This is the first blog in a series of blogs about TMAP: Quality Engineering for SAP. This first blog is about the importance of key and business user involvement (target audience) in Quality Engineering. Within this blog, when mentioned “key users”, both “key and business users” groups are meant.
Of course key users have extended business knowledge which is from utmost importance to validate and verify if the new SAP Solution is supporting and meeting the business needs. But do your key users know how to test effectively and efficiently? Is your organization well organized to support the SAP key user to take part of your SAP Testing?
Most Test Managers with experience in SAP (or ERP) projects are familiar with the challenges to get sufficient key users onboarded for testing. It is beneficial to have key users onboarded and involved early in a project phase:
- Ensure business requirements are met: Key users have a deep understanding of the business processes and requirements. Their involvement in testing can help ensure that the new SAP solution meets their specific needs and requirements.
- Identify potential issues early: Key users are the ones who will be using the SAP solution and business processes on a day-to-day basis. Their involvement in testing will help identify potential issues early in the testing process, allowing for quicker resolution and minimizing any negative impact on the business.
- Reduce overall project risk: By involving key users in testing, the risk of anomalies is reduced. This can help ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and meets the requirements of the business.
- Increase user adoption and satisfaction: Key users who are involved in testing are more likely to feel ownership of the SAP solution and its success. By involving them in testing, they become more familiar with the SAP processes and are more likely to adopt it and use it effectively.
- Ensure compliance with regulations and standards: Key users are often responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations and standards within their specific SAP areas of the business processes. Their involvement in testing can help ensure that the SAP solution meets these requirements and avoids any potential negative legal, logistical or financial consequences.
Overall, involving key users in SAP testing is critical to the success of the project and the long-term success of the SAP solution. It helps to ensure that the SAP solution meets the specific requirements of the business, is adopted and used effectively by end users.
Unfortunately, during complex SAP implementations, it occurs often that key users are not engaged sufficient in SAP testing. There are several reasons why these users may not be included in SAP testing:
- Lack of time: SAP key users are often busy with their day-to-day work and may not have enough time to participate in testing activities.
- Lack of expertise: Testing requires specific skills and knowledge, which key users may not possess. They may not feel comfortable participating in testing activities without the necessary training or guidance.
- Miscommunication: Key users may not always have a clear understanding of the SAP testing process or their role in it. Miscommunication between many stakeholders (like the development team, the testing team, project team, managers) and key users can result in confusion or a lack of participation.
- Limited resources: (Manual) Testing is time- & resource-intensive, and organizations may not have the necessary resources to involve key users in SAP testing activities.
- Resistance to change: Key users may be resistant to changes in their current processes and systems. Involving them in testing can be perceived as a disruption to their daily work, leading to resistance to participate.
To overcome these challenges, it is essential to educate and train key users about the importance of SAP testing and their role in the process. They are the linking pin for the SAP solution. It is important to engage them in the “WHY” the organization is making business transformations. Providing training and support build their confidence and expertise in testing.
Additionally, it is important to communicate clearly and frequently about the testing process, expectations, and outcomes to minimize miscommunication. Finally, organizations must ensure they have sufficient resources and management support to involve key users in SAP testing activities.
In the next blog I will go more in detail how you can convince organizations of early key user involvement and how they should test. Stay tuned!
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Published: 6 April 2023
Author: Pepijn Paap