Testing Tips to Make Your HCM Go-Live Successful.
As the end of the year approaches, many companies are preparing for January Go-Live dates for their new Human Capital Management (HCM) software solutions. One of the keys to a successful Go-Live is a thorough Testing phase during implementation. The goal of this Testing phase is to find errors, gaps, or missing requirements in your configured solution prior to experiencing these issues in a live production environment. Without an effective Testing cycle, you risk going live with significant issues in your setup that may impede critical functions like payroll, time entry, user access, integrations between systems, and others.
Having guided Clients through hundreds of implementations, The WFC Group knows firsthand how difficult effective Testing can be. Based on our real-world experience, here is some information on the types of essential Testing as well as a few tips to make the Testing cycle of your implementation project easier and more successful.
Types of System Implementation Testing
Three of the most common types of Testing for software implementations are: System Integration Testing (SIT), User Acceptance Testing (UAT), and Parallel Testing.
The goal of SIT is to ensure that all integrations between your HCM platform and other business intelligence software and/or hardware are working effectively. How is data entering your HCM? Is it the data you need? Is the data timely and correct? Does it display and interact correctly in different modules within your HCM solution? What other systems does your HCM data feed? Do your inputs net you the correct outputs and are you getting the correct impacts both upstream and downstream from your HCM solution? A thorough SIT cycle answers all of these questions and more to verify that your various integrations are working correctly before you really need them to at Go-Live.
UAT should occur after SIT for best results. Once you know that your system integrations are working properly, you can focus on ensuring that your HCM solution itself is working to your specifications. Do users have access to all of the information they are supposed to? Do PTO accruals calculate accurately based on timekeeping and HR data? Are payroll taxes calculating correctly on the employee and employer sides? Are shift differentials or other premiums applied correctly? Exhaustive end-to-end UAT will tell you if there are any configuration issues or other errors that need attention before you Go-Live.
Finally, Parallel Testing gives you the opportunity to run your new HCM solution in tandem with your existing system to identify any discrepancies. It also helps ensure that your new solution is working better than your legacy system to improve efficiency and productivity so you get a return on your investment. Often, you can do a full dry run with parallel testing by performing cutover in a non-production environment. This provides you with other essential information like confirming who needs to do what and how long each step takes so you will have the right assets on staff and an accurate timeline for your real Go-Live.
3 Tips to Making Your Testing Phase Work for You
Tip #1: Plan Ahead. No Really.
To get effective results from your Testing cycle, you need to be prepared to run multiple end-to-end business use cases. To be more specific, you need your process SMEs to help develop, test, and then vet the results of a range of holistic business scenarios that range from simple to very complex. This takes time, and effectively using time takes effective planning. If you wait to create your cases until the system is ready for testing, you will be tempted to rush through and forget essential cases to test. Conversely, if you understand that Testing is one of the most critical components of a successful Go-Live and plan ahead for the time, people, and data availability you will need, Testing becomes much easier to handle and you can focus on issue resolution.
Tip #2: Dedicate SME Resources
Nine times out of ten, your SMEs are your top performers who carry the most responsibilities. As such, it can be very difficult to find capacity in their schedules to be an integral part of Testing. However, without them, your Testing results will be subpar at best. With proper planning and prioritization as mentioned above, you can dedicate your SMEs – or at least the needed portion of their time and attention – to this critical process. Ensuring that those involved in the Testing cycle are critical stakeholders and process owners who know your business and their respective functions will make your Go-Live process successful.
Tip #3: Test for the Anomalies
While most of your efforts for Testing should clearly revolve around every day real-life business cases, do not forget to also test for anomalies. What situations have caused system or data errors in your legacy HCM solution? Think about holidays, new hire processes, year-end cutovers, and swings in normal business that may impact scheduling needs, for example. Then, recreate these situations so you will know in advance how the solution will handle these before you encounter them. After all, yesterday’s exceptions have a way of becoming tomorrow’s rules.
Let Experts Handle Your HCM Testing Needs to Save You Time and Money
As a certified partner to UKG and SAP SuccessFactors, The WFC Group has been implementing and optimizing HCM software for over ten years. We know firsthand the criticality of effective Testing to the success and ROI of your software investment. We specialize in working with you to thoroughly vet your HCM solution before Go-Live, thereby saving you time and money. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you leverage our Testing solutions to make your software investment work for you.