So, you’ve decided to switch to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and finished the hard work of development, migration, and training. Now you’re ready to go live, right?
But, I’ll bet there’s one thing you’ve unknowingly neglected. That’s testing the new software. After the implementer tells you that they’re done with the development and migration, the first thing you need to do is to run testing.
Testing might sound simple, all you need to do is run through a couple of scenarios, and you’re good, right? I wish it were as simple as that, but often it isn’t.
After the implementer hands you the keys to the software, testing is an investment you and your team need to take seriously. Doing that will set you up for future success.
Testing is essential because it allows the users to:
- Get familiar with the new system
- Find potential problems
- Discover unknown features
- Overcome the fear of change
- Establish confidence in your team
Make Sure Users Understand the Importance of Testing
It’s no secret: people are much more likely to take advice from people they trust.
The first step to implement an effective testing process is to build trust with the people you work with – and more specifically, the ones who are going to use the new system.
Even though we always emphasize on the importance of testing, most users won’t follow through with proper testing, even if they promised they would.
Why? There are many reasons. Often, the users are not aware of how important testing is. More often, however, they are just busy dealing with daily challenges and crises at work.
This is why building trust with the company is key, and also having a clear and easy process ready for them. You, as the implementer, should be the subject-matter expert, but you also should see yourself as a mentor to managers, to help them help their employees.
Again and again, you need to explain the benefits of testing and that testing will benefit the user and their team. More importantly, emphasize on the fact that it’s not to waste their time; but rather is an investment that pays long-term dividends.
Time is one of the biggest reasons users will avoid testing, but time is also one of the reasons testing is so important.
Some of the main benefits that come from testing are to save time. Becoming familiar with the new system, solving any problems, and discovering all of the features will save users time in the future.
It’s essential to explain that while testing requires time upfront, it will save them precious time in the future.
Work With The People in Charge
The first important way of implementing a successful testing operation is to know your place: You’re not the one in charge, but you’re there to make sure that those who are thrive.
As a consultant, you’re not an employee but an advisor. The key to success is communication. You need to make sure that managers understand that you’re here to support their success; not to do everything for them. You need to set the stage for them to have all the necessary keys in their pockets so that whenever a problem occurs, they know what to do.
As it is the manager’s responsibility to oversee the testing, your job is to make sure that the testing is done properly and more importantly, they don’t cut corners. You also need the manager to be aware of how important test runs are.
If the management team of the company asks you to manage their people as if you were their boss, one thing you need to do is to get the customer’s managers to take the lead.
In order to make sure you don’t get a phone call every day with questions, you should have a plan that includes milestones for the use to be complete – so the testing process is faster and easier because the users have clear directions to follow. A good and simple plan will also give the managers something to look for and help them communicate with their team.
Again, explain the benefits of testing to the managers, and make it clear that in the long term, the company is going to save time and money by making sure everything is running properly. Don’t forget: the best offense is a good defence.
As with anything new, it will take time for everyone to grow comfortable with the new system. It won’t happen overnight, but if everything is done strategically and in an organized manner, the risks of encountering problems in the future are going to be reduced and your clients are going to save precious time. By doing so, your clients will be more likely to recommend the system to other companies.
Make Sure The Process Is Easy
As an implementer, part of your job is to make the customer test the system, and more importantly, make the testing easy.
You can’t, and shouldn’t, sit and look over their shoulder and watch them run through different tests. That would be a waste of your time because that’s not what you are being paid for, and you want the users to run tests in their natural environment.
The users often forget that testing requires a lot of extra time and effort, on top of their regular workload; which is why you need to ease the process for them as much as you can.
The implementers can’t just mandate training. That will only make people want you to leave faster. Instead, provide them a clear step-by-step testing process that they can implement.
To Sum It Up
If implementers don’t do their job correctly, the testing won’t be successful.
Proper testing will benefit the users for years to come and make the new system much more enjoyable to use.
If the user is running into error after error, or they aren’t able to find the features they need in the new system, it will cause frustration, and make the system – or worse, you – look bad.
When the implementer does his/her job correctly, the transition from implementation to testing and regular use should be smooth. The users will still need to build confidence in the system and may encounter some problems, but testing will help prevent many unnecessary struggles with the system.