Reduce complexity in end-to-end process testing

Business analysts often spend a lot of time and efforts when it comes to creating a nice decomposition of an organization´s business architecture. Typically the architecture design is driven by organizational or business area requirements. Depending on the frameworks used such as SCOR®, APQC® or DODAF and NAF the process levels describing the implementation of IT systems  may yield to a quite complex architectural construct of nested diagrams and viewpoints. This really challenges QA teams to prepare test-cases for integration and regression tests in the context of user-acceptance testing (UAT) of end-to-end process flows. Here the reverse decomposition technique facilitates the design of perfect test-cases for manual and automated test execution.

Let’s look at a classical functional and business decomposition. The bottom layers describe the process flow using applications with manual, human and service tasks that are supported by applications and IT systems.

Example of a business architecture
Example of a business architecture

The lower implementation levels of the business architecture (dark blue color) are of specific interest. As we have seen in many projects, the implementation levels may grow from 2 up to 10 levels of sub work processes. This makes it next to impossible for a QA team to leverage existing process models (blueprints) to design end-to-end views for integration testing and analyzing the possible sequence of activities through such a decomposition of sub-processes.

The software developed by BPM-X reverses this decomposition and  supports QA teams in mastering the inherent complexity of their work. In the BPM-X solution the basic sub-models are aggregated to models on a  higher level finally resulting in a single model that is used for testing.

Example for reverse model decomposition.
Example for reverse model decomposition.

The following example shows a 3 level hierarchy with a top model and nested sub models (source model data).

Result of a reverse decomposition.
Result of a reverse decomposition.

Running the reverse decomposition on this model data generates a single model with an end-to-end process flow that makes the design of the test cases a lot easier. Based on this target model the BPM-X model-based testing software can help to derive and automatically generate the test-cases. Moreover the generation of test cases can be controlled by quality metrics defining the coverage of activities or paths by test cases.


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