Preventing ERP Software Failures: The Importance of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for Successful ERP Implementation

Preventing ERP Software Failures: The Importance of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for Successful ERP Implementation

What do you call the final check that ensures your software won’t make users retch? 

Hint: It’s the last step before release, and it’s all hands on deck.

Answer: UAT, aka: User Acceptance Testing. UAT is the critical process of testing your ERP software like Business Central with real users to ensure it meets their needs and expectations. 

According to Gartner, ERP implementations’ failure rates can exceed 75%. McKinsey estimates that more than 70% of all digital transformations fail. 

Understanding some of the reasons why ERP implementations fail before starting your project can help you mitigate risks and ensure success.

A well-designed testing structure can significantly enhance the chances of success and prevent ERP failures.

In this article, we dive into the world of UAT and explore why it’s the finishing touch of the ERP software project world, what steps can be taken to ensure a successful UAT along with a real life client learning examples here at Aristou.

What is UAT and why is it important?

Applying efficient UAT procedures before launching your ERP project can result in far greater go live success rates. This allows you to provide real-life testing to a project to make sure that it is suitable for the end-user.

UAT is the final stage of software testing before going live, and is usually conducted by the end-user or client to make sure that the software is suitable for the environment that it has been developed for.

It’s the key to unlocking user satisfaction and avoiding any malfunctions that could leave your software immobile.

In short: The goal of UAT is to test and ensure the ERP software can manage real world problems in a real world environment. 

Who is involved in the UAT?

The UAT process involves key decision-makers, typically the main end users and process owners. Other stakeholders involved would be business analysts, developers, and consultants all working on the project.

  1. Main end users: End-users are the primary participants in the UAT process and have the ability to make major decisions. They are responsible for testing the software, reporting any issues or bugs and verifying that the software meets their needs. 

  2. Process owners: Process owners are able to verify the UAT process which they are familiar with in alignment with the business process and that all stakeholders are kept informed of progress and any issues that arise. 

  3. Business Analysts: Business analysts are responsible for defining the business requirements for the ERP software and ensuring the requirements are met during the UAT process.

  4. Technical Consultants: Consultants/Developers are responsible for resolving any issues or defects found during the UAT process and ensures that the software meets the business requirements and any bugs to be resolved.

Steps for a successful UAT process

Planning a UAT process requires strategy and planning of the steps to be taken to minimize any loopholes. 

The following are the steps that can ensure a successful UAT:

  1. Prepare a UAT environment (sandbox) as 80-90% similar to the real world production scenario. 

  2. Lead consultant will walk through and explain the business flow, and end users will begin to test the system

  3. This time will be used to test different cases and expected results they should be achieving

  4. Maximize this testing to record and document any bugs the user face to prevent it from happening in the live environment

  5. According to our lead consultant, a criteria to successfully pass the UAT is that all project team members, including both the client and vendor, collaborate effectively as a unified team. 

These steps might differ in different settings and the demands of the project scope, but in general, following this blueprint results in a more streamlined implementation process and increased adoption rates by end-users.

Actual Client Learnings (Anonymous) 

We had an internal client meeting on a UAT recently and these were some of the key learnings our team shared: 

  • It is important for both the key management and stakeholders to stay informed about the proceedings of each meeting.

  • To ensure success, project managers from both the client and vendor must collaborate closely on all tasks.

  • The consultant must obtain the client’s approval before proceeding with modifications by asking the right questions.

    • Eg: Demonstrating that Aristou can carry out a successful integration with BC even if the modifications are not completed yet

  • Clients will have concerns about setbacks in implementation asking questions like 

    • “Any contingency plans in case of failure?”

    • “What happens if this doesn’t work out?”

  • It is the consultant’s responsibility to address their concerns, but also to assure the client of the demo’s effectiveness and that the remaining steps will also follow suit.

Conclusion + CTA

In summary, User Acceptance Testing is an essential step in the implementation process of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or any other ERP software.  

By thoroughly testing the the ERP system in real-world scenarios, businesses can identify and fix issues before the software goes live, avoiding costly downtime, customer dissatisfaction, and reputational damage. 

In addition, taking UAT seriously can lead to a smoother implementation process, increased user adoption, and better ROI. Having the right partner and vendor to walk you through this  step is crucial to a make or break in your ERP software success.

Learn how Aristou can assist you with the appropriate tools and expertise to navigate through this complicated process.

With proper UAT, businesses can reap the benefits of a well-implemented ERP system and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

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