ERP Testing: Setup Plan, Talents Needed, Tools, Cost
ScienceSoft has been providing software testing and QA outsourcing services for 31 years.
ERP Testing: The Essence
ERP testing comprises QA activities that verify ERP efficiency, sustainability, security, and user-friendliness. A balanced ERP test strategy should include different testing types (including functional, ETL, and performance testing) to check if ERP software is stable and scalable, unifies business data, and enables flawless automation of complex workflows.
Every ERP testing setup plan is different, as each enterprise resource planning solution is based on a specific business logic, differs in functions, third-party integrations, and deployment type (on-premises, cloud-based, hybrid). Below are the essential steps typical for most ERP testing projects:
1. ERP Testing Preparation
Decide on a basic set of KPIs such as the number of test cases per iteration, rejected defects, ERP requirements not covered by test cases, the test automation rate, tests’ execution time. Consider ERP testing quality-related risks and design a risk mitigation plan.
2. ERP Testing Process Design or Vendor Selection
Decide whether ERP testing will be performed in-house or outsourced (fully or partially). If you opt for the in-house ERP testing option, design the collaboration scenarios between the stakeholders (a PM, BAs, the development team, the QA team, key intended ERP users, etc.). Assign a QA manager to design the ERP requirements specification in a way suitable for testing (for example, in the form of user stories, acceptance or unit tests).
Note: ScienceSoft does not recommend entrusting a test automation architecture to a manual test engineer, even if they have a programming background, as the risks of tests' maintainability and stability issues will increase.
Then, proceed to the ERP testing design activities or vendor selection.
ERP testing process design by your in-house QA team
- Prepare a test strategy (including testing objectives, scope, defects reporting procedure, expected test automation rate, etc.), plan, efforts estimation. Consider training for the test team members.
- Design test scenarios and decide, which ones should be automated and which should be performed manually.
- Design test automation architecture.
- Choose, configure, and integrate relevant tools (test management, CI/CD, test automation tools, etc.).
ERP testing vendor selection
- Consider the vendors’ technological and project management expertise. Pay attention to the vendors with QA certifications like ISTQB or CSTE, offering services compliant with ISO and IEC standards.
- Check if a vendor has enough resources to meet your ERP testing needs.
- Pay attention to the customer testimonials related to ERP testing projects.
- Request ERP testing cost estimation or a business proposal.
check out the important points to consider in the ERP testing strategy
- Test automation. ERP testing projects can bring a high test automation ROI as they are usually long enough for test automation investment to pay off, involve large volumes of data and a large share of regression testing. Also, automation will allow you to free manual test engineers for ad hoc, exploratory, usability testing, and elaborate on end-to-end test scenarios.
- Integration testing. You need a sufficient number of end-to-end test scenarios to validate your ERP solution’s integrations with the data warehouse, its inner modules, and external software.
- ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) testing. It’s aimed to ensure your business data is correct, non-duplicate, and unified.
- Performance testing. It’s required to validate the ERP software is stable under expected, stress, and continuous load, and its response time, scalability, and resource usage meets the performance requirements.
- Role-based access control validation. This testing activity should ensure that ERP users with different user roles get access only to the corresponding functions and data.
3. ERP Testing Launch
At this stage, the ERP QA team prepares the test environment, designs test cases and develops test scripts, creates, gathers, and prepares test data.
As soon as the ERP testing is launched, the QA team should regularly report on the progress. The team should continuously collaborate with the development team to improve the test suite granularity and increase the test coverage.
- Designs a QA strategy based on business and project goals.
- Continuously analyses the ERP testing process and plans improvements.
- Creates an ERP test plan.
- Assembles and manages the test team.
- Decides on the relevant test management software.
- Collaborates with the ERP implementation project manager and the development team to ensure quality through the entire SDLC.
Test automation architect
- Defines the test automation scope.
- Designs an ERP test automation strategy and architecture.
- Sets up the test environment and test data generation.
- Selects and configures test automation tools and frameworks appropriate for the ERP testing project.
- Collaborates with the ERP implementation project manager and the development team to outline test scenarios for proactive automation.
- Manages test automation engineers to improve automated tests maintainability, granularity, and decrease test execution time.
Test automation engineer
- Develops, executes, and maintains automated test scripts.
