When Scenario Testing Takes a Backseat

Published on Feb 15, 2024

When Scenario Testing Takes a Backseat: Unveiling the Hidden Risks in Your Software Adventure!

Imagine a scenario (pun intended) where a company has recently implemented a new Payroll and WFM System. However, as the first payroll cycle is approaching and payroll is in its final testing phase, they have discovered some discrepancies – possibly from errors in the system configuration.

There is concern that these issues may lead to incorrect salary calculations, incorrect interpretation of agreement relating to specific payments for example a night shift allowance, and ultimately employee dissatisfaction. 

Solution: Planning and executing the scenario testing phase

To address the potential issues in the new system, a thorough scenario testing plan is crucial. Here’s a step-by-step solution:

1. Scope / Specification document:
Collaborate with the payroll team to identify potential configuration issues in the new Payroll and WFM System.

Review the document in depth because it sometimes requires additional iterations. Check the system settings, tax tables and other parameters to ensure they align with the company’s policies and legal requirements. The scope / specification document can be described as the blueprint to set the foundation for the new system implementation.

2. Create scenario test cases:
Develop a comprehensive set of test cases covering various aspects of payroll processing which include:

  • Wage/salary calculations – checking hours, rates, totals.
  • Tax calculations – check tax on different tax codes/local tax compliance.
  • Allowances and deductions – paying/deducting as expected.
  • Leave calculations – comply with legislation/contract.
  • Leave accruals.
  • Rosters – check if different rosters are functioning as they should.
  • Public holiday payments.
  • Reports – ensuring all reports generated are as expected.
  • Leave accruals.
  • Employee self-service functionality.
  • Payroll processing steps from start to end.

Include scenarios for different employee types, such as full-time, part-time, salaried, and hourly workers.

3. Execute test scenarios:
Execute the test cases in a test environment. Is the outcome what is expected?

4. Create an ‘issues’ register:
Document the results to identify any discrepancies between actual and what is expected.

5. Error resolution: 

  • Work closely with the software vendor to address and resolve any issues. Are issues due to system configuration or interpretation of employment agreement? Collective agreement? Is more user training required?
  • If any system configuration changes are made, do a re-test of the ‘failed’ scenario(s).

6. Data validation: 
Verify the accuracy and completeness of the data imported into the new system, including employee information, tax details, and other relevant data.

  • Carry out a mock migration from the legacy system for a subset of employees to test the migration proces
  • In addition, manually add a few employees to verify each of the components in the setup 

7. Keeping a record of scenario testing and results:
This is an important step for the client to review if similar issues arise in the future where both the vendor and client have access to the same information. It can also be used to communicate the outcomes of scenario testing to relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, this is often a requirement from internal and external audits.

Implementation of a new system doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. Companies can ensure a smooth transition to the new system by identifying issues and rectifying them prior to going to the next stage in the implementation cycle.

Scenario testing isn’t just a means to an end when it comes to software efficiency, it’s a must do. Reach out to our team of implementation experts to put your payroll to the test.

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