Hunter Industries Ensures Accountability, Strengthens QA Process with Helix ALM

Hunter Industries, manufacturer of irrigation equipment, had a problem. Managing requirements, test cases, and defects in Microsoft Word and Excel became a burden as they grew. Then they discovered Helix ALM.

How Helix ALM Helps Hunter Industries

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Auto-Generated Test Cases

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Easy Requirement Checks

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Efficient Team and Workload Management

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.

Growing Pains for the Controller Division Team

Many of Hunter Industries’ products have internal controllers that manage user settings and commands. Their product line includes:

  • Geardriven rotors
  • Water-efficient sprinklers
  • Weather sensors
  • Valves
  • Controllers
  • LED and low-voltage outdoor lighting

Prior to 2010, the engineers who worked on electronics and coding were also testing the controllers. Requirements, test cases, and defect tracking were managed Microsoft Word and Excel. But as the company grew, this process became a burden for the controller division team.

With hundreds of thousands of systems and parts in production at any time, an airtight quality assurance process is essential. Hunter Industries has always been dedicated to delivering top-notch quality. Any malfunction caused by an undiscovered controller error could result in financial loss for themselves and their customers. It could even damage their reputation.

Finding a way to manage quality assurance and track the entire development process was critical.

Shoring Up Quality Assurance

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

While the team was already using Helix Issue Management (IM) 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 Helix IM 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 the full Helix ALM suite capabilities compared."

Perforce proved the value of Helix ALM, working closely with Samara, and provided temporary licenses so he could fully test the functionality of the Helix ALM suite. In the end, Helix ALM won Samara over.

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

Helix ALM Ensures Accountability and Confident Results

Soon, the controller division realized the power of full Helix ALM. Now, each design verification testing (DVT) project begins and ends in it. Requirements are entered in Helix Requirements Management (RM), which automatically generates test cases based on that information.

Test case management is much easier now, too. 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. He can also easily identify any significant turning points and confirm that 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.

Essentially, Helix ALM 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 excellence is by using Helix ALM," Samara said. "Plus, the team at Perforce is wonderful to work with. Finding a company willing to go out of their way for the customer is invaluable."

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