Why assessing the quality of your SAP testing is good for business

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Here's the thing: Testing is not a much-loved topic in the SAP world. From our experience, there are many complaints. It’s too slow, too time-consuming, too old fashioned, to name just a few. On the other hand, testing is also often neglected or kept to a minimum by many organisations using SAP.

Here's the thing: Testing is not a much-loved topic in the SAP world. From our experience, there are many complaints. It’s too slow, too time-consuming, too old fashioned, to name just a few. On the other hand, testing is also often neglected or kept to a minimum by many organisations using SAP.

The outcome with respect to SAP Quality Assurance (QA) is two generic company types:

  • Advanced: These companies have understood the need for a professional approach to business process assurance. They have tailored their processes and leverage automation to a large extent.
  • Traditional: These rely on the testing capabilities of their key users, along with an often manual and cumbersome User Acceptance Testing approach.

Both face multiple challenges:

  • How can we ensure that all our start and end points work together?
  • How do we manage the complexity of continuous change at an ever-increasing speed?
  • Cloud, replacing ECC, getting Agile, new GUI (Fiori). How do we keep up?
    SAP is the ‘Digital Core’ of our business and we need our end-to-end processes to run flawlessly.
  • We are confronting an increased need to safeguard the quality of our key processes.

But where to start?

Here comes the good news! At Sogeti, we have created an SAP-specific quality improvement assessment that supports both types of organisation in improving the confidence in their process quality:

  • Advanced: The assessment will give these organizations insights into how to make their current (SAP) QA approach even more efficient and resilient, and how to achieve “quality at speed”.
  • Traditional: The assessment will give traditional companies an overview of improvement suggestions in the key SAP QA areas with practical tips on where to start and what to focus on, taking into account the quick wins to implement and cherry picking the low hanging fruit.

Assessing how advanced your QA and test processes are.

To embrace the many SAP-specific aspects, such as different processes, set-ups, tooling, and terminology, we have put our collective experience and knowledge of both SAP and test improvement (TPI NEXT®, Agile Quality Improvement Assessment) into a brand-new model to make it more applicable for today’s SAP users/ landscapes. Our SAP Quality Improvement Assessment covers the complete application landscape, including both SAP and non-SAP environments. The objective is to provide recommendations for gradual, controllable improvement steps that align with a company’s business goals and challenges.

Because it is our vision that quality improvement only has value if it contributes to business and/ or IT goals, we don’t believe in scoring lists or grading systems. Quality is not a game where you can accrue points. Quality improvement benefits from an intrinsic improvement need, quality mindset, and quality objectives, along with commitment and support from management.

That’s why we assess both at a performing level and at organizing level. It is also why one of the key areas that we look at is quality awareness.

Asking the right questions.

Our SAP Quality Improvement Assessment involves in-depth interviews and documentation study, in which we analyze 6 key areas:

SQI 6 key areas
  • Quality Awareness: When quality manifests itself in an organisation’s DNA, all activities contribute implicitly and explicitly to increasing customer value, continuously.
  • QA & Testing: The objective should be to obtain a balance between the right quality and the QA & testing activities needed to be performed, e.g. based on a product risk analysis.
  • Governance: Aspects, such as roles and responsibilities, adherence to test policy, stakeholder support and community structures enable the achievement of overarching quality goals.
  • Transparency: To obtain accurate feedback and insight it is necessary to have traceability between the development products, such as requirements, user stories, WRICEFs, software and test cases.
  • SAP Automation: Everyone today is chasing "quality at speed". If we aim to become more efficient, we need a high level of automation within the development process, and subsequently in the SAP test process. There is a large range of available tooling: default SAP tooling, as well as advanced commercial solutions. But how to select the right set of tooling to make efficient automation feasible when taking the end-to-end context and the trend towards DevOps into account? That’s a challenge in itself!
  • SAP Infrastructure: As SAP landscapes are often complex, with many integrations, quality should be implemented during the initial architectural processes when the infrastructure is being established.

What we aim for.

At its simplest, the objective is to ensure your testing is executed in the right way for your SAP landscape. The outcome?

  • Insights into good practices at the performing and organizing levels, and how others in the organisation might benefit from those good practices.
  • A holistic overview of improvement areas within both the performing and organizing levels.
  • A quality health check for your SAP and traditional business assurance processes – increased confidence through testing, balance in effort.
  • Improvement suggestions that contribute to the identified business and IT goals, with a brief business case.

Importantly, it will give you a better understanding of the correlation between test processes and adjacent business processes. And here, it’s all about the need for your business processes to function, no matter what IT changes have occurred around them.

Published: 23 October 2020

Authors: Pepijn Paap, Bert Linker