More and more companies across industries are adopting ERP, according to Statista, the which projects ERP software market to reach $49 billion by the end of 2023. But since ERP adoption is such a lengthy and complicated project, many companies can neglect to ensure the ERP solution’s accurate functioning through careful ERP testing during software implementation and after launch. In the long run, such an oversight can cause both minor inconveniences for end-users and serious problems rooted into poor performance and insufficient data security.
In this article, ERP quality assurance experts share essential best practices to include into your ERP testing strategy.
The importance of testing your ERP solution
The ERP testing strategy should be comprehensive and include various testing types to validate the solution against functional and non-functional requirements and ensure its stable performance, seamless data exchange, user-friendliness of interfaces, and strong security. Testing your ERP solution throughout and after its implementation helps to verify that the system is being properly set up and functions as intended and eliminate issues and possible risks.
ERP testing best practices
Verify software requirements
ERP quality assurance process should start as early as creating software requirements specification since well-defined software requirements are the foundation of both successful ERP development and future testing. Therefore, make sure to document all functional and non-functional requirements, including details about specific software features, various user roles, and performance expectations, and then check them for completeness and consistency.
Elaborate test scenarios
Catering to the needs of different company departments, ERP software includes various user roles with rights to access various modules and perform a large number of operations. So when planning your functional ERP testing activities and developing test suites, remember to collaborate with stakeholders to factor in all user journeys and create relevant test scenarios to validate as much features as possible.
Prioritize integration testing
ERP software is typically connected to other systems, like CRM, BI solutions, banking software, or eCommerce platforms, to exchange data with them. Therefore, you need to make integration testing an essential part of your testing plan and create end-to-end test scenarios covering all ERP integrations.
What is more, if your ERP system is connected to a data warehouse, consider testing the ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) processes as a part of integration testing. ETL testing will ensure that data is accurately transferred and transformed and help detect data consistency and quality issues.
Consider testing automation
Test automation isn’t feasible for every project, but makes sense for most ERP software implementation projects. This is because ERP systems typically have many integrations and handle a lot of data, making ERP testing projects rather lengthy and requiring regression testing. By automating testing activities, you can easily handle large numbers of regression test suites and free up manual testers’ time for tasks that require human involvement, such as ad hoc and usability testing. To top it off, due to the great length of ERP projects, the investment in automation tools pays off.
Mind the performance and scalability
Since an ERP system performs a number of critical business processes, ensuring its stable performance under load is crucial. Consider conducting performance testing not only under expected load but also under extreme and continuous loads to validate the software’s proper functioning, response time, and resource usage in exceptional conditions.
Modern performance testing and monitoring tools, like Apache JMeter or Zabbix, allow test engineers to simulate realistic and extreme user loads and detect the ERP system’s performance and scalability bottlenecks. With them, you can faster detect and analyze the root causes of poor ERP performance and take appropriate measures to fix them.
Ensure data security
ERP systems store gigabytes of confidential information, so to protect your organization’s sensitive data both at rest and in transit from breaches, perform comprehensive security testing. First of all, check the implemented access security measures that usually include role-based access controls and multi-factor authentication to ensure the ERP users can access only the functionality and data available to their business roles.
Next, consider performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing during software development and throughout system operation. Vulnerability assessment will allow you to assess your ERP solution for security vulnerabilities, and within penetration testing you can simulate the real cyberattack to reveal weak spots in the ERP software. Running penetration testing and vulnerability assessment will allow you to detect and eliminate security bottlenecks before the actual data breach occurs.
Keep the documentation in order
Clear and complete test documentation helps track testing activities’ progress and simplify the collaboration between development and testing teams, so we recommend maintaining detailed documentation of test plans, cases, data, results, and all bugs and errors identified during testing. Thorough documentation is especially critical when testing ERP solutions for compliance with industry regulations, like Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), GDPR, or HIPAA.
Summing it up
ERP testing is not merely ensuring your solution meets the requirements; it is about guaranteeing your operation efficiency and unlocking the full potential of your ERP investments. Meticulous testing documentation, collaboration with stakeholders, test automation and thorough integration testing are the key best practices that can help you effectively validate you ERP solution’s quality. But to ensure your ERP’s maximum operability, reliability and security, your strategy should go beyond standard testing activities and rely on a well-structured approach, domain knowledge, and a dedicated testing team.