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The current global pandemic (COVID-19) has created new, and amplified existing, issues for IT programmes. Principally the challenge for testing is to achieve effective mitigation of risk when many of the dependencies testing relies on are compromised. While some of these challenges were immediate and had to be overcome within the first days of the lockdown, some still require a solution. And the crisis has highlighted or created gaps in operational models, which directly impede test delivery.

These testing challenges can be broadly categorised into three areas: resourcing, operations and ways of working.


This category is subject to the most change due to tension between demand and supply within departments.

Constraints on capacity and available skills are impacting test delivery due to staff redeployment, illness and child care responsibilities.

Additionally, an increased management overhead for the coordination of remote teams, along with the need for other business areas to take on additional responsibilities to backfill for absent staff, further impairs the ability to deliver.


The ability to carry out the appropriate level of testing for operational readiness is now vital. This includes test coverage for business critical processes, recovery capabilities and GDPR compliance.

Businesses must also support significantly increased numbers of remote workers and, where surge demand occurs, the efficient on-boarding of new hires. A further and important future consideration is how to safely integrate or restart suspended programmes of change.

Ways of working

Project teams are having to explore new approaches to managing their day to day activities to ensure delivery remains on track. This involves tracking progress against plan and identifying opportunities to remove factors that impede efficient delivery of remote teams.

New ways of remote working, which leverage the technologies available, will need to be developed – actively promoting daily team collaboration and connectedness is an investment most successful organisations will make.

Recommended action

By leveraging alternative suppliers and their tools, businesses are able to maintain and enhance their service offering in a number of ways.


  • Suppliers are able to provide SMEs from the diversity of skills sets available, to provide additional support to test teams encountering resource or knowledge shortages.
  • Provide capability to supplement teams with resources who have worked with similar clients and have insight experience, to cover for staff redeployments.
  • Provide test management capability that can also support programme management and deployment activities.
  • Perform test risk reviews on programmes that have been suspended, to enable the safe integration of paused change.


  • Leverage Operational Resilience service management framework to identify and prioritise test coverage.
  • Use RPA to automate operational processes to make applications and hardware available to remote workers.
  • Define and apply effective approaches for remote Operational Readiness Testing.

Ways of working

  • Define and implement the right systems, team and management processes to support optimum levels of productivity.
  • Implement working practises developed for the management and communications of offshore teams and apply to local remote teams
  • Use test delivery KPIs to monitor progress against plan and allow re-planning to reflect changes to testing cadence.


We are committed to supporting our clients through this period of extended uncertainty. Our teams are already working to provide guidance and support to UK businesses, and we developed a number of practical guides on how you can manage the impact of COVID-19 and build long-term resilience in your organisation. Learn more about how you can prepare your business for the impact of COVID-19.

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In-depth tool experience, supplier experts can help your organisations define and setup the right system and management processes that enabling optimum levels of productivity.

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KPMG member firms have a successful track record delivering full lifecycle testing and test assurance to more than 300 clients in 22 countries. KPMG’s global network of testing practices employs more than 1,000 testers in multiple sectors and geographies.

Across 22 Countries

We offer extensive engagement experience in all phases of technical testing (system, SIT, E2E, non-functional); in defect prevention (requirements validation and verification); as well as in pre-and post go-live assurance (user acceptance, business assurance, operational trails and beta testing).

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The experience and quality of our people underpin our capabilities as independent testing assurers. Applying our deep domain and technical expertise we provide tailor- made, innovative testing solutions that can safely accelerate your business change


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