Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP software has become a huge part of various industries making daily operations smoother and faster. It simplifies workflows, integrates business processes and thus makes the life of an end user much easier. It is a powerful software that consists of diverse components such as Finance, Commerce, Supply Chain, and Project Operations. Each of these components serves customers with different business needs and expectations.
Quality Assurance (QA) plays a huge role in implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365. It serves the critical function of ensuring data quality and testing the functionality and security of the application.
How a partner should perform proper quality assurance testing during the ERP implementation, and why it’s necessary
Dynamics 365 Finance software testing is an important part of the development life cycle. It must be performed diligently in order to ensure a flawless performance of an ERP system that meets your business requirements. Imagine the frustration of employees who cannot perform simple daily tasks in a newly implemented software because it wasn’t properly tested during implementation. Even more harmful are security issues, when financial or HR personal data leaks because an unauthorized employee with inappropriate security settings accessed data.
It’s important to leverage different types of quality assurance testing throughout these stages:
- Functional testing: This comes first, especially when it is critical to ensure each module and workflow of the ERP application works as expected once all the company-related standard functionality configuration and customizations are done.
- Security testing: Testing is crucial due to the financial, employee-related, and other sensitive data housed by the application. Proper security testing helps ensure that users have access to the functions and data they need and preventing access to functions and data they do not.
- User acceptance testing: This is performed by your end users to check the final performance of Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain software utilizing relevant company business scenarios to assure that system is usable and robust. Multiple users per department must conduct performance testing during user acceptance testing (UAT) to ensure the system can handle a high load.
- Regression testing: Every time a service update is provided, regression testing must be conducted to make sure code changes didn’t cause any bugs.
Where quality assurance testing fits into the implementation process
Quality assurance testing begins in the early stages of the software development life cycle starting with analysis, then design, development and finally testing (including post-production regression testing). Here are some examples of how testing is conducted throughout these implementation stages:
- QA reviews are conducted during the analysis stage of the client’s legacy system (with client SME support) to analyze potential risks.
- In the design stage, once a draft of a Functional Design Document on a feature is completed, QA gathers the same risks against the new Finance Solution.
- When a design is finalized on a feature, QA begins test planning. Planning is the key to successful testing, and a test planning document is created to keep testing on track and to keep all parties involved updated.
- During the development (build) stage, QA prepares test environments, partners with data engineers to perform data migrations, and coordinates automated functional testing with developers.
- QA kicks into high gear once code is released into the test environment by completing automated and manual functional testing. This is also the stage we track and triage any bugs.
- Once the feature is tested and released for delivery, QA partners with training professionals to assist in client testing, UAT test preparation, and follow-up. Effective and confident UAT starts with thorough user training to assure that client’s company employees are comfortable using a new system.
- At this stage, it is important to let the client be creative with test cases during the UAT. It is also important to consider different scenarios, not standard ones. These scenarios should also consider processes unique to the organization.
Daily collaboration and clear, trustworthy communication throughout stages between the implementation team, implementation partner, and the end users is important. It covers all vital areas of the software and reveals potential risks and gaps.
For some time, there have been debates around manual and the prevalence of automated AI testing. Some believe manual testing will disappear completely with the advent of machine learning. It is true that automation testing is growing in preference each year. It has its advantages and sometimes automation is the best choice. But could it replace the whole testing process? We believe a careful application of both manual and automating testing is the best way to achieve high quality results.
Before the automated test suite is configured, QA conducts manual testing and automates repetitive processes. Regression testing is an ideal candidate for automation because it saves so much time to focus on other areas. However, automation is time-consuming, writing a plan and configuring good test cases takes a while, and if there’s a need to test new functionality quickly, it makes sense to utilize manual testing.
Choose a partner that follows Microsoft’s best practices and actively incorporates the Regression Suite Automation Tool. It can help reduce the time and cost of repeatable UAT and regression testing scenarios for Dynamics 365 Finance applications. It is also a powerful and time-saving tool that allows recording the most repetitive business tasks and then converting recordings into a suite of automated tests, and it can be used later as a part of Azure DevOps pipelines for continuous integration and continuous delivery.
Final recommendations for Dynamics 365 ERP quality assurance testing
Dynamics 365 ERP solution testing is a circle of software life, and it’s important to choose a partner that is disciplined in each of the areas we outlined above. All stages should be repeated to ensure the solution is reliable, performant, and bug-free. When testing works, you minimize risk to your organization and ensure the implementation of your application.
Arctic IT is an experienced partner for Dynamics 365 ERP implementations. Our attention to proper quality assurance testing has helped many organizations like yours transform their operation. If you’re interested in learning more about our Dynamics 365 Finance implementation process, please reach out to us today at [email protected].