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Erp Testing - Why Testing For Erp Implementation Is Gaining Significance?

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By Author: Michael
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Any ERP implementation project, big or small, can lead to major problems due to inadequate testing. A software needs to be tested when it is installed. However, many companies do not employ their best practices when testing their new ERP system. This results in problems for the ERP implementation team later on.
The importance of ERP Quality Assurance stems from the following facts:
- ERP systems always need to be customized. Off-the-shelf implementation of ERP systems are very rare.
- ERP systems are always linked to legacy systems and integrated with other applications.
- An ERP implementation is done through multiple locations and hence need customizations in order to accommodate local requirements.
- ERP Systems require data migrations between systems.
- ERP Systems need to be regularly modified to meet the changing regulatory frameworks.
This calls for frequent upgrades and improvements with changes in the technology landscape.
The following misconceptions need to be taken care of during the process of ERP Quality Assurance:
1. Considering Implementation Quality same as the Product Quality: The performance of a software depends on the way it is implemented. The software may be a great one, but mistakes in its implementation may render it unusable. Hence, despite the high quality of the software, testing its implementation thoroughly needs to be a mandatory process.
2. Dependency on vendor assertions: Vendors and programmers will naturally swear on the efficiency of the software. But then these assertions should not be followed blindly and should be tested before going live. Certain modules such as transaction system and internal and external integrations need extra attention. A complete transaction process may have different definitions for different requirements.
3. Sponsorship for ERP Quality Assurance: Testing most of the times is pushed to the end of the development process. Its scope is often defined by the remaining time available. A good testing process requires both time and resources. It is important for the sponsors or the top management to understand its complexities, time requirements and the need for dedicated resources.
4. Time allotted for testing: ERP Quality Assurance is a time consuming process. Speeding this process compromises its quality. Strategies such as expanding the testing team along with automated testing tools can help in managing the testing within a manageable time limit.
5. Over dependency on Automated Testing: It is a myth that automated testing can completely replace manual testing. Automated testing tools surely speeds up the process, but it is unable to completely eliminate manual testing.
6. Inadequately trained testing team: The testers need to completely understand he ERP system in order to test them thoroughly. Testing conducted with an incomplete understanding of a system has the possibility of bugs remaining undetected. This may result into an expensive rectification task later on.
Irrespective of the type of business, an ERP implementation is a very critical project. The success of an ERP implementation depends highly on the cooperation of the employees in the organization. Given the business critical nature of ERP systems, customization for every ERP implementation requires rigorous testing in order to ensure its effectiveness.

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