or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
As readers of this blog are aware, I get involved with a lot of procurements of Housing and Financial systems. Also on many occasions I get involved in project management or helping to recover/kick start stalled projects. For the later, in many cases these days, an old system is being replaced with a shiny new one. This we would hope is going to provide a step change in efficiency or customer service levels, or some other benefit.
The logical thing to do, you would have thought, is do a bit of parallel running, between changing systems. That would entail repeating work in two systems (old and new).
Surprisingly perhaps, I don’t think I have ever experienced anyone truly parallel running, across the 50 or more implementation projects, I have been involved with over the years. The reasons for that are the doubling of resources needed to get it right and the difficulty in being disciplined enough to carry it out in reality.
Inevitably, once a new system goes live, there is little chance of going back.
The practical alternative is to the classic parallel run, is to have great quality UAT (User Acceptance Testing), to conclusively prove as many core functions and processes as practical. For some clients, I have provided UAT build and monitoring support, to enable tightly controlled and well evidenced testing.
|UAT in progress and some progress %ages|
What does good quality testing look like then?
Well testing by actual users for a start. They will be at the sharp end using your new systems after all. Splitting testing into distinct areas helps, as does creating tests, where record ID’s of data created or accessed can/must be recorded, for easy evidencing. The UAT document can also allow links to processes, diagrams, videos or other documentation, to help testers to tackle each area.
Each test can generate issues and queries, as well as be stalled for fixes and re-tests. I usually structure my UAT’s, so it’s really easy to monitor progress.
Users who cheat while completing the UAT, cause problems later down the line with go-live or after. I remember a project where a rent debit raise had apparently been tested, but caused an issue which meant that a whole housing association was without a system for a whole day. So, discipline is essential. While testing, users are using the skills gained during training too, which can only be good. Too much training occurs too early in projects, so can be of little use sometimes, once UAT occurs or go-live approaches.
Do bear some of the above points in mind. Feel free to contact me if you think you could use some help, around your new application/system UAT processes. Get them right, for more successful go-live.
Related Post: Is an app, what your residents need?
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Saint Jude – Parallel Life.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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