As technology changes, it is only natural that companies and employees are keen to adopt new solutions that will improve the way they work. Sometimes the excitement of a new product or software quickly diminishes as the first day of use didn't live up to the hype.
More often than not, this is not because the solution is a dud, but because it was not implemented and tested correctly by the user. Your new system or product would have already gone through rigorous technical testing, but this is not a substitute for confirming it meets business needs. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to overcome by documenting the testing your staff should do when implementing a technology change.
User Acceptance Testing, or testing during a Pilot implementation can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. These simple steps below should help you understand why, when and how to undertake thorough testing. I'll use an example of migrating email from an on-site Exchange server to a hybrid Office 365. This is a very straight forward example, but the steps can be further fleshed out for larger changes.
- Document your requirements and expectations of the new solution. You will need this to guide your overall test strategy and drill down into specific test cases. In our example, we would need to ensure that staff can access their email as they have been previously without any loss of functionality or data.
- Test strategy - at a high level and in plain English (no jargon), what outcomes will you need to test to ensure the new solution is meeting your requirements? This defines the scope of what we are testing. In this case, we would undertake the testing on a pilot group of staff before seeking approval to roll out to the whole organisation. This is important to mitigate the risk of the change, and to also ensure that any issues are ironed out instead of frustrating the whole organisation
We need to test the following:
- Existing email has been migrated across successfully and staff can confirm no email is missing
- New email is being sent and received from the new hybrid Office 365 as expected
- We then break down the high level test strategy into specific test scripts with steps that people need to do in order to confirm whether or not the implementation is successful. It is important to ensure enough people are undertaking testing and that all variables such as PC model, teams, geographical location are accounted for in tests.
This would include items like:
- Script 1: Log onto PC, open Outlook application, log in if prompted, review inbox and confirm mail is present, confirm all additional mailboxes are present and email content is present.
- When staff undertake the testing, they either mark the test as successful or highlight the step where a failure occurred. This issue or defect can then be investigated. Each test should be clearly marked as 'passed' or 'failed'.
- When tracking defects or failed tests, the resolution may be a technical change but it may also include end-user training.
With this framework, integrating new technology across your organisation can become streamlined. Alleviating pain points with structured testing, processes and implementation will boost the effectiveness of new tech uptake for your business.