Your organization has been hard at work throughout the implementation and data conversion phases of the project. The team has made great progress, but all the activity has been predominantly conducted by the core project team working on perfecting individual modules of the overall project. The testing that has occurred so far is unit/module level testing. It’s time now to take the next step.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
Once the build phase of the project is complete, all the bugs are fixed, and configuration settings corrected, it’s time to test the new Association Management System (AMS) with a system-wide lens in mind. This effort tries to ensure that when the various modules are working together, there is harmony and the desired results are obtained.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
As was suggested in previous steps, creating standard operating procedures all along the build phase is crucial to success in the UAT phase. We recommend that the core team start with the SOPs and run through them in detail as they test the entire AMS carefully.
Take UAT Seriously
Many clients find themselves with their backs against the wall with respect to time and budget when they arrive at UAT. They have spent too much time during the build phase, and have not left themselves enough time to conduct a good UAT. They tend to skip past UAT with the excuse that the unit level testing conducted during the build phase should suffice. Here are just two (amongst many) issues we have encountered:
Bad Data Conversion: While data conversion auditing and reconciliation are a good start, it is no substitute for actually testing the system with the data that has been imported. Many accounting errors have been discovered during UAT in our experience.
Load Testing: Many times, it is only during UAT that the system is tested with the full set of data. This tends to reveal performance issues that were not considered during the build phase. The first few days of the new AMS could be a disaster if the system grinds to a halt post go-live, with irate members on the phone requesting information or accessing the portal.
Fix Issues and Avoid Scope Creep
We recommend setting aside time to fix all the issues that arise during UAT. Since UAT involves a larger number of users, there is frequently the potential for new scope to arise. Beware not to get into the scope creep trap.
Once UAT is complete and the system is stable, it’s time to get the entire staff that will be using the AMS trained and ready to go live. Here again, SOPs will be the key. Members of the core team should participate and be the champions who instill confidence and help with change management.
Stay Tuned for Step 10!
It is important to ensure that you dedicate as much effort and time into the later stages of this project as you did in the beginning. Testing and Training might bring up new topics of consideration for your organization, so it it imperative to stay diligent and dedicated.
Step 10 of Your AMS Journey details everything you need to know regarding prepping for launching your new AMS! In the meantime, don’t hesistate to reach out to fusionSpan with all your CRM questions and needs!