ERP Implementation Tip #18: System Test #2 | Departmental Pilot Stress Test
The DP test phase is the longest of the piloting phases and can take up to a month and a half to complete. The length of this phase is as a result of the extent of testing and training that take place.
With respect to testing, all of the company’s business process scenarios should be piloted in this phase. In other words, all 80% and 20% business scenario scripts for all departments must be tested. (You can read an explanation of the 80% and 20% scripts in Tip #11). The key reasons for fulsome system testing include the following:
To validate the updated and untested “to be” business process scenarios and scripts in the IT system;
To resolve any and all remaining “show-stopping” gaps. (read Tip #13 to learn about “show-stopping” gaps, and the gaps and issues database); and
To perform a realistic stress-test on the software and hardware systems. The intent is to see how well the systems handle full, heavy and realistic day-in-the-life workloads.
Since the DP involves day-in-the-life simulations, the end-users are in the best position to test the business processes (the end-users perform the day-to-day tasks and have the most intimate knowledge of the related business processes). Thus, the first step in the DP is to train certain end-users on the IT system. We recommend that the core team members – and not the consultants – conduct the training. In our view, developing the core team as a training team is critical for ongoing knowledge transfer and future self-sufficiency.
With this background on the testing and training, we recommend that the DP phase proceed according to the following 6 stage process:
- Stage 1 - Train selected end-users on the ERP system and the business model
- Stage 2 - Train selected end-users on the applicable 80% scenarios and scripts
- Stage 3 - Validate the 80% and 20% business scenarios and scripts in the IT system for correctness and volume constraints using static migrated data
- Stage 4 - Refine the business model and blueprint whitepapers
- Stage 5 - Resolve any and all remaining show-stopping gaps
- Stage 6 - Checkpoint ERP tables and parameters
You won't want to miss next week’s ERP implementation tip. In it, we'll cover the final ERP testing phase, the integrated pilot.
Remember: if you have any questions about the DP phase in particular or on your ERP implementation project in general, feel free to contact our ERP experts. We’re happy to help.
Good luck with your ERP implementation projects!
- Does the value of the DP phase outweigh its time requirements?
- How has your project’s DP phase differed from the methodology that we propose?
- Should the core team train the end-users? Why or why not?
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