Additional SAP Insights
Every client has been there before. A slight change in code with an unknown regression impact is released into the Production System and then everything falls over. End-users are not able to carry out core Business Processes, error messages are all over the place and the entire project team start to panic!
Enterprise software testing enables your business change, drives your software quality and focuses your remediation efforts. It can also slow down your projects and cost you way more than it should.
Testing is critical to the success of any large scale enterprise IT project. Testing is bought on a day rate, and the cheapest bidder often wins. This method of selection often leads to costly, time-consuming testing phases that ultimately make testing far more expensive than initial projections.
Performance testing is critical in ensuring that an exceptional user experience is delivered. That’s because executing this phase of testing correctly will provide you and your team with a real understanding of the responsiveness and stability of your system under a particular workload. It can help you plan your IT strategy around the peaks and troughs in your business cycle so that you are always available to customers. Do it wrong and your brand may just be the next unlucky sufferer of bad press, or worse yet, a catastrophic systems failure.
Retailers believe that the customer is king. Marketers believe that content is king. The French believe that “ROI” is king (one for the linguists). At Experior, we are less interested in crowning monarchs than we are in championing users. For us and our customers, the user is everything – and we don’t mean that as a glib statement. More than 12 years’ experience has told us that those large businesses rolling out complex enterprise applications who put the user experience at the heart of their project are most likely to see the anticipated benefits of the investment successfully realized.
At Experior we believe the user experience is everything. It is for us the most important element of any project and has to start long before the new system goes live, being an essential part of initial system design. But what actually defines the user experience, given that each IT project is by definition different in terms of technology and deployment?
Ultimately, what any company wants to achieve with the implementation of any new business system is competitive advantage – return on investment if you will. The crucial but often forgotten ingredient to achieve this is the delivery of great, more advanced and engaging user experiences. So let’s talk a little about “User Experience” as it relates to software.
As a business embarks on its digital transformation journey, the culture and job roles within the organization begin to change. People and the technology that supports them need to adapt to be able to function effectively in the new multi-channel, data-driven business that starts to take shape. It’s an exciting time to be a part of any organization, and the change in job roles and responsibilities affects the entire business structure—from customer-facing staff to the C-suite.
Most testers and testing organizations will champion quality over cost and speed, highlighting quality as the critical success measurement. However, the argument has never been this simple as ultimately cost is the foundation upon which businesses run, and drives the decision making process top-down.
Finding the right balance between testing too much and testing too little is one of the key challenges projects and businesses face when implementing new or updated systems. In some cases business stakeholders are only happy to sign off a solution by testing everything they are involved in across both the System Integration Test & User Acceptance Test phases. The impact of this is not only does it take longer to complete it’s also more costly and not an efficient way of testing.
The “user experience” is a metric that cannot be deceived. If you have a set user experience goal in mind at the start of a project, it is easy to see whether this has been truly delivered by the end. Project managers however will be very familiar with projects that are deemed successes on paper but ultimately do not fully deliver on their promise.
Let’s start with the beginning – what is Plant Maintenance? Plant Maintenance (PM) is a component within SAP which allows an organization to plan maintenance activities on assets, in order to maintain the ideal condition of those assets for as long as possible. The maintenance activities can cover regular maintenance activities (planned maintenance) or activities to repair faults or breakdowns (unplanned maintenance).
As a project test lead and senior consultant at Experior, I’m deeply involved in our client’s businesses. We believe testing is a holistic process, and not something that can be done in isolation. I therefore work alongside business focused project managers and take time ensure that the technical side can make business processes happen, in the end. And that usually means meeting some user experience expectation, in our experience.
The first thing as a reader of this article I encourage you to question, why would you automate a system in which the development is still in flight? Please bear with me on this as we will get to the why. Yes, it is painful for the testers developing and redeveloping tests multiple times. Objects change and have to be updated, you just learn to live with it.
“Work Smarter: Live Better” by Cyril Peupion is a book which focuses on how to become more effective by working smarter, which ultimately helps you to live better. It is surprising how effective his insight is – and how easily his principles can be applied to being a better business, as well as a better person.