HR Technology Success Secret: Good Testing. Here’s three keys:
Pat, one of our project managers, recently sent in this “War Room” photo to our team to celebrate the crucial state of parallel testing. This is a stage where the implementation has been theoretically completed, but to ensure a great go-live, open enrollment, or new company launch, the system must be banged, stretched, twisted, and overloaded (those are all technical terms!)
Here’s three quick keys that our team believes predict success:
1) Involve users from all levels of the application
- If managers will be doing performance appraisals, have a couple test out that functionality. If new hires will go through onboarding, set them up to go through!
- Getting field buy-in on an application can help smooth the disruptive change resistance that will naturally come.
- Try to identify and involve “influencers”- loud voices or prominent cultural and thought leaders inside your organization, no matter what their title.
2) Focus on technical and functional testing
- Make sure your IT and security departments (who should have been a part of the selection and implementation process from the beginning) are testing from their perspectives as well. Confidence has to be utmost on day one of the new system.
3) Don’t just test at today’s volumes – dream bigger
- If your company’s three-year plan has you doubling in size, make sure you’re testing data loads at three times your current size to ensure your HR Tech infrastructure doesn’t end up constraining the growth of the business. (which cannot be a very pleasant conversation!)
- Practice a re-org, a merger, or a divestiture of a business line while you can still blow out the system and refresh with clean data. Break it open and look at where the seams are. After all, you’d rather know now than when you’re trying to run year-end report and get home to the kiddlets.
By the way, we practice what we preach too. As you could imagine, we have built massive spreadsheets to rule the world. (Ok, they really just calculate Total Cost of Ownership and determine solution fit based upon an employer’s Critical Factors, but at least I think they could launch the space shuttle if not rule the world!) When we roll out new releases to our team, we huddle up during one of our bi-annual confabs to have a Hack-a-thon on the new toolset to expose any errors or weaknesses. There’s always pizza and beer to be had just to make a fun time more exciting!
If you’re interested in joining us in our next Hack-a-thon, or have any other tips for quality assurance, user acceptance testing or parallel testing – please post a comment or send me a note @HRTechKaiser.