A successful ERP implementation requires a strategic approach that doesn’t press the “go-live button” too soon. This means taking the time to conduct ERP system testing at critical milestones.
With so many other factors to consider, why should you spend time on system testing? Today, we’re breaking down six reasons why it’s important not to miss this critical step.
6 Reasons to Conduct ERP System Testing
1. Allows You to Test the Technical Aspects of the System
For example, if you have any ERP system integrations, are these working properly (i.e. is data flowing as expected)?
Performing the following types of testing can ensure that there are no issues “under the hood:”
- Compatibility testing
- Localization testing
- Security testing
- Reliability testing
- Stress testing
- Recovery testing
During this testing, it’s important to identify any defects and provide the list of these defects to the ERP vendor or software developer.
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2. Ensures Alignment with Business Requirements
ERP system testing can help you obtain a high degree of assurance that the system meets your company’s expectations. Two of the most important questions to ask include:
- Does the system perform as expected and satisfy requirements?
- Does the system support business operations and needs, and if not, what changes are required?
During testing, we recommend working with your ERP implementation consultant to develop test scripts you can use to verify that the system works as expected. These scripts should contain line-by-line descriptions of the actions required to carry out particular workflows.
3. Keeps the Implementation on Track
There are many factors that can throw a project off track or cause ERP failure:
- Lack of organizational change management
- Inadequate internal resources
- Extensive software customization
- Lack of business process reengineering or business process management
ERP testing helps keeps your project on track because it reduces the likelihood that you’ll have to spend extra time configuring the system for missed requirements.
In fact, system testing involves check-ins and verifications that ensure every facet of the system aligns with business requirements. This ensures that at go-live, your new ERP system is fully up and running with the expected functionality.
4. Ensures FDA Compliance
There is a wide range of industries that require careful testing activities and documentation to verify correct system operation. This is especially the case in the manufacturing realm, as one faulty component could have devastating effects across the supply chain.
In instances such as these, ERP test cases are essential. When developing each test case, your project team should work with an ERP consulting firm to define the exact inputs, conditions, procedures and results required.
This helps identify issues in the application’s design and verifies that all aspects of the system are working correctly. It also provides a data trail for any activities relating to the system, such as bug resolution.
5. Verifies & Validates Bug Resolution and Operational Enhancements
Not only does ERP testing help your technical team identify and isolate issues, but it also provides assurance that they did a thorough job resolving these issues. Any time an issue is resolved, you can run test scenarios to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Without this step, you’d be left wondering if you truly solved the problem, and with so much at stake, even the most educated guess isn’t enough.
There are many automated testing tools that can help companies with these test management and defect tracking activities. We use these tools when working with clients to ensure testing accuracy and efficiency.
6. Gives End Users an Opportunity to Learn the System
End users should be involved in ERP system testing. This shouldn’t be an endeavor solely reserved for your technical team.
End users need to play an active role in system testing because they’re the ones who best understand the business processes the system is designed to support. In addition, they know the complications that have troubled them in the past and can determine if the new system addresses these pain points.
That said, if you’re involving end users, you’re realizing another benefit of ERP testing: more opportunity for end-user training.
ERP System Testing is Essential
While there are many different types of ERP systems, no implementation is complete without testing activities. While all the components might appear to be working correctly at first glance, it’s best to verify that this is actually the case (and will be the case long into the future).
While there are costs and labor involved in performing ERP system testing, consider the costs incurred if a technical issue is left unchecked and causes disruption across your enterprise.
For more information on how to optimize your ERP implementation, request a free consultation below to speak with one of our ERP consultants.