Torstein Skarra

Company: NAV

Role in Company: Chief of Test Center of Excellence

Country: Norway

Presentation Takeaways

1. Synthetic test data is an enabler for faster time to marked more than it is a measure to avoid penalties from the new GDPR regulations.
2. Large organizations are not exempt from the rules of individual motivation. Employees do what motivates them, not what company policy says.

Speaker Biography

Torstein Skarra is Head of the Test section at NAV IT. He has more than 15 years of experience from the IT industry in various roles. At NAV he has been heading the initatives on test automation, test data and test environments for a few years, and he is now working towards further strengthening of all major test functions, including transforming test into a more agile function.

Presentation Description

NAV, the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration, is a major governmental organization holding sensitive data about more or less every citizen in Norway. Moving away from the use of production data in such an organization is less about tools, methods or enterprise software suites. It is more like game of thrones. It is a lot about politics, motivations and marrying the right forces. NAV moved from Plan-Build-Run, full fledged outsourcing and testing on production data, to insourcing, agile principles and synthetic test data. This talk is about how the former IT organization, project funding principles, sourcing contracts and delivery methods were rigged to oppose NAV’s test data initiative. Errors and pitfalls at a management level will be illustrated. The talk will also go through the changes NAV undertook, and the effects achieved through insourcing, reorganization and installing agile delivery methods. New organizational alliances were formed, real world motivations were played upon, and strong business cases lay the ground for fast-tracking NAV towards synthetic test data. A few political scandals in Norway and Sweden added some extra push along the way of course.