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How important is a comprehensive SAP testing process?

A thorough SAP testing process is critical to a successful implementation. Here are four components you will need.

Potential delays exist at virtually every step of an SAP implementation. When such delays loom, one of the first time-saving strategies companies turn to is narrowing the scope of the SAP testing process.

Don't make this costly mistake. Cutting corners in the SAP testing process will almost certainly lead to SAP implementation failure. For example, if business users have not tested the SAP system thoroughly for completeness and correctness, you cannot create safeguards to prevent inadvertent data entry errors. Such errors can result in chaos and incident firefighting, and, ultimately, project failure.

To avoid that costly path, here are four critical components you should include in your SAP testing process:

  • Business process master list: A BPML is a comprehensive list of business processes that users must test to ensure the new SAP system meets business needs. Preparing and referencing a BPML during testing provides critical checks.
  • Negative testing: The process of testing how the system will handle situations that purposely deviate from standard or expected is known as negative testing. For example, if a production process has four operations (or production steps) along with one quality gate between them to test a product's quality, the production person must test to see if the system allows confirmation of any operation in random order (negative testing) or if it follows a predefined sequence. If confirming adherence to a sequence and recording quality results is an essential business need, then configuring checks and balances and testing for accuracy is essential.
  • Integration testing: To ensure no critical business process is missed, integration testing brings together several company departments and business functions to test end-to-end business processes such as procure-to-pay; order-to-cash or plan-to-produce; preventive maintenance; and hiring-to-exit.
  • ABAP and Basis testing: Comprehensive testing of objects developed with ABAP and Basis-created authorizations to allow or disallow business functions is another key aspect of the SAP testing project that all too often gets short shrift.

At least five to six rounds of testing go a long way toward ensuring the success of an SAP project.

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