When it comes to technology testing, whether it be integrating updates or developing new technology, keeping things simple and efficient is the ultimate goal. To execute testing in an efficient manner requires a comprehensive approach to understanding the technology’s role in your business, and the ability to avoid tempting shortcuts on the road to the go-live date. In this article, Ninestone offers some best practices from testing experts that can make the process an effective one.
Keep it simple
An individual testing coordinator can greatly simplify the testing process by acting as the conduit between the business and the software vendor. This person is responsible for communicating needs that become apparent during the testing phases, and doing so in order of importance. With a well-established demarcation of critical, high, medium, and low-level needs, the testing coordinator can make sure the vendor understands the priorities of problems that need to be addressed, and work first to resolve issues that would delay the go-live date.
In developing new products, a testing coordinator can be responsible for matching testing milestones (such as end-to-end testing or user acceptance testing) against the design and goals for the new technology. Again, clear and simple plans for matching product testing with systems integration can prevent unexpected problems at the implementation and go-live stages.
Keep an eye on performance
Skipping performance testing is a temptation to which many businesses fall prey, but it is inadvisable. Even after systems and integration testing has been completed, problems can arise if you do not examine how the new update effects your overall business performance. For example, database administrators may feel satisfied that files are able to be moved uncorrupted in the new environment, but if the upload time has increased, it could mean your end users are much more inefficient.
Keep your vendors honest
Take control of your businesses’ goals and make the vendor work for you. Getting written documentation of every request, even something as simple as a follow up email to a status call with the vendor, gives you some recourse when critical issues your business asked to be addressed were ignored. Additionally, exercise care in communicating requests to vendors, who are normally paid to code, not interpret. Having a test coordinator with expertise in communicating these requests act as the go-between can simplify this process, saving you both time and money.
Keep staff accountable
The testing plan should be comprehensive. Testing only for anticipated problems could leave hidden surprises. Full regression testing and end-to-end testing to make sure other areas not affected decreases your chances of missing deadlines due to problems in integrating the new technology. Having the appropriate staff accountable in all the areas being tested for signing off on successful testing is an efficient way to ensure the technology is not posing any unanticipated problems. These staff can in turn involve end users in evaluating the new technology, which helps to supplement performance testing and maintain efficiency in day-to-day use of the technology, and prevent disconnect between the testing team and the staff who will utilize the technology.
Keep Business and IT connected
Testing is a smoother process when business operations and IT are on the same page. From the beginning of the project, the project manager should be in contact with management from different business areas, getting acquainted with their day-to-day operations and specific needs. Skipping this preparation can lead to failures come production time, and cause critical problems in the business’ ability to operate. From the beginning of the project, having engaged and knowledgeable representatives from different business areas to give input can stave off last minute bugs and ensure the ability of the business to meet customer needs.
Test with purpose
Following these guidelines can help your business conduct testing in a manner beneficial to both the business and IT sides of your organization. Ninestone can assist with effective testing and establishing testing environments. By organizing testing with an eye toward integrating business and IT needs, your organization can ensure a smooth implementation of new technology.