Cover Story: Finding 'Definitive Insights'
"You'll hear this in discussions in the testing world frequently," says Sapirstein: "Vital to the success of a testing program is having that executive sponsor who really gets a data-driven culture and the importance of it. So that's the key, to have someone like Shawn [Burns] who's not only supportive of it, but clearly communicates the value and the benefits to others."
"They're a large enterprise and you have the complexities of a large enterprise," explains Samardzija. "We are working with Shawn's team, and I think they're quite entrepreneurial and quite eager to test new ideas and to try new things. And that's why something like Test Lab, which came from a conversation we had, is now reality."
... And P for Process
Once Test Lab began generating results, SAP had no shortage of testers asking for it to analyze aspects of their marketing.
"We're a 65,000-person operation," says Burns. "It doesn't matter how many people you put in the Test Lab—and the talent we brought in was one dedicated Test Lab director [Sapirstein] who's working with agency partners to make this happen—he becomes that one lone soldier bobbing in the ocean. Sort of like that poor guy who raises his hand and volunteers, and 65,000 people tackle him."
SAP needed a process to make sure the testing resources were put to the best possible use toward its business goals, and that's a place where Samardzija and KBM Group were able to help with what Burns call a "high-level road map."
That road map outlines four steps that have been essential to running the Test Lab:
1. Submission: Users from throughout SAP offer submissions for what should be tested.
2. Vetting: The Test Lab determines which tests make sense to run based on how well they align with SAP's business goals and feasibility.