Implementing ERP updates can sometimes feel a bit like turning a tanker. You need to take a pretty good runup at it and it seems like a long time before you see any results.
In a marketplace increasingly influenced by the continuous innovation mantra, this can’t be a sustainable approach. If businesses are to embrace a more frequent cadence of update, they must be able to reduce the impact of each project on day-to-day operations and accelerate the time to value for every ERP update.
We’ve spent almost 25 years delivering ERP retrofit and testing services and we’ve picked up a few tips along the way. Here are some best practices you can implement to help you run smaller, faster, smarter projects.
Partner for success
For most businesses, maintaining an inhouse department of skilled development and testing resource is a luxury they can’t afford. Outsourcing to an experienced project team can help significantly reduce project timelines, if for no other reason than you can throw more resource at it – many hands make light work.
Adopting a best-upgrade approach
One of the biggest challenges associated with any upgrade project is the uplifting or retrofitting of custom objects. Our Dimension Professional toolkit is a suite of services and applications that allows companies to fully manage and fix the price and timescale of the modifications uplift elements of an ERP upgrade.
It features access to role-based tools for project managers, developers, and testers. It enables project teams to see exactly where any software changes will occur, automatically scan for known software issues and accurately identify any interdependencies between objects. It also provides a detailed understanding of net change data, so it is possible to assess the impact of any upgrade. The result is significantly increased developer productivity and an improved “right first time” ratio.
Eliminate unecessary effort
Why would you spend time retrofitting and testing code that hasn’t changed? Dimension Analyze is a software application that compares the production environment to a pristine environment and the new ESU, to establish an accurate view of the modified footprint. It then forensically analyses every object, down to a pixel movement level of detail to identify opportunities to decommission redundant code and reduce the size of the modified footprint – in some cases by up to 75%. The less code that needs to be updated, the shorter the project timeframe. Going forward, a reduced footprint accelerates all future project delivery.
One of the other key advantages of knowing what has changed, what hasn’t, and what has been retired, is that you know exactly what to test. Functionally testing workflows that have not been impacted by the ESU is a waste of time and effort and places an unnecessary burden on testing resources.
Automate your testing
Testing frequently accounts for the lion’s share of project resource, so anything that can be done to accelerate the testing process, without impacting on quality, can significantly accelerate the time to value for new features and functionality.
Dimension SwifTest has been developed specifically for Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Oracle Fusion Cloud Apps. It enables project teams to significantly reduce the burden of functional testing – saving up to 70% on the time taken to create and maintain scripts, and a further 60% on test execution.
So, what have we learned? Accelerating time to value is about leveraging the right resources, tools, and processes to reduce the operational impact and resource burden of ESU projects; allowing organisations to realize the true benefits of a continuous innovation strategy:
- Partner with the experts
- Understand the scope of the project
- Employ a best-upgrade approach
- Reduce your modified footprint
- Only test what needs testing
- Automate your functional testing