Most testing should occur in the Build phase, but depending on the environment you are working in, additional testing may need to happen once an application is ready for release. The first step is to verify that the application is functional, meets stakeholder needs, and able to handle expected usage volumes. Ensure the following testing is complete:
Key Insight: Test with representative data
Tests are only valid if they mimic how your users will actually use the application. Applications can act differently when confronted with different data and it is best to find this out through testing rather than by users in production. Therefore test datasets should mirror what you expect in production as much as possible, both in format as well as volume. However, sensitive business data, including user profile information, should not be loaded into non-production environments.
Although the application may be technically fit, it will only deliver value if our users are able to use it. Below are important strategies to ensure the stakeholder community is prepared to adopt the new application:
Identify all the stakeholders that may be affected
Start by identifying the complete stakeholder community which will include the end users and their managers, operations teams, help desk personnel, and other related IT teams. Change management plans should include this complete group.
Communicate the change
Notify stakeholders of the upcoming application release and any changes to their way of working. Ideally, this communication is performed by “champions”, cultivated within the business, who have been part of the team throughout the project. They can use traditional communication channels within the organization and put the change in context of the business. Common communication techniques include release webinars, corporate newsletters, and release notes.
Prepare the support team
Before the release, ensure the support team is prepared to respond to end user requests. See this guide for details on how to structure and enable your support team.
Educate and train end users
Appian’s simple, intuitive interface reduces the need for formal end user training; however, for applications which will introduce a significant change to the user’s way of working, training should be considered. Here are methods to consider:
These options require varying levels of investment. Therefore, the right option should be chosen based on the complexity of the change involved.
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