Step 5 - Testing
In our blog series, there has been a lot of emphasis on attention to detail and setting up a project that is steeped in “tried and true” project management fundamentals. We are now at the point where we have worked with the customer to ensure that we captured their requirements to the best of our ability. We’ve designed and developed a solution with the customer’s approval. Finally, we’ve had our implementation team provision and deliver that design to specifications. Now comes the final piece – testing – to ensure that what we provisioned and delivered functions to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Find all 9 steps of UCaaS project HERE
During this time, we ensure that all the customer specific configurations are tested, and that the customer approves the test results. This indicates that the project is ready to “go-live” after training.
We recommend that testing happens in two phases:
Testing to Checklist Specifications
We strongly recommend having a testing checklist and following it to the letter. We have, in most instances, taken the manufacturer’s acceptance criteria and used that to develop a checklist that fully tests and validates the function/feature and the customer specific configuration of that function/feature. All results should be documented and then used in the sign-off process to obtain the customer’s approval.
Any negative results are, of course, remediated when discovered. In that way, they are transparent to the customer.
Another testing strategy that we like to employ, especially when working with contact centers, complex call queues/flows, and configurations, is bringing the customer in for a remote Q&A session. This shows the customer that the system was built specifically to their requirements and the approved design. It also gives them a preview of the look and feel of the final product. Occasionally, the customer will ask for a small adjustment to a queue, flow, or even some user data that has changed since data collection was performed. Often, these adjustments involve configuration items.
The bonus to this is that the customer sees what their system will look like going live and this gives them confidence that you are delivering the exact system that they are expecting. Making adjustments now as opposed to when the system is live also improves the go-live and transition to support experience.
Customer Approval Before The Project Goes Live
The results of the testing are reviewed with the customer, creating documented proof that any negative results or customer requested configuration changes have been noted and updated in the final design document.
At this point, we confirm with the customer that they approve the delivery of the provisioned system and that the project is ready to go-live after the appropriate staff trainings have been completed.
Being thorough and transparent with the customer regarding test results and, when appropriate, giving them the opportunity to join you for a joint Q&A session is the best way to ensure that you are delivering their requirements using a professional and quality-tested method. You have control here and can instill confidence in the customer that they are set up to go-live on the exact solution/system they are expecting from the project. What’s more, you can reaffirm for them that they made a smart choice in a vendor.