In the previous article, we have seen few key points of ERP like the real meaning of the term ERP, various modules of ERP, the importance of ERP testing, the criticalities of ERP testing and a road-map for the preparation of the ERP testing.
In this article, let's get into more practical details on ERP (SAP) Testing like preparing the quality assurance plan, test plan, test suite, test cases and test execution strategy.
This tutorial is a good example for writing test plan from scratch for any application. We have also provided sample test suite template for download.
For the demonstration purpose, let us assume the ERP application under testing consists of the following modules with some key information about the implementation plan as below.
ERP Name: ABC Manufacturing ERP
Customer Name: XYZ Petrochemicals LLC
Industry Verticals: Manufacturing
Corporate Office: New York
Branch Offices: Los Angeles and Chicago
Production Plant: Houston
Inventory Warehouses: Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago
Total Employees: 2500
System Users: 325
Company Turnover: USD 1M
Departments: Administration, Finance, Accounts, HR, Production, Quality, Stores, Sales, Marketing, Maintenance, Dispatch, Customer Support
Modules: Budget, CRM, Customer, Vendor, Sales, Purchase, Payments, Contracts, Finance, Accounts, Human Capital, Payroll, Production Planning, Project Management, Inventory, Material Management, Work Orders, Fixed Asset, Business Intelligence
Delivery Model: On-Premise and Cloud
Implementation Plan: Requirements Gathering, Business Workflow Analysis, Data Flow Assessment, Customization and Enhancement, Delivery and Rollout, End User Training
Find below some of the screenshots of the ERP software application for some important business process like Sales Order, Customer Financials, Payments Header, Fixed Asset, Employee Management and Sales Report which will give an idea about the criticality and complexity of the ERP testing.
(Note: Click on any image for enlarged view)
Screenshot 1: Sales Order
Screenshot 2: Sales Order (US)
Screenshot 3: Customer Financials
Screenshot 4: Payments Header (India)
Screenshot 5: Payments Header (US)
Screenshot 6: Fixed Asset (India)
Screenshot 7: Fixed Asset (US)
Screenshot 8: Employee Management
Screenshot 9: Sales Report
What You Will Learn:
- ERP QA Plan
- ERP Test Plan
- Project Description
- Module wise Features for Manual Testing
- Module wise Features for Automation Testing
- Features to be Tested Off Premises
- Features to be Tested On Premises
- Features to be Tested on Mobile, Wi-Fi & Cloud
- Resource Requirements
- Testing Schedule
- Test Case Execution
- Test Coverage
- Risk Management
- Issue Tracker
- Quality Metrics
- ERP Test Suite
- Sample Test Suite Template Download:
- ERP Test Cases
- Recommended Reading
ERP QA Plan
Assuring Quality is a major milestone of any ERP implementation project, which consists of the following stakeholders and success depends on dedicated efforts by all as a “Team”.
The stakeholders of ERP implementation project might be:
- Implementation Team – Consists of the team of professionals from ERP Company or from the local implementation partner. Must have implementation expertise.
- Software Vendor – Software suppliers for the operating system, database and other office applications required for ERP.
- Hosting Provider – Hosting providers for the servers, network, internet and intranet infrastructure required for ERP implementation. Must have implementation expertise.
- Business Team – Consists of the team from the business development or the management steering committee.
- Technical Team – The development team or the implementation team to be available throughout the course of the project. Must have implementation expertise.
- Testing Team – The testing team from the ERP Company or from the local partners having expertise on the ERP implementation strategies.
- Customer Team – The end user team or the departmental heads, who have the complete working knowledge of the business process.
As we discussed in the previous tutorial, testing the ERP (e.g SAP) software application is different than testing the other software applications. ERP applications are domain specific and industry-specific. The common modules like Finance, Accounting, Inventory, Fixed Asset, Sales, Purchase, Human Capital, and Payroll are available in all the ERP systems.
Apart from these common modules, few industrial specific modules are available as per the targeted customers. For example, a “manufacturing ERP” may have a “production planning” module, a “pharma ERP” may have a “doctor-patient” module and an “education ERP” may have a “student” module and so on.
So, the quality factor should be enabled with some pre-defined metrics to be shared well in advance with all the stakeholders in the above list.
To maintain the quality, stakeholders are mutually got into service level agreements. All the stakeholders as a team should have the defined action items, responsibilities with the target dates to achieve the expected quality of statement of work.
ERP Test Plan
ERP test plan should consist of the following information for an effective and successful implementation.
The test plan has the objectives, quality metrics, features to be tested manually, features to be tested through automation tools, project environment, team infrastructure, resource requirements, testing schedule, testing deliverables, test execution infrastructure, testing framework, assumptions, dependencies, constraints, bug tracking mechanism, bug reporting tools and acceptance criteria etc.,
Below is the sample test plan for our ERP implementation project for XYZ Petrochemical LLC.
