In my last blog, I discussed the importance of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to verify the accuracy of policy, rate and claims data whenever insurance carriers and MGAs introduce new products, upgrade software or make other system changes.
The next step in the testing process is Regression Testing. This is a type of software testing that looks wider than just the specific policy, form or software upgrade being made. It confirms that upgrades and changes have not adversely and inadvertently affected any other existing features.
Simply put, whenever developers make a system change in one place, they run the risk of breaking something in another place. Regression testing, as the name suggests, looks back to make sure what was in the system before has not been changed.
This is commonplace whenever carriers and MGAs make software updates, add a new policy form or make any other system changes. Even a simple bug fix, which does not appear to affect functionality, can cause problems that result in the same downstream policy and claims errors for insureds that might occur with UTA — all of which can add expenses, cause delays and damage goodwill with your insureds and partners.
As a result, anytime there is a system change in one place, the entire system needs to be tested. For example, if a carrier is making a form change, and adds a new form into the output, the form is first tested, but regression will make sure other forms have not been accidentally altered in the process.
Regression testing is sometimes done manually, but involves time-consuming tasks and puts pressure on IT staffs. A more efficient and streamlined approach is to automate the process with a baseline set of scripts that run at regular intervals to identify errors. At my company, for example, we built a testing system called InsureScript™ to automate regression testing and avoid the costly fixes and delays that unintended system errors may cause.
Of course, the people doing the regression testing are key to its success. Ideally, carriers and MGAs want to use specialists with both testing and insurance industry expertise. In this way, the testers will know what to look for as potential issues — and where to look for it.
If you have questions about testing, want to learn about the repository of test cases and scripts that have been developed, tested and deployed by my colleagues and me, or would like to schedule a demo of our testing services, call 727-489-9190, visit www.westpointuw.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.