The benefits of creating testing and training documentation early in Dynamics 365 implementations

Defining test scripts early in the design and using these to train SMEs early can have a significant positive impact…...

Defining test scripts early in the design and using these to train SMEs early can have a significant positive impact on quality, SME hands-on training, and early acceptance of the new system.

Having step-by-step documentation on core processes, with screenshots, to guide SMEs gives them confidence in the system and trains them to use and test the system.

Often SMEs have had little hands-on practice time in the system as detailed step-by-step documentation has not been created and they do not feel comfortable trying to work it out from what they were shown in a workshop or conference room pilot.

SMEs and business users become far more accepting of a new system when they have the confidence to work within the system following detailed step-by-step guides. It makes it real and often brings out discussion on the design and prepares them for training and testing phases.

Using the right tools to achieve this is key and there are several tools available. The following is a list of suggested tools for creating testing/training documents.

Microsoft Office (Word/Excel)

Create documents from scratch writing out each step and adding screenshots from the system. Time-consuming to complete and not easy to maintain if changes are required

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations built-in Task Recorder

Record the tests of a function or process using the system. Task Recorder logs each step, and a document can be created from the recording. The recording can be played back in the system and used with the RSAT automation tool. The output document does not have screenshots and recording time is limited. Not good for larger process recordings. It would be likely the tests would need to be re-recorded to be suitable for test automation with RSAT.

Executive Automats Test Automation Tool

Record the tests of a function or process using the system. Generates the step-by-step documentation including screenshots. Tests can be easily updated with no requirement to re-record the whole function or process. No limit on time and can record complex business scenarios. Tests can be used immediately for automated testing during build phases. Tests can be played back in the system to show the functionality recorded.

Of the three tools mentioned above, I would recommend using Executive Automats for its flexibility and ease of use. Testing and training documentation can be built on throughout the lifecycle of the implementation and not left to the later stages.

Early creation of training and testing artifacts helps prepare for UAT testing and training in good time and helps keep implementations on track against plans. Without early training and testing, the testing cycles are often reduced, and the quality of testing scripts and training guides is diminished.

Don’t underestimate the importance of early testing and training. Many implementation projects leave testing and training far too late only to find that preparing training and testing documentation takes far longer than expected.

Investing in tools such as Executive Automats early can really help focus on testing and training early and drive quality into your implementation.

As System Integrators playback the clients ‘To Be’ processes in workshops and conference room pilots have your testing resources record these processes in Executive Automats.

Let’s look at what benefits a single recording in Executive Automats would bring.

  • From the recording, generate a step-by-step document of the function/process and make available to SMEs to build their confidence in using the system
  • Play back the recording in the system as visual training for SMEs and other users
  • Copy the recording so testing resources can automate the recording, adding validation as required and using the automated test during the build phase to check if functionality has regressed. Doing this early can significantly reduce defects in the later testing phases
  • Use the recording to start building the test plans early for UAT testing
  • Provide the step-by-step documentation to training providers so they can use as input into training packs
  • Easily update the recording if things change. No need to re-record the whole test again
  • Run the recording as a smoke test on new environments to ensure they have been built correctly
  • Use the recording to generate test data without the manual overhead
  • Use the recording as input into building larger test scenarios for UAT testing
  • Run the recording to validate security role access when building your security model
  • Include the recording in your final Automated Regression Testing Pack to test Microsoft upgrades

As you can see from the above you get a huge amount of benefit from using Executive Automats from a single recording. Now keep adding recordings to cover the ‘To Be’ processes and the return on investment becomes clear.  The benefits start at the design phase and continue through the implementation phases, go-live, and support and maintenance.

If you would like to find out more about the Executive Automats Test Automation Tool, then contact us for a demo and see the many benefits it will bring to your implementation. We can also provide you with a free trial to see the benefits for yourself.

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