IT Best Practices

The Importance of Innovation

This PDF from MIS Quarterly Executive examines the challenge, innovation, and result of CIO Steve Heilenman and his team at Computer Aid, Inc. As the article explains, Heilenman was faced with challenges around software testing; which included manual testing, inconsistent testing techniques, and resolutions that took time to put in place. The CIO and his team attempted to automate a software testing solution in the past, but with limited success. However, during a weekly “Innovation Friday” meeting, a better solution came into focus: 

When the subject of testing software came up, one  participant suggested that an open source testing product designed to test web-based applications (Selenium) could be adaptedfor more comprehensive test automation. With the CIO's encouragement, a customized interface was then built with this third party product, which was able to drastically simplify the test automation process. In addition to introducing the new tool, they re-engineered the testing process itself, creating or converting test scripts, integrating automated testing into the development methodology, tracking results, and incorporating ongoing enhancement upgrades.

The result of the initiative were great: Heilenman now had a simplified process which only took one month to develop and implement. Furthermore the testing cycle improved consistency of the software testing across the team. According to Heilenman, testing costs are currently reduced by 75%. The importance of innovation by Heilenman as the CIO of Computer Aid, Inc. allowed for a perfect solution to be found to a problem that plagues many organizations. Through empowering his team and promoting a consistent message of investigation, problem solving, and creative thinking, companies can replicate CAI's success. 

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