Zywave leans on Zephyr’s integration capabilities to enhance agile testing efforts


Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Zywave makes software-as-a-service solutions for insurance brokers and financial planners. It uses Zephyr’s industry-leading test management systems to test its product suite, upon which its many clients rely to distinguish themselves in competitive marketplaces.

Zephyr’s integration with Atlassian JIRA and Confluence, as well as its suitability for collaborative, agile development, has helped Zywave with comprehensive yet straightforward test tracking. Moreover, Zephyr is an intuitive, lightweight solution that has improved Zywave’s development and testing processes, helping it to produce high-quality, bug-free software for its customers.

How Zephyr solved Zywave’s problems with agile testing

Prior to taking up Zephyr, Zywave was looking for a better way to do test tracking, one that didn’t require extensive use of email and discrete Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. Zywave had tried out HP’s test management solutions, but found them far too complicated for its project requirements. Zywave instead sought tools that would support streamlined agile testing by documenting sprints. Most importantly, Zywave needed something that worked well within the context of its existing JIRA implementation and instilled confidence that builds were being properly screened for defects.

“What we were struggling with before implementing Zephyr was tracking test status, we develop a suite of tests and we were pretty much document-based, Word documents, Excel [sheets], things like that,” stated Zywave’s Michael Koepke “[W]hen I got here we were actually using … HP products, but they were just way too cumbersome for [the] agile development process that we are going through.”

Zywave wanted to spend less time trying to track down test statuses, so that it could reduce any uncertainty that would slow down its projects. It sought to minimize the duration of test planning and design and instead devote a greater share of resources to discovering and fixing bugs. By working within JIRA and requiring minimal setup, Zephyr addressed this key requirement and helped Zywave tighten up its application testing cycles.

Zephyr’s integration with JIRA creates low learning curve, high value for Zywave

Zywave’s development and quality assurance teams are in JIRA all day. Accordingly, one of the deciding factors in adopting Zephyr was its JIRA integration through a simple add-on, which saved Zywave from having to set up a third solution on top of JIRA and Confluence. Keeping both test planning and execution both under the JIRA roof ensured consistency and agility in Zywave’s processes.

Implementing a complex test management solution could have taken weeks of preparation. In contrast, it was easy for Zywave to get up and running with Zephyr.

“[B]ecause we were already using JIRA, the learning curve was extremely low,” said Koepke “All we had to is show some of the unique things about executing a test or looking a test cycles. If we had implemented a standalone test management solution that might have been weeks of developing some documentation and process around how we do this and the other thing. Within a week we were up and running and productive with Zephyr and JIRA easily.”

Going forward, Zywave is looking for further improvements to test tracking, so that planning and execution can both be more easily tracked to the same record. It is also hoping to streamline its workflows for testing cross-functional work that involved several of Zywave’s increasingly integrated products.