See also – if you need more information on how to write test plan please check these tutorials:
ABC Manufacturing ERP is an integrated ERP solution for the manufacturing industry. The product consists of the core modules like Accounting, Finance, Budget, Inventory, Fixed Asset, Customers, Vendors, CRM, Sales, Purchase, Payments, Contracts, Human Capital, Payroll, Production Planning, Project Management, Inventory, Material Management, Work Orders and Business Intelligence.
The customer’s vertical is into manufacturing and their business is manufacturing petrochemical bi-products and selling them to the domestic and international clients. The raw materials are purchased from domestic and international markets. The company operates from New York, the USA with branches in various parts of the Country.
The company also have warehouses at remote locations. The ERP system will be implemented in a centralized location at the corporate premises and connect the other branches, warehouses, production plants, marketing offices from various parts of the Country through Internet, WAN, Wi-Fi, Cloud Infrastructure. The proposed solution supports multiple languages like English (for International customers, Hindi (for IN users), Arabic (for Middle East vendors) and supports multiple currency transactions.
The system also has an E-Commerce customer portal for online sales orders with credit card payment gateway and a Vendor portal for purchase quotations. There are more than 300 system users going to use the system from various parts of the globe with at least more than 10,000 transactions per day.
- Identify the modules to be tested manually.
- Identify the modules to be tested through automation tools.
- Define the testing strategy, testing scope and testing activities.
- Define testing criteria, assumptions, dependencies and constraints.
- Identify the testing team, their allocation, and their testing schedule.
- Setup the manual and automation testing framework.
- Setup the testing infrastructure with the software and hardware configuration.
- Define the stakeholders of the project for ERP implementation.
- Define the communication and escalation mechanism.
- Define the work environment, task details, and the responsibilities.
- Risk management with risk mitigation plans.
- Define the test deliverables and the reporting tools.
Module wise Features for Manual Testing
- Payments Module (Payment Creation, Approve Payments, Issue Cheques)
- Funding Module (Joint Payments, Approve Joint Payments, Issue Cheques)
- Payroll Module (Payroll Cheques, Issue Cheques)
- Fixed Assets Module (Asset Depreciation, Asset Disposal)
Module wise Features for Automation Testing
- Sales Module (Sales Order, Shipping Sales Order, Backorders, Sales Invoicing)
- Purchase Module (Purchase Contract, Purchase Orders, Purchase Amendments)
- Customer Module (Customer Management, Customer Financials)
- Human Capital Module (Employee Management, Attendance, Loans, Leaves)
Features to be Tested Off Premises
- Functionality Testing: All the functional test cases of all modules, which are reviewed and approved.
- Regression Testing: All the functional test cases for the customized modules, which are reviewed and approved.
- Smoke Testing: All the functional test cases marked for Sanity, which is reviewed, executed and approved.
Features to be Tested On Premises
- System Testing: All the system test cases of all modules, which are reviewed and approved.
- Integration Testing: All the system test cases of all modules, which are reviewed and approved.
- Performance Testing: All the performance test cases, which are reviewed and approved.
- Load Testing: All the load test cases, which are reviewed and approved.
- User Acceptance Testing: All the user acceptance testing, which are reviewed and approved.
Features to be Tested on Mobile, Wi-Fi & Cloud
Functionality Testing: All the system test cases of the CRM module, which are reviewed and approved.
|Sl.No.||Task Details||Start Date||End Date||Tester|
|1||Preparing Test Plan||04/05/2015||06/05/2015||Tester A|
|2||Review and Update Test Plan||07/05/2015||07/05/2015||Test Lead B|
|3||Preparing Test Suite & Test Cases|
|Module 1: Sales & Distribution||16/05/2015||04/06/2015|
|4||Sales Order Process||16/05/2015||20/05/2015||Tester B|
|5||Sales Contract Process||21/05/2015||26/05/2015||Tester B|
|6||Return Merchandise Authorization||27/05/2015||01/06/2015||Tester B|
|7||Payment Receipts Process||02/06/2015||04/06/2015||Tester B|
|Module 2: Purchase & Payments|
|8||Purchase Indent Process||16/05/2015||19/05/2015||Tester C|
|9||Purchase Quotation Process||20/05/2015||23/05/2015||Tester C|
|10||Purchase Order Process||24/05/2015||28/05/2015||Tester C|
|11||Payment Approval Process||29/05/2015||31/05/2015||Tester C|
|12||Module 1: Iteration 1||01/06/2015||05/06/2015||Tester B|
|13||Module 2: Iteration 1||01/06/2015||04/06/2015||Tester C|
|14||Regression Testing: Module 1|
|15||Regression Testing: Module 2|
|16||Test Reports & QA Plan Updates|
Test Case Execution
A: Functional Testing, B: System Testing, C: Integrity Testing, D: Security Testing, E: Usability Testing, F: Performance Testing, G: Interface Testing, H: Installation Testing
Confluence and JIRA tools are used for issue tracking in the project. Also, JIRA is customized and configured for all the testing team members to escalate issue and report bugs and assigned to the concern development team with the responsibility and target dates.
