A proven strategy for protecting your organization (and yourself) from the risks of poor Kronos Workforce Management (WFM) system testing, is to adopt a structured testing approach.
Unfortunately, many Kronos customers don’t understand structured testing. Instead, they take a haphazard or unstructured approach to testing, which creates considerable chaos and risks.
In this article, we examine the key problems and risks associated with unstructured testing, and we explain what structured testing looks like and how it can benefit your organization.
With an unstructured testing approach, problems will manifest as soon as you begin testing:
1. Testers don’t understand what they are responsible for testing
If your testers don’t understand the scope of their responsibilities i.e., what to test, what not to test, how to prioritize testing, etc., you’re doing unstructured testing.
This forces your testers to use their best judgment to make scope and prioritization decisions. And they often do this without the knowledge required to make the right decisions.
This lack of clarity often leads to testers underestimating the breadth and depth of the testing required. And they may choose to test application areas that they best understand rather than those that pose the most significant risk to your organization.
2. Testers don’t know their deadlines
With unstructured testing, your testers often don’t know the timelines and deadlines for completing their testing.
Typically, each tester should have a list of functional areas that they’re responsible for testing. But if they lack the understanding of how much time they should spend in each area, they’ll go too deep in some areas and run out of time in others.
When testing is unstructured, your QA resources may not comprehend the required urgency, the cost of delays, and how to prioritize other work on their task lists. This often leads to timeline crunches, missed testing in critical areas, and inadequate testing overall.
3. The testing timelines provided are unrealistic
Unstructured testing creates unrealistic timelines that don’t account for the actual time required to write and execute tests.
Without a full accounting of all the necessary testing steps, it is impossible to determine if the testing times are realistic. For example, if your testers are also doing their ‘day jobs’, it is important to ensure that there are clear expectations on the number of hours each day/week that they should be spending on testing your Kronos WFM project.
With unrealistic timelines, many organizations often miss deadlines, and frustrations run rampant, e.g.:
- Testers are unable to complete their tasks despite herculean efforts.
- Managers can’t understand why the testers’ ‘day job’ performance slipped.
- Project leadership doesn’t understand why testing is taking so long.
- Executives experience last-minute project delays and delayed financial benefits.
4. Testers don’t have adequate training or access to resources they need
Unstructured testing often means that your testers have not received proper training, and they don’t have access to the resources and subject matter experts (SMEs) that they need to complete their jobs successfully.
As a result, your testers get blocked from completing their test case writing and executing because they have gaps in their knowledge that prevent them from making the crucial progress needed on your WFM project.
Ultimately, unstructured testing leads to project delays and budget overspend. And the Kronos WFM project is plagued with defects and issues that hurt operations and end-user adoption.
Thankfully, all these problems can be avoided by taking a structured testing approach.
Structured testing provides a framework to plan your testing activities and guide your team.
This structured approach is governed by a Kronos Test Strategy that defines the testing approach and scope, identifies roles and responsibilities, and ensures everyone on the project is aligned.
With a structured test strategy and plan your resources have the clarity they need to complete the job, and you’ll build confidence in the quality of your system and project deadlines.
Here are the key elements of a structured testing approach:
1. Testing Scope
The testing scope defines what should and should NOT be tested. It also defines the priority and order of what needs to be tested. There are various considerations to determine priority:
- Business Risk – including which functions have the most end-user impact
- Complexity – including which functions or designs are the most complex or have the highest complexity or customization
- Timelines – including when the build or configuration of certain functionality will be complete
- Skillsets required
- Areas of the biggest change
The testing scope also defines which types of testing will be performed. Learn more about the 5 types of testing that every Kronos customer is responsible for.
2. Delivery Timelines
This tracks the key milestones and dependencies both internally and with other teams, including providing high-level timelines for each testing phase and clear direction for each tester on how much time they have to complete their tasks.
3. Resources Required
What are the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved? What skillset and access will be required? Will the team need any training before the testing occurs? Finally, do you need more access to IT or business SMEs to support your testing efforts?
4. Testing Approach
This should define the tools and environments for your testing efforts as well as the test data management and the defects management process. Learn more about how a good Kronos test strategy can streamline your WFM project.
The bottom line is that unstructured testing leads to inadequate testing, which creates chaos and confusion. And it leads to production errors that can impact your workforce, have severe consequences for your brand, and potentially create serious legal issues.
A structured test approach builds confidence in the quality of your system and gives you the security of knowing that your employees will be paid correctly.
Whether you’re implementing a new Kronos workforce management system, upgrading to a new version, or releasing business-driven changes, we can help.
TestAssure is committed to providing Kronos customers with test strategy, planning, and automation to help you minimize the impact of your system changes, reduce your risks, and help you move faster with confidence.
Contact us today for a test drive.