Must-Have ERP Testing Resources for Project Managers
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools share the same data model and processes, as noted by industry experts. ERP includes a variety of end-to-end processes, including accounting, customer-service, manufacturing, supply-chain logistics, and human resources. Gartner defines ERP as “the ability to deliver an integrated suite of business applications.”
ERP (including ERP testing) offers many tangible benefits:
- Combines data used across various applications.
- Integrates a common database.
- Eliminates the need for interfaces between applications.
- Resolves synchronization issues for key sets of data.
- Boosts efficiencies by automating data collection.
- Improves regulatory compliance.
However, a new ERP launch can quickly implode in disaster if your team neglects the complicated aspects of planning, testing, and implementation. Often, time and budget costs for ERP testing projects can skyrocket without proper oversight.
The good news? There are plenty of top-tier resources to guide your ERP team through the pitfalls and obstacles inherent in the process. Follow these guideposts in the areas of planning, testing, and implementation, and you’ll avoid being recorded as yet another ERP statistical failure.
CIO.com writer Jennifer Lonoff Schiff, the director of Schiff & Schiff Communications, provides a comprehensive guide for planners by detailing several errors that ERP managers commit even before the start of testing and implementation.
- “Business-critical issues must be identified and addressed before the migration, so that necessary adjustments can be made to outdated, inefficient and complex processes before they are simply moved onto a new platform.”
- “Engaging stakeholders across the entire organization in every step of the decision-making process will ensure everyone is invested in finding and implementing the right solution as smoothly as possible.”
Once again, CIO.com comes to the rescue with an in-depth analysis by Bruce Harpham, a writer for Project Management Hacks. In this resource, Harpham wisely points out, “the large scope of ERP projects often means that a warning sign today may not manifest in problems for several months, so it takes a close eye to detect and anticipate an ERP disaster in the making.”
- “If you have an ERP project leader take the view of ‘get the project done now, and we will sort out compliance later,’ you are likely to have problems.”
- “For on-premises ERP implementations, … most companies are using a 70 percent out-of-the-box configuration with 30 percent customization. That will not work in the cloud ERP model. Most cloud ERPs discourage extensive customization because they are made to be used in a standardized fashion to facilitate vendor updates.”
An excellent tutorial for successful Acceptance ERP testing, TestMonitor blogger René Ceelen offers a guide to crafting accessible ERP testing cases. By following this step-by-step process, your team will avoid getting overwhelmed by all the testing terminology getting thrown around, while also answering that basic question: “Where do we start in our ERP testing?”
- “Think about what you want to report, so that you can determine your derivative goal. Using that as a base, you’ve got the outline of the test case in view. There are many different goals, where we always have to ask ourselves what we are trying to learn or achieve [and] when we are going to run the test.”
- “Reserve enough time to design your test cases, so that they match your goals. Poor test cases will haunt you throughout the entire test process.”
- “A test case must have a clear beginning and end to determine whether the test case passed or failed. In addition, a test case is composed of one or more test instructions or steps, wherein there are multiple paths possible in order to achieve the desired result.”
As a global leader in professional test management platforms, TestMonitor’s guide to user testing provides an excellent resource for ERP testing within the paradigm of Black Box Manual Testing.
- “It is important to organize all your projects and tests in a central place, where you can add your test cases and execute your test runs. At any place, at any time. Centralize all the results, and manage your issues. No implementation required.”
- “Default templates for testing in ‘the real world’ are highly dependent on the context of the product. On the other hand, we believe that the implementation (and therefore also testing) of ERP systems are increasingly growing toward standardization.”
Other TestMonitor Resources
- How to track results [Webinar]
- Starting with TestMonitor [Video Tutorial]
- Planning test runs [Video Tutorial]
- Comprehensive knowledge base
Though The Manufacturer focuses on a single industry, its guide to smooth ERP implementation can be applied across many industry sectors. Writer Tim Brown interviews industry leaders across several facets of ERP implementation.
- “Companies implement ERP starting with the core back office functionality. But after that, it can start to drift—leaving large parts of the intended functionality unimplemented and not delivering benefits.”
- “Have a solid business case, focusing on the intended benefits and the required functionality to deliver those benefits, and don’t get side-tracked.”
- “Tinkering and fine-tuning come later. Don’t stop at the ‘go live’ date, but recognize that this is just the start. Keep the implementation team—and its skills—in place, and then build on what you’ve got.”
- “Make sure the original requirements agreement is rock solid, and have a change management plan to handle change requests, such as how many are allowed, who can make them and how they impact the cost and delivery date of the project.”
- “Having a realistic implementation requires ‘sanitizing’ what the vendor is proposing, which may be based on a perfect-world scenario.”
There you have it—an excellent starting point on your team’s trek to ERP testing, planning, and implementation excellence.
As you review this massive (but doable) enterprise, you can rest assured that TestMonitor has you covered when it comes to the ERP testing aspect of the project.
Request a free trial of TestMonitor today, and experience the difference before you embark on a fresh ERP testing journey.