RWE Supply & Trading (RWE) is an energy trading company headquartered in Essen, Germany, boasting Europe’s largest and most sophisticated energy trading floor with subsidiaries and affiliates in Den Bosch, Geneva, Singapore and New York. The firm is a major hub for all tradeable commodities, in both their physical and / or derivative forms, including power, gas, coal, freight, oil, weather, emissions certificates and renewable energies.
RWE optimizes every segment of the energy value chain, managing both physical and financial delivery for the firm’s portfolio or on behalf of its clients, and it works with / for all participants in the energy markets.
RWE can be found at www.rwe.com.
Quality Center from HP (HPQC) is used at RWE for both test and change management. The driver to use HPQC is an ever-changing marketplace; the firm’s back-office systems has a high volume of changes every month. Every change is thoroughly tested and RWE ensures more changes aren’t introduced than can be tested in a given release. HPQC provides the ability to raise requests for change, and ensures that testing capacity is not exceeded thereby introducing untested changes to the business.
The challenge RWE faced was that different teams were use different systems with an increasing need to collaborate on the same project; the Back Office business used HPQC and the Trading IT team used JIRA from Atlassian.
“As teams and processes continue to grow, RWE continues to look for better ways to communicate.”
– Matthew Cobby | RWE Supply & Trading GmbH
The solution was to heavily customize the requirements in HPQC; every change request is transitioned into a new requirement in HPQC. Each relevant regression test is then attached to the requirement. This enables the business to see the testing workload of all the scheduled changes. If the capacity needed for a particular month is not available, changes would be pushed back to the next month.
Within HPQC, each request for change (RFC) / requirement now has a lifecycle where the business would approve or reject changes. If the change is approved then it goes to the IT team to be implemented in Atlassian JIRA via the Go2Group JaM Plugin.
Each change is a change at a business level (e.g. Overnight Reports on the trading volumes in Turkey), which are broken down to several implementation tasks and are handled by different teams. The Go2Group JaM Plugin keeps the RFC updated in JIRA. A separate, self-authored plugin keeps the IT implementation tasks (sub-tasks in JIRA) in sync with the changing requirements.
This provides a complete chain from business users updating their requirements in HPQC to multiple teams implementing tasks in JIRA.
IT testing is then carried out in JIRA. When it’s ready for UAT, HPQC takes over again to run the business regression tests.
The sub-tasks then move into their rollout phase and get released to production. For some of the teams, this also involves a technical CAB (Change Approval Board) to make sure an individual change isn’t a risk to any other work. This is all done via workflows and shared reporting in JIRA.
At this point, the data flow is uni-directional: from HPQC to JIRA (outside of the JIRA ID, which is displayed in a custom field in HPQC). There were challenges initially to integrate the check-in / check-out of requirements so the process was designed to be one way. The teams may start to send selective data fields from JIRA to HPQC.
Test teams using HPQC look to have their test defects appear in JIRA. Since there is minimal communication between test and development teams, displaying test defects in JIRA allows developers to see the defects very quickly and in detail.
In addition, RWE release names must be the same between JIRA and HPQC. Since this doesn’t happen often, the project manager in JIRA communicates with the project manager in HPQC to ensure the release names remain the same. Otherwise, if the release name changes, the sync between JIRA and HPQC will clear the release name from the release. As RWE is a company in many countries, this tends to be more of a cultural gap than a software bug, and building good communication between teams helps to bridge this gap.
The process—connecting HPQC with JIRA—has helped manage RWE’s growth, reduced the firm’s time-to-release by getting defects to developers faster, and has allowed RWE to better understand the cultural differences between teams.