A Day in the Life of an Oracle ERP Test Leader in the World’s Largest Logistics Provider

At Panaya, we have the honor and privilege of working hand-in-hand with our customers and partners to improve our product. This offers us some excellent opportunities to meet fascinating, forward-thinking, and insightful professionals. We’ve set out on a mission to bring you the voices and stories of those people. Today, we’re going to meet Panaya customer Tim Mallet.

Customer Title/Job/Company

I’m Tim Mallet, and I am the test lead for the Global Oracle ERP Center of Excellence at DHL. I’ve been in this position for five years, but I joined DHL eight years ago as a user consultant. On a day to day basis, I’m responsible for the testing strategy and approach for major projects and day to day business as usual work within the Center of Excellence.

DHL is the world’s leading logistics company, with over 380,000 employees in over 220 countries and territories worldwide

Currently on His Plate

As test lead at the world’s largest logistics company, Tim’s plate is understandably full! The scope of his responsibility ranges from small patching projects that ensure production system fixes are fully tested before they go live, up to very large and global programs of work. At any given time, Tim works on multiple programs for DHL’s HR and Finance divisions, which are implemented across multiple countries in multiple regions and can have a scope of 400-500 different tests each that need to be run before ‘go live’.

Although Tim’s core team has only five members, the global nature of his role means that testing can involve many times more testers – up to the hundreds – all working remotely and in different time zones.

What’s a Typical Day Look Like?

Like anyone in a large and geographically distributed company like DHL, Tim’s day consists of a lot of meetings. From program checkpoint calls to discuss program plans and deadlines, through higher-resolution details calls to understand how many tests have been running a day, how many defects have been raised, and what the resolution of those defects are – meetings and coordination are a key part of Tim’s role.

What are Your Biggest Challenges?

“The main challenges that I face on a day to day basis are making sure we’re hitting project deadlines,” Tim noted.  For any given project, Tim’s teams never really know how many issues they will find – especially “showstopper” issues that can prevent the project from moving forward. This means that finding quick mitigation schemes and engaging the right people to implement them is mission-critical for Tim and his team.

Another challenge is ensuring buy-in from project stakeholders – from senior management to project core members. The reason? Testing cooperation is key, especially when testers are also users. “You really need to make sure they understand the importance of testing,” Tim claimed, “Some people think that testing timelines can be squeezed, or that if the build is done correctly, then it shouldn’t break anyway. So, we really need to get people to understand that testing helps us to reduce the risk of going live and having a system that doesn’t work, which could significantly impact the business.”

How Does He Use Panaya?

“We use Panaya on a regular basis to make sure that we are closely tracking what’s happening within different testing phases,”  Tim said.

Before adopting Panaya, Tim’s team was using a spreadsheet-based system. But they were looking for a more sophisticated and automated solution that would help them create a full library of detailed testing scripts. To that end, the team was drawn to Panaya’s test recorder, and the system’s ease of use, that enabled them to onboard users more quickly, with minimum training.

Moreover, Tim and his colleagues were impressed by Panaya’s impact analysis tools, that enabled them to create more targeted testing and regression testing when Oracle patches needed to be deployed.

Watch DHL’s Tim Mallet discuss his experience using Panaya’s testing tool:

Life After Panaya

For Tim, the main words that describes life after Panaya are “clearer” and “better.”

“Today, we have clearer communication and visibility of the current status of our projects,” Tim said. “With the dashboards, the export functionality and the reporting – we’re able to more clearly see where we are, as well as communicate that out to various stakeholders.”

Moreover, we’ve found it much easier to onboard. Anybody who’s not used the system can quite quickly get up to speed, and then use it comprehensively without any extended training. We can potentially have 30 or 40 end users executing tests for us in a two-week window, and with Panaya we can have them trained in a matter of hours.”