Twice every year, Workday rolls out major functional changes as a feature release to Workday Human Capital Management and Workday Financial Management. Going forward, these releases will be renamed to YYYYR1 or YYYYR2, where YYYY will correspond to the year. For example, the upcoming March 2020 release will be titled as the 2020R1 Release.

During this five-week preview period, Workday will ensure that all new functionality and feature enhancements are continuously delivered every week to ensure that all of its users have ample time to understand, test and validate the stream of updates.

Below are the six steps that your organization must cycle through to successfully test the new feature release.  To help create seamless yet highly productive testing, Genie, our Workday Automation Testing solution, provides the required security and accuracy to optimize the process for you.

  1. Understand the new features

As a part of its feature release roll-outs, Workday provides a detailed list of new features categorized by their respective functional areas. So, under Workday Human Capital Management, you will see release notes for Recruiting, Compensation, Core HCM, and Benefits among others.

Identify the release notes that apply to your deployment and review them. Workday also provides helpful video demonstrations on the new features, making it easy to create your testing plans. 

You could list out the features that are specific to your deployment in a project plan which, in turn, becomes the final checklist to be referred to when testing and validating the new features. 

  1. Assemble a testing team

Geography cannot and must not prove to be an impediment to your testing processes. It is imperative that you involve core testing team members from various areas and ensure that they are uniformly represented. 

Moreover, you must include the Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) from each functional area, such as Benefits, Compensation, or others to get not only a broader perspective but also a deeper and insightful one. 

Working with technical experts who know the Workday integrations of your organization could greatly simplify the work when it comes to the necessary validations.

The key here, however, is to ensure that these resources are available to efficiently collaborate throughout the five-week testing period in addition to their day-to-day roles and responsibilities.

With the most essential pieces of the puzzle in place, the next immediate plan of action should be to create a set of steps that could help streamline the process. 

  1. Plan

Once you are aware of what you need to test, assemble a core testing team and create a project plan that lists out the tasks, resources, and timelines required to see the project through.

In addition to the testing, your core team can identify any changes that need to be made to the existing training materials. If that’s the case, then the task must be identified in your plan to check and confirm the availability of the new materials, immediately after the testing window closes.

  1. Test

For testing a Feature Release, it is crucial that you not only test each feature in a silo but also perform end-to-end testing.

For instance, if there is a new functionality related to ‘Recruiting’, you not only test the stand-alone business process for recruiting but also the end-to-end scenario such as ‘Recruit to Hire’. 

If any integrations are a part of the pre-hire or post-hire processes, run those to ensure that data changes are captured within those integrations as well. 

Replicating these scenario-based testing efforts will smooth things over when it comes to testing your core business processes and integrations. 

To top things off, validate any and all critical custom reports as well as security to complete your testing cycle.

  1. Communicate

Define a clear and efficient communication channel within your team to avoid any confusion on how to handle issues and get resolutions. 

If you encounter any defects during the testing process, check with the ‘Community’ for any possible resolutions. If none are found, log a test case with Workday.

  1. Educate

After your team completes a successful preview release testing, plan a new feature review session. 

Include your extended team, so your stakeholders are aware of the new changes and their impacts within the organization. Also, include your change management team to ensure necessary changes are made to the training materials with the new features.

To summarize, a successful release testing requires good planning, execution, and clear communication. 

It also requires a time commitment from all the key resources involved to not only understand and analyze new features but also examine their impact and value-adds to your organization.  

In fact, time commitment from resources was cited as the key issue behind organizations not taking a strategic approach to successful feature releases. 

As most of the steps mentioned above require manpower and could involve higher operational costs, organizations should look into using automation for their testing needs. 

RapidIT-Cloudbera’s Genie is one such Workday Automation solution that reduces testing effort by as much as 80% and testing cost savings by 70%. Our zero-script maintenance solution will allow your team to spend more time understanding and strategizing the use of new features instead of focusing on running test scenarios— thereby simplifying the whole process and making it supremely efficient.

After all, with Genie, testing is efficient and effortless.

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