Best practices

Test management in energy implementation projects 

In European energy market integration projects, a crucial aspect is the stability of the IT systems and the continuation of the daily process of capacity calculation and trading. Energy markets must stay afloat at all times. That is why, before every new implementation is brought to production, extensive testing with multiple parties is required. Our experts have been involved in numerous of these projects. In this article, expert Mark Klein Entink shares his best practices.

Most people who have experience with IT implementation projects will also have a good understanding of the role of a test manager and why the project needs to have one. In short, the test manager is responsible for the overall test plan and ensuring deadlines are met by arranging the necessary resources, identifying the risks, and defining mitigations where needed.

The complex reality of European market integration

When working on European market integration projects, test management is always an integral and complex part of a project. Since there are many parties involved: multiple transmission system operators, power exchanges, and IT providers. Also, there are many systems impacted, since each party involved works with its own – often intricate - net of IT systems and IT infrastructure. Furthermore, there are many scenarios to be tried and tested. Next to that, there are numerous implementations per year, all of which require testing to some extent, often using the same resources. Lastly, most implementations have a legal deadline that has to be met, leaving little room for error and delays.

Best practices for test management

Magnus Energy has been involved in numerous implementation projects and therefore in an equal number of test phases. Over the years, we have established a set of best practices. Let's zoom in:

1. Preparation is everything

First and foremost, preparation is key. With so many parties involved, people must know what is expected from them at the different testing stages. We spend a lot of time structuring and organising the preparations for the actual test execution in a way that provides clarity for the involved parties. Also, we ensure we have insight into the readiness of these parties at an early stage. This prevents surprises at the start of testing.

2. Stay flexible

Second, flexibility is required. No matter how well the test phases are prepared, there will be situations that require ad-hoc upscaling of resources and swift follow-up of issues. This underscores why testing is such an important aspect of these projects. We always make sure we are ready to provide support during test execution. This offers the highest chance of being able to fix issues in time.

3. Be clear

Often, clarity regarding issues is crucial. The issues logged are more a description of a situation (i.e. “file was provided late”) than a description of the actual issue (i.e. “system performance insufficient to meet target timings”). We ensure to clarify these situations by asking the right questions to identify the underlying issue. We need to understand issues before defining the appropriate measures

4. Engage an impartial party

Finally, engaging an impartial third party can be beneficial. In various cases, issues are found during testing, which cannot be allocated to a specific party – maybe as it was more of a gap in design. By having an impartial perspective, we offer a pragmatic perspective to determine if the issue has to be solved and, if yes, which party is best placed to do so. On top of that, we make sure alternative solutions are considered if these have a more feasible timeline for the deadline to be met.  

If this post has sparked your interest in an upcoming project or a career opportunity, feel free to contact us. Currently, we have a vacancy for a System Integration Consultant!

Industry Topics

Market Integration


Test Management, Best Practice Sharing


Mark Klein Entink

Managing Consultant +31 85 7430519