Acumatica’s Todd Kuhns continues his series on Acumatica’s cloud ERP implementation playbook. Step six is developing a test plan, and he explains what it entails and why it’s important.
Did you know tapping a microphone to see if it’s working is not a good thing to do? It can cause the microphone to malfunction, damage the speakers, and trigger needless pain in those who are sensitive to loud noises. The best way to see if the microphone is working is to just speak: “Testing, testing—is this thing on?” Similarly, if you’re undertaking a cloud ERP implementation, there’s a best way to test if your new cloud ERP system will meet your requirements and that is to develop a user acceptance test plan. This is step six in Acumatica’s eight-step ERP Playbook to Implementation.
Developing a test plan
Before developing a user acceptance test plan, there are a few steps you’ll have to take first. These include earning leadership and IT buy-in, making your ERP selection, choosing your deployment option (remember: ERP deployment options are only available when you choose a vendor that believes in ERP deployment flexibility) and assembling an implementation team. From there, you’ll define your requirements.
Requirements fall within four general areas: Essential, Desirable, Not an Immediate Need, and Nice to Have. Using Acumatica’s essential cloud ERP requirement checklist, you and your team will create a list of functionality requirements along with an explanation as to why each requirement is listed. All parties will then need to approve the requirements document.
After defining your requirements and getting approval, you’ll develop a project plan and migrate your data. Now it’s finally time to develop a user acceptance test plan. Your team members and subject matter experts will play a huge role in this process.
The test plan will take each requirement in your requirements document and define a test to demonstrate that the new system meets that functional specification. Some of the tests in the test plan might be simple, while others are more complex. There might even be multiple tests to determine if a single requirement has been met. However, each test in the test plan will have the following components:
- Objective: A brief statement of the purpose of the test.
- Requirement: The specific requirement or requirements addressed by this test; be sure tests include the functions of additional modules, customizations, or system modifications.
- Setup: The required system configurations required to carry out the test.
- Procedure: The step-by-step process to carry out the test; if certain test metrics are required, such as load testing, make sure tools are in place to measure the test results.
- Test data: If necessary—a subject matter expert can produce this; be sure test data represents real-world situations.
- Expected result: Identifies the results this test should produce if the system is performing according to the requirements.
- Pass/Fail: Determines whether the test was completed successfully.
- Comments: Adds any observations, system behavior, or partial success.
Successful completion of the test plan verifies that the system and the project can both be accepted.
Test complete: What’s next for your cloud ERP implementation?
The test plan has been successfully completed, and it’s time to go-live…or is it? Not quite. You still have two more steps in Acumatica’s eight-step implementation plan, and step seven is developing a training plan, which is critical for new system adoption success. In an upcoming post, we’ll discuss how to develop a user and system administration training plan that ensures faster adoption and stops employees from returning to the old way of doing things.