ERP Test Suite
Like the normal testing process, ERP Test Suite is normally prepared as an Excel document. This document controls the complete revision history of the various test suites of all the modules in ERP application. The test cases of each module, test execution history, list of bugs and the test report history are maintained in an ERP test suite.
For automation testing, the “test scripts” are maintained in the test suite and the related iteration of test execution history is maintained. Depends on the type of testing and the complexity of the test cases, automation test scripts are maintained in the suite which should be designed in such a way for re-usability.
Find below the snapshot of an ERP test suite in excel document.
Sample Test Suite Template Download:
Below is sample test suite template for download. It contains templates for revision history, test report, bug report, smoke test cases, regression test cases
ERP Test Cases
Apart from the functional test cases, regression test cases, sanity/smoke test cases, ERP Testing requires other type of test cases for installation testing, configuration testing, implementation testing, adaptability testing, network testing, server testing, offline testing, remote testing, multi-currency testing, multi-language testing, device testing, intranet testing, real-time testing etc.,
Most important, ERP being a centralized automated solution, being accessed by multiple users concurrently online in real time, which involves a financial transaction, each and every test cases should be written with a lot of dedicated effort and real-time data.
Also, the test execution status should be updated as “Pass” after verifying the output data with the predefined real-time data. So, the test cases should always have a column for “test data” and “output data”.
Sample Test Scenario:
Find below a sample test case for our ERP demonstration This test cases may consist of a lot of small test cases which can segregate and maintained, but for demo purpose, it’s combined with a single test case.
|Test Case ID||ABC_ERP_SD_X0121|
|Module||Sales & Distribution|
|Feature||Sales Order Process|
|Objective||To check the sales order is booked and invoiced with proper data entered for sales header and sales details.|
|Steps to Reproduce||1. Sales & Distribution -> Order Management -> Sales Order List -> New Sales Order.|
2. Select Order Date, Select Order Type, Select the Expiry Date, Select Customer ID, Select Shipping ID, Select Warehouse ID, Select Shipping Date, Select Payment Due Date, Select Sales Tax ID, Select Salesman ID.
3. Select New Sales Items and Select Item ID, Select Item UOM, Enter Item Qty, Enter Item Price, Select Ledger Account, Select Project ID and Click OK.
4. Click Book Order button in the main screen.
|Order Date (01/01/2015), Order Type (Sales Order), Expiry Date (31/09/2015), Customer ID (SABIC), Shipping ID (FedEx), Warehouse ID (NaviMumbaiWH), Shipping Date (03/02/2015), Select Payment Due Date (28/02/2015), Sales Tax ID (ST929), Salesman ID (Anand), Item ID (PolyPropylene), Item UOM (Kilograms), Item Qty (1000), Ledger Account (23499949), Project ID (DueTarget2015)|
|Order Date (01/01/2016), Order Type (Purchase Order), Expiry Date (31/09/2012), Customer ID (DEFAULT), Shipping ID (Blank), Warehouse ID (Blank), Shipping Date (03/02/2013), Select Payment Due Date (28/02/2012), Sales Tax ID (Blank), Salesman ID (DEFAULT), Item ID (DEFAULT), Item UOM (Blank), Item Qty (0), Ledger Account (DEFAULT), Project ID (DEFAULT)|
|1. Order should be booked and invoiced.|
2. Picking Packing slip should be generated.
3. Shipping Order should be generated.
4. General Ledger transactions should be posted.
5. Inventory Ledger should be updated.
6. Debit Memo should be generated.
7. Email should be sent to the Customer and Stores.
|• Alert box should be coming for each negative data input as per the alert process and the defined text.|
• Sales order should be backordered, if the items are out of stock.
• Sales order should be on hold, if the customer credit limit is low.
|Expected Output||Sales Order, Sales Invoice, Packing List, Shipping List should be generated in the predefined report format.|
ERP Testing is having a lot of risks and complexities compared to any software/product testing. Also, managing the quality metrics in ERP implementation projects requires a lot of attention and dedicated efforts as a “team” from the multiple stakeholders.
Testing professionals need to understand the difference between the quality of the product and the quality of implementation. ERP testing requires trusted sponsorship on time and budget from the management and the customers. Testing should be done by the ERP expert team and should not be allocated to an inexperienced team for any reason.
It is very important to use the universally proven right process, methodologies, approaches, and automated tools. We should not assume that “automation” completely replaces the “manual” testing, but should not compromise on using the required testing infrastructure and framework. Don’t underestimate the time required for collecting live real data from the customers.
For Testing Professionals, this journey is “Excellent Resource for ERP Product Testing!”.
Let us know if you have any questions on ERP or in particular SAP Testing.