The New World Needs your Company’s Voice

Contributed by Susan Stipa, CEO of McDay and Murad Sabzali, CEO of CG Life 

All around the region, you hear the refrain: ‘how is your business surviving?’ These queries, delivered via text, email, phone and increasingly, video conferencing, and even in the new phenomenon of virtual happy hour, net a variety of reactions.

Every professional and business is trying to maintain their existence, stay relevant and adapt to factors that are mostly out of everyone’s control. Business is changing at an exponential rate. Business practices in April 2020 may be radically different by June. However, the constant amidst this change is that some business leaders are stepping up and delivering more than ever before. These people are quickly pivoting to maintain operations and strategize for a new world.

All the new lessons learned, and the thought leadership revelations that accompany them, will help small businesses, large enterprises and whole industry ecosystems to evolve and emerge as something new and thriving. These lessons will need to be heard and implemented by peer groups and in all levels of business.

Business News and Timing

A female CEO, Susan Stipa has been running Philadelphia-based McDay, a pharmaceutical marketing communications and PR firm, with a remote workforce for many years. In February, life science marketing agency CG Life acquired McDay, turning a well-established strategic alliance into a formal business agreement mere weeks before the public health and economic crisis hit.

As a member of the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (IABCN), the McDay team would say this was good luck. However, it also presented a new business challenge. Should an important milestone such as this be celebrated and communicated during the current business conditions? Or, should the business hold back and wait until the clouds clear?

Stipa, a former pharmaceutical process engineer with roots in Swiss pharma company Roche and local firm Foster Wheeler Biokinetics, says:  “McDay is now part of CG Life. This should be celebrated, but the more important point is that our clients need us right now. We can’t slow down. With non-stop phone calls and questions from concerned and pivotal clients in the pharma space, the new, combined team of engineers and scientists, writers and communicators, have stepped up to the baseline.” A competitive tennis player, Stipa notes that tennis players have always practiced social distancing at 42 feet—from baseline to baseline.

Experience from the Trenches that Empowers Success

In times of crisis, it is those who continue to move forward that will go farther. They will gain more experience, extend greater influence, and engender more trust and credibility in the market.

CG Life Founding Partner Murad Sabzali strikes an optimistic tone. “Together, CG Life and McDay have such a wealth of scientists and engineers within our combined team that it felt like the perfect time to make available our most important resources: solid scientific understanding, strategic data-driven insights, and decades upon decades of combined business experience. The union of our agencies strengthens our unique insight into the interconnected worlds of pharmaceutical discovery, development, clinical recruitment and commercialization. We’re proud to benefit a growing number of our clients that are working to develop new vaccines, therapies, diagnostic tests and other innovations to combat the pandemic.”

Even in this time of uncertainty, we can be certain that the pharmaceutical and healthcare brands that will be successful will be those that place people at the center of their brand promise and marketing campaigns. In order to achieve this, those organizations must segment and parse their audiences in far more insightful and detailed ways than ever before. These companies will gain an understanding of human needs and desired outcomes.

Sabzali added, “In addition to the unique marketing landscape, this is an extremely exciting time in life sciences and healthcare. The speed at which innovation is becoming commercialized is unprecedented. This requires an increasingly sophisticated approach to marketing and communications.”

Implementing Test Automation, the right way.

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies

The most sought-after outcome that organizations are looking for is quality at high speed. This outcome has become more of a necessity with the ever-changing market dynamics leading to fiercer competition and shortened customers lifecycle. Automation presents a practical as well as a viable way of fulfilling this dual need for quality and speed. There are several promising benefits of automating your tests and overall software development life cycle, including accelerated time-to-market, higher productivity, reduced costs, and better efficiency. However, it is important to get the implementation of test automation right for reaping these benefits. As a matter of fact, more organizations have failed than succeeded in their test automation efforts.

Before you take the plunge in your organization, you should follow these best practices to ensure a successful test automation implementation:

Begin with why

When test automation is supposed to bring all those benefits of shorter release cycles and better efficiency, why do organizations fail at reaping them? Wasn’t test automation supposed to be the ultimate cure-all elixir for the time-consuming and expensive manual testing – a magic potion to heal all the testing issues?

The answer to these questions is both Yes and No.

Yes, test automation is supposed to empower your organizations to perform faster and quality deliveries at much lower costs. But no, it cannot fix what is already broken. This means, that if your manual test cases, test data, test suite, and test environment were incapable of performing the Quality Assurance part effectively, then automation will just reflect those incapabilities in a really fast pace.

Before you get your automation wagon into gear, it is necessary to take a step back and find out WHY do you want to automate, WHY do you need test automation, WHY would automating tests would be able to do what manual tests could not. Having clarity of vision and objectives for test automation will help you develop an effective plan that will deliver the outcomes that you are hoping for.

Then go on to what

When you figure out the why part, the next step is to learn the ‘What’ of test automation in your organization. Understand what is it in your testing processes that you want to automate. And, automating everything is not the solution.

Ideally, you should automate those tests that are highly repetitive and are required to run for multiple builds. Tests that need multiple data sets, have a low risk tolerance, are very demanding in terms of hardware and software configurations, and require a great deal of manual testing efforts make for the suitable candidates for automation.

Additionally, also determine the type of tests that you want to automate – whether it is only unit tests and GUI tests, or functionality tests and others. It is highly critical for test automation to be successful that you carefully prioritize the tests that need to be automated. Otherwise, you might end up with a really fast testing cycle with no substantial results.

Talk about how

The next logical step is to figure out how will you automate. Choosing the right tool for automation is as important as choosing the right tests. You should pick a tool that supports your existing technology and platforms. If the selected tool is something that performs the job with the greatest efficiency and your team is already familiar with it – nothing better than that. The tool should be rich in features while allowing the testing team to create automated tests easily. It should be able to create automated tests that are reusable and easy to maintain. The automated tests should not fail if there is a change in the application’s UI.

Cigniti’s test automation methodology (and team) is well accustomed to Agile and DevOps environments ensuring consistent ROI during the entire software development lifecycle. Our test automation experts implement automated test suites with a focus on long term utilization of the suites.