Stress testing, or performance testing, is an often-overlooked aspect of ERP implementation. Yet, stress testing is absolutely necessary in order to truly validate an ERP system’s readiness for going live in a true production environment.
ERP testing done in isolated environments with small subsets of the population are not efficient for showing where an ERP system is performing poorly. By doing this step wrong, real production values and scenarios are underrepresented resulting in systems that may perform poorly once going live. It is critical during any ERP implementation to schedule, coordinate and execute a stress test. Items within this test should include:
Planning and Coordination: Set time aside to plan and document how long your testing will be, what each specific user will be doing, types of transactions and equipment used, and your expected results. Plan for failure to occur, this way you can be prepared to conquer what may reasonably go wrong in the future.
Communicating Effectively: Allow for an open line of communication for all users involved during the duration of the test. Assign a stress test manager to answer and log user questions if they arise.
Production Server: In order to mirror true performance, stress testing should be done on a server that closely resembles your production server – opposed to performance obtained from servers used during training and development.
Network and Infrastructure Planning: Prior to the Stress Test, the internal IT team needs to validate that the network used in the Production environment is the same as that used in the Stress Testing.
Third Party Systems: Performance testing for third party systems is often an afterthought when it comes to testing, but these transactions represent additional data which could result in unexpected record locking if overlooked.
Specific Scenario Planning: Plan for specifics when coordinating stress testing. Think about unique situations that occur within your environment and test for these requirements.
It is hard to plan exactly for issues that may occur when your ERP system goes live, yet by applying the stress test approach, you can get a fuller picture of what your organization can expect and fix.
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