3 Ways to Incorporate Stakeholders in ERP Testing

by René Ceelen, on June 30, 2021

stakeholders discussing ERP testing

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can be viewed as the nervous system of your organization, connecting business functions to facilitate workflows, drive reporting and analysis, and deliver for your customers.

But how do you know for sure that your ERP system is delivering as it should for your stakeholders, both before and after its implementation? 

This is why conducting ERP testing with the active participation of your stakeholders is vital to the ultimate success of your project.

Key Stakeholder Groups Impacted by ERP Testing

There are several types of stakeholders, and each type comes with its own drivers, expectations, availability, and levels of involvement that your project team will need to consider.

Stakeholders can vary from project to project, be from inside and outside of your organization, and be impacted by the outputs, performance, and operations of your ERP system. However, each type is important to include in some form.

These stakeholder groups can include:

  • Organizational executives
  • Project sponsors
  • End users
  • Business process owners
  • Testers
  • IT and systems admins

Knowing when to involve these groups, how often to communicate with them, and how best to collect and prioritize their feedback can be a complex process without the proper tools. This is why many testing managers have turned to test management tools to organize, manage, and communicate with stakeholders throughout the ERP testing process.  

In doing so, they are not only building buy-in and a joint sense of ownership, but they are also helping their project team deliver a system that more closely matches stakeholder needs and expectations.

One study by analyst firm Gartner estimates that between 55 and 75 percent of  all ERP projects fail to meet their objectives. OurDefinitive Guide for  Software Testing in ERP Implementation highlights the role that comprehensive  and structured testing plays in successful implementation projects. >>

Increase Stakeholder Engagement in ERP Testing

Armed with an understanding of the stakeholder roles and why they are important, what steps can you take to increase stakeholder engagement? Here are some of the TestMonitor team’s top methods:

Identify needs and ask for involvement early.

Your stakeholders will have to take time away from their normal job to participate in testing, which is why it is important to let them know as early as you can when they will be needed. This will give them time to make necessary adjustments to their schedule without significantly disrupting their usual operations. 

To help make the case to the tester’s management, be specific about when and for how long they would be needed, their specific role in the process, and how their feedback is essential to deliver a successful ERP system.

Show how you will incorporate their feedback into the process.

No one wants to invest time and energy into providing feedback that will disappear into the ether.

During the onboarding process, demonstrate to your ERP testers how their feedback will be recorded, tracked, and prioritized for remediation. Some leading test management solutions are designed to make the feedback process fast and simple for testers, complete with the ability to upload screenshots and attachments.

Make tracking overall testing progress easy.

Your testers are likely going to be working in different locations at different times. Some may even be participating in multiple phases of your ERP testing.

Use a test management tool to clearly structure and communicate your testing plan, key milestones, risks and issues, and upcoming stakeholder involvement periods to let testers see the progress of the testing effort.

Some test management tools can even generate user-specific dashboards and automated, data-rich reports that summarize progress, results, and next steps for stakeholders.

Take Your ERP Testing to the Next Level

It may not be your top priority when planning your ERP implementation or upgrade, but deciding how and when you will incorporate stakeholders into your ERP testing process can make or break your initiative.

That’s why the TestMonitor team believes that if you follow these tips and plan accordingly, you will have already taken a huge step in achieving a successful ERP implementation.

If your team is interested in building the foundation for a successful ERP implementation by using one of the industry’s most versatile test management platforms, the experts at TestMonitor would love a chance to meet with you. 

To get started, you can schedule a free demo and see for yourself just how powerful our tool can be throughout your ERP testing process.

You can also download one of our free resources, A Definitive Guide for Software Testing in ERP Implementation, to learn more tips and tricks to make your ERP testing run smoothly. 

Implementing an ERP System software testing guide

Download test management tool checklist

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