountability at all levels of the development process, with much less effort required from the quality assurance manager and the project leads. Responsibilities and workflows are crystal clear, and results are logged every step of the way.

"When I need to see records and reports, they are all available quickly and easily—I don't have to look through countless Word documents. And each member of my team knows exactly what they need to do when."

—Kifah Samara, Software QA Manager, Hunter Industries

Essentially, TestTrack helps Hunter Industries controller division manage their team and workload more effectively, and helps prevent costly and unnecessary product failures.

"Innovative solutions and high-quality products are key philosophies at Hunter Industries. One of the ways the controller division makes sure we live up to those standards of excellency is by using TestTrack," Samara said. "Plus, the team at Seapine is wonderful to work with. Finding a company willing to go out of their way for the customer is invaluable."


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AT A GLANCE

Organization:

Hunter Industries

Headquarters:

San Marcos, CA

Description:

Hunter Industries' controller division manages their team and workload more effectively, and helps prevent costly product failures with TestTrack.

Products:

TestTrack