Financial Services – The evolving environmentAn account deposit is a simple credit to an account – can there be different ways of doing it? Ask a Banker and the response would be a resounding “YES”. It could be a drop box deposit; alternately cash deposit at an ATM; mail-in deposit and over-the-counter deposit are just some of the different ways which come to mind immediately. These are the varieties within a bank; across banks the variety increases further.The moment we consider any activity where decisions are involved, each financial institution has some nuance which is different, process is different. To a certain extent this variation is driven by the traditional approach to banking. However, additional factors which weigh in today are also around availability of information which might impact the decision as also the regulatory environment.Traditional Approaches in Testing & ChallengesTraditional testing approach is more like an extended arm of various popular software development models like the Waterfall Model. Various methods still in vogue include: reviews, walkthroughs, inspections (Static testing), test case design and execution (Dynamic testing). Manual testing is the oldest and most prevalent approach to testing even today. It requires the tester to do a rigorous round of manual test operations.With increasing complexity of functionality and the requirement for thoroughness in testing, the time and effort being spent on testing as a percentage of total project time has been steadily increasing over the years (refer figure 1). One of the major reasons for the same is driven by the complexity of applications compounded by the straight through processing (STP) of various transactions.To achieve adequacy of test coverage, today’s testing approaches have built on the traditional approaches by mushrooming the test scenarios and test cases thereby ensuring apparent adequacy of testing and reducing the possibilities of any errors during the operational environments. While it does improve test coverage, the traditional mapping to functional requirements does not necessarily ensure 100% test coverage. Additionally, it adversely impacts the testing effort and cost of testing.Scenario Based Testing – Achieving testing efficiencyIn today’s environment where budgets are shrinking, leveraging such a ready-made asset with the speed and maintainability advantage does create a stronger business case for adoption, especially if the process map parallel enhances the organization documentation levels, achievable as a by-product from a highly efficient testing approach.For End Users and Service Providers alike, adopting the approach requires some basic investment in creating the assets (process flows and scenarios). However, the return on investment is realized through the training it imparts to the asset creation team on domain knowledge as also the premium realized from shortening the test cycle for any client. The advantage from optimizing the test cycle due to focused scenarios and the upgrade of organization documentation on processes forms an attractive proposal to prospective clients.