In the ERP world, whether on-premise, private cloud or SaaS cloud the impact of any change is not as clear or easily understood as it might have been in a home-grown application. The risk is magnified because a third party is making changes to an expensive system, which is critical for running the business, providing changes that we probably did not ask for, that we don’t understand, that may impact other integrated systems and that might have hidden features which can bring business to a standstill.
The only antidote to this magnified risk is testing.
So, whereas before we relied on quality being determined by effectiveness and good practice across a number of stages in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), the responsibility for quality “Shifts Right” exclusively to the function of testing. At the same time, the testing team may have been reduced, or more probably the emphasis placed on the business in User Acceptance Testing, that is even further “Right”.
The business users of course are best placed to spot the unwanted features and issues having the best knowledge of how the processes work, but they are not professional testers, they don’t think like testers and are not likely to carry out the most effective quality assurance process. Not without help anyway. Do they get that help? Help in the form of planning, management, analysis, training and technology? The answer is likely to be at best; “partially”.
So, the antidote to the risk of errors in critical IT systems disrupting business lies in the hands of the business users who do their best (with perhaps doubtful dedication), with probably little help from IT/Business systems.
Surely, organisations will want to protect this massive investment as well as protect the smooth running of the business and hence empower business users to be able to test more effectively, more efficiently, more thoroughly and more quickly.
Time to ask yourself how well your organisation addresses this need? And before you say it, spreadsheets are not really a valid way of managing testing process, people and assets, are they?
This is part 2 of a 5 part series; part 3 coming soon..