Implementation Series: The Three Biggest Bottlenecks in Implementation and How to Avoid Them
This is the final article in our three-part series on the Biggest Bottlenecks in Implementation and How to Avoid Them.
In our previous articles, we discussed challenges and recommendations for the discovery phase, as well as integrations and the actual implementation of your plan review software. In this article, we’ll take you through the final phase before go-live – user acceptance testing (UAT).
Use acceptance testing is your opportunity to run your new system through comprehensive testing to ensure that it will perform as needed and intended. It also validates the investment your agency has made in the tools and maximizing the value of the investment. But, where to begin?
Like a Scout, Be Prepared
Your solution provider, such as e-PlanSoft™, should be able to provide some basic user acceptance test scripts that will test the product itself. That’s a great start and will test the underlying logic, but you’ll also need to test based on scripts that you’ve written for your agency’s specific business needs. Since your business is unique to your agency, the test scripts for your business scenarios will need to be created and tested by your agency. This is the secret sauce that ensures that your solution is going to work for your business needs.
Staff and Time
If you’ve read the previous articles in our Implementation Series, this should be familiar to you. If you haven’t, here’s a quick recap – it is critical to the success of the implementation that the right staff are included in your implementation team. Include staff at every level, from management and decision-makers to the daily users. There should also be members from your IT department who will support the implementation. But having the right team composition is only part of the equation. It’s not enough that the team members sit in on meetings. They must be engaged and invested in the implementation at every step. Your implementation will only go as smoothly as your team is involved. And that’s great news because it gives your agency a high degree of control over the project.
Now let’s apply this to the UAT stage. It’s easily as important that you have the right team in place and that each member is fully engaged and focused. Imagine writing a detailed research paper, but never proofing it or testing formulas you included in the paper. When would you find the problems? Not until after it’s been published. How would you find out? When it’s caused problems for the many people who would have relied on the content of that paper. The same principle applies to your UAT.
Next, consider that user acceptance testing is extensive, so it’s recommended and important that your staff is given sufficient uninterrupted time to perform the testing. Leading experts recommend that those performing UAT should be set up in a workspace that’s separate from their normal workspace. This will minimize the distractions of their regular job, so they can focus on the task at hand – testing. Ultimately, the success of the project depends on proper and sufficient testing, and it can’t be overstated that distractions and interruptions will be detrimental to the outcome of the project.
Ok, how much time?
This is not the time to cut corners. On average, you should plan on one hour of testing per record type. As an example, if your agency works with 50 different record types, you should plan on a full 50 hours of UAT, and each record type should be tested from start to finish to ensure that everything is working correctly and performing as expected. “Good enough” really is not good enough. To take it a step further, you should understand that failure to fully test places the risk on the agency. Your plan review solution provider, such as e-PlanSoft provides a user acceptance test log that tracks all aspects of all record types that were tested – including who, what, the outcome, if it passed or failed, and the details of it. At the end of the UAT stage, the agency must sign the UAT milestone signoff document, in which the agency agrees that the solution is ready to go live. Performing user acceptance testing is the responsibility of your agency, and the agency bears the responsibility if it hasn’t been performed.
Get real and cover your business needs
It’s a good idea to use a closed project for your UAT. By doing so, you’ll already be familiar with it, and you’ll also know what should show up at each stage. Replicating an actual project gives you the best indication that your business needs will be met.
Tracking back to the staff assigned to perform the testing, it’s best to coordinate representative intake staff with reviewers and different reviewer types to be sure you’ve accounted for the various scenarios. While you may not test every single scenario that your agency handles, keep in mind that you should factor in a good range.
The right solution and the right provider
In addition to the information in this and the previous articles in this Implementation Series, you can tip the scale to a smoother implementation by choosing the best solution for your agency. e-PlanREVIEW® offers unrivaled flexibility to accommodate your needs and will serve your agency well without the need for endless workarounds. e-PlanSoft’s Professional Services Team is renowned for its expertise and responsiveness and leads the way in successful implementations.
See it in action
Request a demo today to see how e-PlanREVIEW can ramp up your efficiency and productivity.