Quality Assurance for Hardware: Development and Test Case Portfolios

Challenge

An international manufacturer of rail vehicles, based in Germany, faced the challenge of building and operating a train depot. To keep the piloting and testing phase of the depot as short as possible, the company decided to apply quality assurance measures from software development. The goal was to define a requirements and testing portfolio, which can quickly be applied to the individual components during the depot’s iterative construction. Therefore, the company decided to rely on the know-how of Method Park engineers. 

 

Duration/Volume of the project

About 8 months

1 Requirements Engineer

1 Test Manager

1 Test Engineer

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Solution

Together with all stakeholders involved in the construction, the Method Park Requirements Engineer standardized the existing process documents and developed a common process understanding, as a first step. Requirements for each individual component and for the overall system were derived from this portfolio. Both Method Park Test Managers derived test cases on each individual system level from these requirements.

Compliance of individual components and the overall system to the defined requirements was ensured with components tests. With integrations tests, the test team ensured existence and functionality of all relevant interfaces (e.g. for the IT infrastructure), while acceptance tests guaranteed reliable performance of each individual component in the overall systems of the depot. The described process was iteratively applied, so the team was able to quickly integrate subsequent changes and additional requirements into appropriate test cases.

 

Solution

Definition of requirements for each individual component and the overall system

Derivation of test cases

Performance of components and integrations tests

Benefit

With these measures, the customer established a broad portfolio of possible test cases. So the company guarantees that all components, which are relevant for operating the depot, fulfill the essential requirements. In future, tests will mostly cover hardware components. The company now benefits from existing requirements and test cases which can easily be adapted for any new (depot) infrastructure. It became clear that an iterative development of processes and requirements is an appropriate solution not only for software, but also works very well in the hardware environment.  

Benefit

Broad test case portfolio

Requirements and test cases are easy to adapt

Iterative methods work in hardware environments