Planview Tasktop Hub Helps Telus Health Thrive in Their Tool of Choice Without Sacrificing Collaboration and Speed of Delivery
TELUS Health provides health technology solutions such as home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, virtual care, benefits and pharmacy management as well as personal emergency response services. TELUS Health is leveraging the power of technology to improve access to care and revolutionize the flow of health information to help create better outcomes for Canadians.
Over the last three years, TELUS Health has been using Tasktop to help improve product delivery and the collaboration between the software engineers that develop their solutions and the quality assurance teams that test and verify them.
- Developers and QA Engineers benefit from best-of-breed tools without sacrificing collaboration
- Efficiency improved by eliminating duplicate data entry and context-switching
- Data integrity is maintained from requirements to delivery
“Tasktop helps us drive improved efficiency via integration of best-of-breed tooling, without sacrificing collaboration, visibility or traceability. Each application has fit-for-purpose capabilities that my specialists need to do their job with greater efficiency. The integration reliably handles the data exchange between the tools, such that we can focus on building the best digital health products in the industry.”
Jody Kieran Director of Technology, Delivery and Software Development Telus Health
Changing Tools to Support an Agile Transformation
TELUS Health strives to be on the cutting edge of developing technology that facilitates collaboration, efficiency and productivity for healthcare professionals to help drive better health outcomes for citizens. And they take pride in bringing those same values of collaboration, efficiency and productivity into their internal software delivery processes, as well.
With product teams using a variety of tools such as Atlassian Jira for Agile planning, they strived to have all their work managed in one place – including bugs logged by their quality assurance engineers in Micro Focus ALM (Quality Center). ALM is the central testing and defect management tool used by the project and remains the tool where automated and manual testing is designed and executed.
Jody Kieran, Director of Technology, Delivery and Software Development and his team, knew that automating data exchange between the two tools would prove vital to both teams’ efficiency. “I didn’t want my software developers and QA engineers constantly flipping between the two tools, duplicating data and chasing down updates manually,” says Jody*.
Jody and team tasked Sébastien Falardeau a senior quality assurance analyst at TELUS Health, to find a solution that would allow each team to work in their tool of choice without sacrificing the seamless collaboration between them.
“We were focused on rebuilding a platform and looking for any efficiencies we could get. We’d made the decision to automate the flow of data between our tools from the get-go so our teams could remain focused on high-value work that delivers business value,” shares Jody*.
Sharing a Live View of Stories and Bugs from Two Tools
Sebastien was delighted when his research led him to Tasktop. “Honestly, I wasn’t even sure there were products that could do what I was after. But Tasktop was exactly what we were looking for,” he says.
What began as an integration solution for one product area (the TELUS Health Exchange, which supports several business areas such as a secure communication service that allows for encrypted and direct communication between health care providers) quickly got the attention of other product directors through word of mouth. They were eager to adopt a solution that could help eliminate the overhead of manually copying data from tool to tool and the constant context-switching.
Today, three major product areas are using Tasktop Hub to synchronize stories (requirements) and defects between Jira and ALM, automating several hundred updates a month. “Tasktop ensures we have the up-to-date requirements and acceptance criteria in front of us, so as the QA team we can design tests with good coverage and uphold product quality,”
"Tasktop ensures we have the up-to-date requirements and acceptance criteria in front of us, so as the QA team we can design tests with good coverage and uphold product quality."
Colomba DeAngelis, Quality Assurance Manager, TELUS Health*
Similarly, when a defect is logged in MF ALM, Tasktop creates a corresponding bug in Jira and places it in the correct team’s backlog. Any changes made to the defect, like updates to its fields, status, comments or attachments, flow bi-directionally between the two tools. As a result, the developers and the QA engineers are basically looking at the same updated set of information, each from the convenience of their preferred tool.
“Tasktop saves us a lot of time. Previously developers had to go into ALM to view bugs, statuses and comments, and testers had to log into Jira for information they needed. Some project teams spent a lot of time on double entry.”
Sébastien Falardeau Senior Quality Assurance Analyst Telus Health
Some of these product areas have been expedited to support the TELUS Health response to COVID-19. The fact that teams can focus on the work on-hand without the burden and overhead of duplicate data entry has been huge. New features can be developed and thoroughly validated without wasting time switching back and forth and manually searching for updates. “Our teams just want to get their job done, and Tasktop makes their job easier,” says Colomba*.
“The integrity of the data between the systems is just as important as the efficiency gains,” says Jody*. Traceability from requirements to code is critical in the highly regulated healthcare space. “We provide compliancy reports on traceability from requirements to UAT signoff and delivery to production. Tasktop is an important component in maintaining data integrity through that end-to-end process,” Jody adds.
As an administrator for the Tasktop Hub at TELUS Health, Sebastien couldn’t be happier. “The Tasktop support team is A+ — very professional and responsive. I also have monthly meetings with my Technical Account Manager to review any questions or issues I have and discuss the features in the upcoming release,” says Sebastian*.
*TELUS Health received compensation in the form of a discount from Tasktop as a gesture to thank the TELUS Health team for their testimony and time.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this case study are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect the view of TELUS Health.