It's Quality Time!

View each team - Quality Assurance

Call To Time — May 2017

This team aims to make our brand recognized by it's Software Excellence while keeping an hourglass balance.

Who are we?

Quality Assurance’s mission is to make Celfocus’ brand recognized for excellence, by being strict gatekeepers that ensure high quality delivery and robust solutions.

Celfocus’ Quality Assurance (QA) promotes an effective and efficient service delivery, by applying the expertise and knowledge acquired in the telecommunications industry and by optimizing technology and resources.

How do we do it?

Solution Quality & Customer Satisfaction: Acting as an independent and impartial team, our attitude is focused on the quality assurance of our clients’ solutions.

Optimized testing efforts: Our expertise in the Telco Industry & Testing methodologies provide strong knowledge of where and what to test, to maximize effort return.

Quick project setup and timely deliver: Our customers leverage on our expertise, experience and proven testing assets.

How did we get here?

2004 marks the beginning of the QA journey at Celfocus.

At this time there was ONE Celfocus tester in a major transformation project at Vodafone Portugal.

In 2006, a new challenge: deliver projects directly to Vodafone Portugal with the full delivery of their life cycle. Due to this new demanding process, the team increased.

At this point,

the demand had increased drastically and the Quality Assurance team became part of the Customer Services business unit.

Given Celfocus’ growth and increasing challenges, either by the relevance of the projects being delivered, or the Telecommunications market demand, Celfocus invested in professionalizing their structures. Thus, since the beginning of the year, 2017, Quality Assurance became an independent business unit.

Today, we are currently 100 people working towards quality deliverables and projects’ success.

The smallest error creates the largest effect.


When the QA team was created the main challenge was executing tests for our projects. The tests were mainly functional and manually executed. At this time, the team also executed performance testing.

Today our goal is to help Celfocus’ brand be recognized for its software excellence, by being the gatekeepers of High Quality Solutions’ Delivery

As a Business Unit, we have new challenges, namely aiming to be a revenue stream by delivering Quality Assurance projects directly to our customers. To reach these new challenge, we are working on a wide variety of initiatives among them:

Automation, Performance and Security Testing, fully aligned with other ongoing initiatives at Celfocus, like Devops.

Test Automation is the best way to speed release cycles, quickly test fixes, and rapidly change code in order to catch defects without delaying deployment. Once created, automated tests can be run over and over. While automation can be expensive in the short-term, it saves money in the long-term.

Celfocus’ QA team created an automation framework, called ATF+, based on Keyword Driven approach that allows testers to create automated test cases, by reusing scripting. It also reduces the maintenance effort of the automation scripts, which is one of the hurdles of test automation.

In the majority of our projects, we have created automated tests to perform a set of regression tests, allowing us to execute those tests after the deployment of a new release, to check the existing functionalities and enable faster error detection.

Performance Testing comprises Load, Volume and Stress Testing. Our performance testers also include Soak/Endurance testing in the scope of their deliveries. This tells us how load can impact the system over an extended period of time.

Testing Centre of Excellence (TCoE)

In order to guarantee the success and best practices of the above-mentioned initiatives the Quality Assurance team has created a Testing Centre of Excellence

Amongst others, this structure is working on the following initiatives:

  • Revision and automation of our daily Testing Report. It is the way we communicate the project phase progress and the quality status. Along with the report standardization across all the projects, we want to facilitate the communication of the project stakeholders.
  • Root Cause Analysis of opened defects. Already in usage by two pilot projects, the goal is to identify potential focus of improvement and to reduce the volume of defects.
  • Implementation of a series of Quality KPIs to be made available to every project using dashboards. We aim to create some reference baselines in order to have a clear view of current status and trends of those KPIs.
  • Usability test checklist. Nowadays usability is taken for granted, usability requirements are rarely clearly defined. Why not define a set of usability requirements to be developed and tested in the context of our deliveries?
  • Definition of a Quality Control process & checklist to guarantee that quality assurance itself is following the delivery model.
  • DIRP Tool front end implementation to widespread the technique usage amongst all our projects. DIRP is a Celfocus methodology to help our test designers create an appropriate set of functional tests to validate business flows. Don’t know DIRP?

HOURGLASS BALANCE FOR OUR TEAM – because it isn’t all work 


Our focus is to give our people all the necessary tools and means to deliver quality projects. We have provided a variety of training sessions, including ISTQB certifications.

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) foundation training and certification is done in house. However, the certified exam is warranted by Portuguese Software Testing and Qualifications Board (PSTQB).

Other recent training sessions:

  • DIRP
  • Oracle Performance Best Practices For Relational Database
  • ISTQB Advanced Test Manager
  • ISTQB Foundation Training – Certification
  • Automated Test Framework
  • Automation Technical Training
  • Agile
  • Jira Log Work
  • Communication for PMs

BU meetings: Events that take place every 3 months, during 2 hours, normally finished with a cocktail.

The idea behind this type of events is to join the team and share what we have accomplished, a small briefing of the projects and news.

BrownBags: originated in the US, BrownBags are sessions known for their informal nature, which can happen in the workplace or not, typically during lunch, since “brown Bags” refer to paper bags where most Americans carry their lunch daily.

We have adopted the BrownBag methodology and opened doors to public communication, and better acquaintance of colleagues and projects, enhance Networking and Brainstorming, acquire and share knowledge.

Thus far, we have discussed the following topics:

  • Test Strategy
  • DIRP
  • Free websites
  • Public Speaking
  • TestRail I
  • TestRail II
  • Risk Management
  • Novabase – A Trainee’s Perspective
  • Acano – How to use?
  • Tricks and Mathematic Tips
  • Travel to Turkey in time of attacks
  • Inbox Zero - Email Management System


People from other projects are wowed by the number of defects we open. People often ask me: “do you earn by the number of defects you open?”
  • There is always a developer that is an expert in rejecting defects.

Some sample replies that you get from programmers when their programs do not work:

  • “It works fine on MY computer”
  • “It worked yesterday.”
  • “It must be a hardware problem.”
  • “What did you type in wrong to get it to crash?”
  • “You must have the wrong version.”
  • “Somebody must have changed my code.”
  • “Why do you want to do it that way?”
  • “I thought I fixed that.”