In one of my previous blogs I gave some tips for creating work instructions during the implementation of an ERP system. Making decent work instructions is not easy, but it is of crucial importance in order to work successfully with the new system. Additionally, as a key user, you will of course also need to test if everything in the system works the way it should. The software will have to support the processes of your department flawless. And no matter how knowledgeable and reliable the software supplier and consultants might be, as a key user you must always test the software yourself to check if it works how you want it to work. Flawless.
As key users are not certified test consultants, hopefully these tips will help you with testing the processes for which you as a key user are responsible. Because you are not only responsible for the work instructions, but also for properly testing the ERP software.
Describe what you want to test
Make a preliminary list of the different scenarios you want to test. Do so in a structured way. All possible variations need to be covered. Then describe per scenario the different steps. When doing so always keep the desired process on your mind. And not the process as set up in your current system, because you will be replacing this system. However, do not test all exceptions. There will always remain exceptions and it is impossible to automate all of these.
Describe the results you expect
Describing the results you expect forces you to think about this. If you do not do this and just look at the result in the software, you are prone to reasoning towards this result and just accept that.
Start with clean data
Start each test scenario from scratch on. And test with newly entered data. During an implementation a lot of test data is generated. And as the knowledge level, certainly in the beginning, is not that high and because the setup will change from time to time you will have a lot of polluted data.
Also test the edges
Make sure when testing you also test exceptions. The price of an item can be $ 1 as well as $ 1,000. Can the system handle that? And what if you buy 1000 units? How is it presented on the purchase order? Do the amounts show up well?
Be realistic when testing. If you never order 1 billion items with a total value of 1,000 billion dollars, you do not need to test this. And do not consciously seek errors and imperfections. There will be a chance that you will find something, but keep in mind how likely it is this situation will ever occur.
Check the mutual processes
The integral aspect of an ERP system requires to look beyond an individual process and test whether a consecutive step in the process works properly as well. Any modification (setup of functionalities) in a step can affect a consecutive step. Therefore test this with the other key users.
Keep the above tips in mind when you start testing, it will help you.
Peter Gerhardt is Senior Lead Consultant Logistics at Dysel and helps customers achieve maximum results with business software.