"Acutest helped us to help ourselves. Their expert testing approach, guidance and coaching turned us from experienced users into an effective testing unit. My only regret is that I didn't engage them earlier in the programme when I'm sure we would have derived extra benefit from their involvement."
P. Keane, Programme Director
Situation: 

Richmond Council were implementing their largest programme of change for forty years, replacing the council benefit system and the financial management system as well as a number of smaller systems.

Response: 

Acutest were brought in to help with the User Acceptance Test. The majority of the staff involved in the UAT had not been involved with testing on a major change programme before and had the competing pressure on their time of their normal job. This had resulted in an underestimate of the effort required for the UAT and some concern about whether or not the UAT could be physically completed in the time available.

The first step Acutest took was to script a set of high level test scenarios from the end to end business process models rather than the systems models that had been used to test the SAP financials system and the iWorld council benefit system.

These scripts were then reviewed in workshops to ensure that the key processes and areas of risk would be dealt with in the most detail and the less critical areas would absorb less effort. They were also reviewed against the technical architecture to ensure that the complex interfaces between the different system components were tested.

Workshops were run to train the users in how to write and maintain effective test scripts and to change the focus of the individuals from concentrating on just their areas of expertise to taking ownership of how they would cover a full process as a team.

During the UAT, Acutest helped manage and co-ordinate the users and provide testing expertise to ensure that the time spent testing was well used and the impact on the day to day business was minimised as far as possible.

Outcome: 

By combining the testing and training expertise of Acutest with the process and business expertise of the council users, the SAP acceptance testing was completed effectively and quickly. The benefit system and the financial system completed their UAT on schedule.

The users also had a suite of test scripts that could be used as the basis of a UAT for future enhancements to the systems, rather than having to start from scratch again.

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