- Reports defects after analyzing the test results.
- Regularly reviews the ERP requirements specification to improve test scripts maintainability and granularity.
- Designs, executes, and maintains ERP test cases.
- Reports defects.
QA management and team are in-house
You have a complete control over the ERP testing process. However, you should mind the risks deriving from ERP testing specifics, unbalanced test automation strategy, the choice of tools and frameworks that do fully fit in with your ERP testing process.
QA management is in-house, QA team is completely or partially external
With this option, you can optimize your ERP testing costs due to the vendor’s already established testing processes, experience in ERP testing, and skills with the relevant tools. Still, a QA manager is required to align an external team or team members with your project processes, control and regularly assess ERP testing.
QA management and team are outsourced
You get optimized testing costs via experienced QA management, best practices in ERP testing, and test automation talents. Still, you need to mind careful vendor selection and possible issues with the vendor’s team integration into the project processes.
World Quality Report 2019-2020 claims that flaky test environments seriously hinder testing ROI.
To pave the way for a seamless ERP testing process, you need to apply a holistic approach to the tools’ selection paying special attention to their compatibility and ability to cater for your ERP’s specifics. Here is a sample toolkit that may be appropriate for ERP testing.
Best for: test management as part of thorough project management
- Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools.
- Jira’s additionally purchased Test Management app enables: test planning, tracking and reporting; provides full requirements traceability through test cases and execution results.
Jira: free for up to 10 users, for more users - 7$/user/month.
Requirements and Test Management for Jira: up to 10 users - 10$ monthly flat fee, for more users – $1.5 user/month.
Best for: Continuous Integration
- Leader in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Application Release Orchestration.
- Enables on-demand and scheduled unit and integration tests, which is a must for a CI/CD project.
- Can be integrated with Selenium WebDriver and Apache JMeter to run UI and performance test suites on a scheduled basis.
Selenium WebDriver 3.0
Best for: Automated UI testing
- One of the most popular automated UI testing tools for web applications.
- Supports the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer/Edge, Safari, Opera.
- Lacks convenient reporting capabilities, so may require integrations with other testing tools, like TestNG.
Best for: Performance testing
- An established Java-based stress and load testing tool.
- Enables testing software’s functional behavior under stress load and its performance under varying loads.
- Supports functional and regression API testing via features like HTTPS sampler.
- Tests can be run in the GUI mode.
The ballpark ERP testing cost including a QA manger's and senior test engineers’ rates, testing tools’ licenses and test environment costs, will be $70,000.
ERP testing cost factors include:
For outsourced ERP testing
- The number of iterations.
- The number of new test cases per iteration.
- The coverage by automated tests.
- Time required to design or build a test case.
- The cost of employed tools (for example, licenses and test machines).
- Test cases and script maintenance efforts.
- Test team members’ rates.
For in-house ERP testing
- Project duration.
- The number of test engineers and test automation engineers (depending on ERP application’s functionality and workflow complexity, the number of third-party integrations, the rate of custom-developed functions, ERP performance and security requirements).
- The cost of employed tools (licenses).
Consider Professional ERP Testing Services
ScienceSoft QA professionals are experienced in testing complex ERP systems (500+ functions) with best practices encapsulated within an in-house Testing Center of Excellence and ready to ensure your enterprise resource planning solution will bring the expected ROI, enhance business productivity, and cut labor costs.
ERP testing consulting
With ERP testing consulting you get:
- ERP test strategy design.
- ERP testing setup plan.
- Preferable sourcing model selection.
- ERP testing optimal toolkit design with cost-benefit analysis of each software option.
- ERP testing cost and ROI calculation.
ERP testing outsourcing
With ERP testing outsourcing you get:
- Current QA process analysis.
- QA strategy, ERP test plan, test automation strategy and architecture design.
- ERP testing optimal tools selection and configuration.
- Test cases design and maintenance.
- Test automation scripts development and maintenance.
- Test environment setup and test data generation.
- ERP testing artifacts compliant with ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-3:2013, including regular detailed reports on defects and test closure.
ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. We deliver QA outsourcing services for enterprise resource planning solutions and guide our customers on how to ensure maximum software quality while meeting rigid deadlines and optimizing testing budget.