Overview: ERP testing best practices
Testing is critical to implementing and maintaining any type of software, and ERP systems are no exception. In fact, due to the complexity of ERP systems and the importance they have on day-to-day business operations, proper testing is especially crucial.
As a welcome to 2023, we're listing out 23 ERP testing best practices. Let’s jump in.
Because ERPs affect nearly every aspect of your business, ERP testing is a team effort. That means that everyone - from upper management development teams to the end users that will be performing UAT testing - should be involved and have a say.
Perform a deep dive into your business processes and integrations to fully understand what needs to be tested and why. The more you know, the more accurate and efficient your ERP testing strategy will be. Failure to do so can lead to over-testing, which wastes time and money, or under-testing, which leaves your ERP exposed to risk.
Creating a thorough testing plan will help ensure that everyone is on the same page on what needs to be tested. This plan should be visible to everyone involved with testing.
Create KPI objectives that are specific and measurable to track testing progress.
When it comes to conducting ERP application testing, it's essential to set a reasonable timeline based on the size and complexity of the ERP system.
Make sure your ERP testing team has the right mix of business leaders, developers, QA engineers, and business users, and that all of them understand their specific roles and timelines for testing deliverables.
Testing early (or shift-left testing) is a more efficient way to test and helps avoid potential issues and bottlenecks down the road. Additionally, it’s much less expensive to fix a bug early in the development process than later in the development process.
Testing continuously ensures that your ERP system is always working optimally, and similar to testing early, continuous testing helps find bugs well before they rear their ugly heads.
Test results are only as good as the data used in the testing process. Good test data can be obtained by conducting a user survey, doing performance audits, or tracking user activity over time. Opkey also offers automatic test data management, which eliminates the guesswork in finding the right test data.
Using a test environment decreases the possibility of errors when the system goes live. It also provides a secure environment where users can test out various configurations and settings without endangering the production system.
Proper documentation ensures that nothing is overlooked during the testing process and holds all stakeholders accountable. It also helps educate those involved about vulnerable business processes and serves as a learning manual for future testers. It’s recommended that you use automatic test documentation to help avoid human error in the documentation process, and ensure compliance.
Any change in the ERP system should be recorded and communicated to the testing team. This ensures that new features and bug fixes are thoroughly tested before updates are pushed.
Test case libraries provide a set of pre-defined test cases for ERP systems and largely eliminate the need to create test cases from scratch. Using test case libraries, instead of building everything from scratch each time, can save testing teams an enormous amount of time and money.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a crucial part of the ERP testing process. It’s the testing phase when actual end users, who use the ERP system daily, ensure the system works as they need it to. It’s important to set aside plenty of time for these users to do this testing, as they have normal day jobs to perform.
It's crucial to check that any modifications you make to an ERP system don't compromise existing functionality or create new bugs. The use of regression testing enables the early detection of these problems. Functional testing ensures that individual features work as intended, and integration testing ensures that the different components of the ERP system are able to interact with one another correctly. These three types of tests help make sure that the system is functioning as expected, and critical business processes work smoothly.
It’s recommended you perform security and performance testing in two separate environments. Software vulnerabilities are found and fixed through security testing to make them less likely to be used by attackers, while performance testing gauges the software's responsiveness to different situations.
Performance testing should be carried out in a controlled setting, whereas security testing should be performed in a secure environment. By doing so, you can isolate the impact of any modifications that might have an impact on the software's functionality.
Make sure your ERP system follows all industry-specific compliance protocols in order to avoid issues. Without strict regulatory adherence, your organization can be hit with expensive regulatory fines and additional development costs.
End-to-end testing helps ensure that the entire system is functioning as expected and meeting specific business needs. This includes not just the software and hardware, but also the systems that interact with the software and hardware, such as 3rd party accounting or marketing systems.
We talked about planning for UAT testing, but you still have to actually perform it. Because UAT is performed at the end of development, it’s oftentimes skipped or performed haphazardly in order to meet tight deadlines. This is a huge mistake, as having the actual business users test out the application before it actually goes live is critical, both to the overall performance of the application and to user adoption rates. You can read about our guide to best practices for UAT here.
No-code testing empowers any employee–no matter their technical expertise–to contribute to testing. This is especially important for business ERP systems, as the employees who use these systems typically aren’t technically trained.
Negative testing is a type of testing that examines the effect of unforeseen input data and circumstances. Embracing negative testing in ERP testing is essential for ensuring that certain inputs don’t break ERP processes, and that the system as a whole does not suffer from any unexpected errors or vulnerabilities. By employing negative testing methods, unforeseen bugs are found quicker, greatly improving the ERP software testing process. Additionally, negative testing offers valuable insights into how the software will respond in unfavorable scenarios.
Organizations should run smaller tests to receive feedback more continuously. More continuous feedback helps avoid technical debt.
You guessed it! Our final best practice tip when it comes to testing ERP software is to use an intelligent test automation platform like Opkey.
Automation testing is less expensive in the long run, provides greater risk reduction, and is far faster than manual testing, which empowers you to respond quicker to changing business needs.
Get in touch today to see why Opkey is the market leading ERP test automation tool.