Marine Cybernetics Case Study


Marine Cybernetics (MC) contributes to safer and more profitable ships and offshore installations through third-party testing of computer control systems via superior Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) testing technology. MC assures customers’ success in building, maintaining, and operating their assets by focusing on maximizing the Customer Value of their software testing services.

Marine Cybernetics


How to lower Non-Productive Time by increasing the amount of severe defects found in the testing phase?

Modern ships and rigs have advanced computer systems for dynamic positioning, power generation and distribution, and drilling operations. Software errors in these systems lead to delays and non-productive time and compromise safety. Marin Cybernetics performs third-party testing and verification of control system software to detect and eliminate such errors and weaknesses using Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) testing technology.

Marine Cybernetics has already been extremely successful in finding severe defects in the testing phase. In a study of 45 HIL projects by Marine Cybernetics, over 200 critical defects were found before production resulting in millions of dollars saved and immeasurable safety benefits. But because of the high cost of quality in the offshore industry, Marine Cybernetics wants to continually improve their testing practices to lower the non-productive time of their customers.


Partnering with XBOSoft enabled Marine Cybernetics to benefit from XBOSoft industry experience and QA consulting expertise.

XBOSoft worked with Marine Cybernetics to:

Improve their testing processes

Processes for Risk Analysis were developed so that even though there is never enough time to test everything or even thoroughly test all the areas of importance, MC can still have confidence that the product has been thoroughly tested by proper prioritization using time-tested Risk Analysis methods.

XBOSoft emphasized a heuristic testing strategy where lessons learned in the process of testing were quickly implemented in later testing phases.

XBOSoft analyzed Marine Cybernetics’s existing QA practices and processes and then made recommendations to optimize their processes for effectiveness and efficiency.


Implemented a Risk Analysis and heuristic testing strategy which results in finding the most severe defects first and foremost.

Improve Tester Professionalism and knowledge:

Marine Cybernetics’s success has resulted in MC almost doubling in size in the past year. This caused a great burden to keep the level of testing high while incorporation the new testers into the testing process. XBOSoft trained MC staff in testing techniques, testing methodologies, and overall testing philosophy.


Getting new employees up to speed faster, and giving them methodologies to find the most severe defects.


Deep knowledge of QA best practices

Working with and advising the world’s best run software teams XBOSoft knows how to set up and maintain Software Quality Processes tailored to support you in reaching your quality objectives.

QA consulting and mentoring

XBOSoft conducted 7 extensive courses on-site including:

  • The general testing course gave an overview of relevant testing disciplines.
  • The Black-Box Testing course covered test case design, test plan development, as well as Equivalence partitioning, Boundary value analysis, and Decision Table Analysis testing techniques.
  • The White-Box Testing course focused on internal system mechanisms, reviewed method coverage, statement coverage, branch coverage, and conditional coverage.
  • The Pairwise Testing course addressed the problem of how to test the potentially astronomical number of combinations of inputs, providing maximum coverage with a minimum of test cases.
  • The Test-Driven Development Course used the motto, “Red (Test), Green (Code), Refactor” to emphasize the importance of creating the test before writing the code that the test will check.
  • The Exploratory Testing course compared exploratory testing with ad-hoc and scripted testing and then explored its advantages and limitations.
  • The Risk Analysis course showed why and how to build a risk matrix.


“Updating our knowledge on best practices and having our processes reviewed by a software quality specialist allows us to keep delivering on our promise of safer and more profitable ships and offshore installations.”

Odd Haugen, Principal Engineer DP Systems, Marine Cybernetics

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