An important phase during any HRIT implementation is testing, and there are numerous reasons why you should not underestimate the need for it. For one, you verify that all the interfaces work as designed and all information ends up correctly in your other systems. Also, thorough testing minimises production issues and overall project risks; it improves data quality and increases user involvement. And finally, you gain great insight in the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the chosen system.
Testing is a great way to learn! So in this blog we will explain the importance of end-to-end testing during your HRIT deployment
At SuccessDay ||Employee journey|| HRIT || People Analytics ||, we think the most beneficial aspect derived from testing is optimalisation of the employee experience. In this article you will read SuccessDay’s best practises regarding end-to-end testing!
…But why end-to-end testing?
When going through the test cycle, you might see the end-to-end test phase as a first sneak peek of a customer’s future HRIT landscape. Previously, in a system test, the focus was on the verification of requirements and functionality of individual components. Now, in end-to-end testing, attention has shifted to validating the flow of inter-connected sub-systems and external interfaces from start to end. The main question has become: “does the whole stack function as expected?” Who can better help you answer that question than the super-users and subject matter experts?
In a current project SuccessDay is providing support for a Workday test phase at a big international industry company. They let HR employees test as super-users who are (representative of) the end-users. They participated in a Workday training prior to the start of this project. The involvement of HR managers and employees is of great value at this stage because of their expertise, criticism, feedback and because they can act as ambassadors for the new HRIT system. The active support of actual users will have a great impact on your change management!
Continue reading to learn how to set up a successful end-to-end test
Well begun is half done. End-to-end testing means defining your scope. Which (sub)systems are going to be tested? In the case of the company mentioned above, we had to clearly determine the scenarios based on the integration designs. From these scenarios you will learn which business processes are needed for testing.
Ask the experts for help!
After having defined what lies within our outside your scope, you can set up the test scenarios. To assure quality, it’s important to involve super-users or specialists (subject matter experts) in setting up or reviewing the scenarios. When everything has been reviewed, you can prioritize together with the super users and specialists which test scenarios are most important so you can make a good start.
Defining entry and exit criteria’s
When preparing an end-to-end test be sure that the conditions are met to make it successful. Therefore, set up and meet the entry criteria e.g. are the test scenarios reviewed and approved by the Test Lead; are all the third-party test environments available and is the way of issue management defined and clear for everyone? As well as the exit criteria, conditions to be met for going to the next phase e.g. all high or medium risk scenarios have to be complete and all in-scope integrations and custom reports have been tested.
When the environment and connections are ready, the test scenarios are loaded and the entry are criteria’s met, it’s time for the execution!
To have everyone on board, a plenary kick-off is essential. In this kick-off all stakeholders must be present; the project manager, the test lead, the company representative, the implementation partner, super-users and specialists. Once again, the scope will be discussed as well as the planning, test approach, defect management, workload and roles.
When employees are involved in end-to-end testing (in example above the super users), it is essential to provide support during the execution of the test-scenarios. Sometimes, difficulties can be solved by a quick ping to the test lead, and when a user creates an issue; is the description complete or does it need additional information before handing it to the implementation partner? The role of the test lead is vital here, to ensure that effective defect management is maintained. Think about a communication medium which is familiar to everyone involved e.g. Teams, Zoom or phone.
To ensure continuous progress, plan daily status update meetings. Apart from checking the progress of testing, they are an opportunity to light up the team spirit and helping each other out!
Make it visible
An accessible dashboard, whether physical or digital, works because it’s clear and visible. It gives great insight in the workload of both scenarios and issues while it creates a shared responsibility. Apart from that, of course it’s an easy way to report to the client. Incorporating the dashboard, for example once every end of the week, in the daily status update meeting creates a good overview of the current status of testing for everyone involved.
When the test phase comes to an end, it is time to check if the exit criteria are being met. The testers have to sign off. In this email to the Test lead the super users specify which scenarios have been tested, the test results and which scenarios have to be retested in the next phase. It’s important that all high priority test scenarios are covered and that there are no urgent issues open. Not ready with testing? Than together with the Test lead they can discuss whether a conditional sign off is enough.
When the end- to-end test phase is done, it’s important to close this with an evaluation meeting with the super users and specialists to look back. This doesn’t have to be complex! An easy and effective way of doing this is by asking three questions; what went well, what could be better and what are ideas for the next phase? By listening to the super users and specialists, following it up, testing will result in improvement and a great way to learn!
- Ask the experts for help!
- Defining entry and exit criteria’s
- Short lines
- Make it visible!
- Make it easy
Tom Wijers, Consultant at SuccessDay. Currently supporting an international client (3500 employees) headquartered in The Netherlands, with assessing its HR organization to determine a HRIT implementation is needed.