Why software testing in Workforce Management is vital

In the complex landscape of workforce management (WFM), ensuring the reliability and efficiency of systems through rigorous testing is not just good practice—it is essential. As we discussed in our previous blog, “What the TEST,” the challenges of testing within the UKG ecosystem highlight the critical need for strategic testing practices. This blog delves deeper into why automated software testing is becoming an indispensable tool in maintaining the robustness of WFM systems. By transitioning from manual processes to automated solutions, organisations can tackle operational failures and compliance issues more effectively, ensuring that their workforce management systems are not only compliant but also optimally aligned with their strategic goals.

What is Automated Software Testing?

The typical approach requires a highly skilled expert who is familiar with not only the software but also a company’s pay policies and work rules. This person must define the required test scenarios, document them, and then manually make the required clicks inside the software to execute them while visually verifying the correct results. These experts are usually in high demand within an organisation. Having them manually run tests could be a strain on organisations of any size.

With automated software testing, those test scenarios could be input into a software tool and then run with a single click of a button. The software runs the tests, verifies the expected results. Your experts can then only get involved in the handful of unexpected scenarios that need attention. It simply scales in a way that conventional testing cannot.

Simply put, software automation allows you to leverage the upfront work a company needs to do anyway, in an extremely scalable way. Imagine being able to validate your configuration as producing the expected results with a single click of a mouse button, anytime you want without putting the strain on your most valuable resources.

Result: You’re going to test more frequently, do it at an extremely low cost and save massive amounts of time.

The Difference of Automated Testing with TestAssure

Many companies are struggling with testing. They face delays because they aren’t sure if the payroll systems are working correctly or know for certain that there are errors, but they also don’t have proof that things are working correctly.

Automated testing existed, but it was somewhat rocket science and an art to it. To create your own automated testing solutions, you really needed to be a coding expert, a testing guru; you need to know your system inside and out. And it was expensive and complicated to pull together, and honestly often the companies that tried, failed with it.

We’ve been surprised at how many companies, big and small across all industries, wanted help with testing. For large companies, the main problem is about risk. There’s a very low tolerance for risk, a high cost of error, and avoiding those errors is just very strategic and critical. And for SMBs, the problem is they’re often resource-constrained.

That’s why we’ve partnered with TestAssure.

Test automation with TestAssure frees up time for subject matter experts to focus on other areas during the implementation. TestAssure offers our customers two things:

  • A test automation platform, for them to use.
  • Testing services to help remove some of that burden.

TestAssure helps in three simple ways:

  • Write and run tests faster,
  • Resolve defects quicker,
  • and ultimately go live sooner.

By Scott Dixon, Solution Consultant / Alliance Manager TestAssure

Customer Case: Home Depot

Home Depot is the world’s largest home retailer. They have approximately five hundred thousand employees across three geographic areas between the US, Canada, and Mexico, with over two thousand stores.

They’ve currently rolled out UKG solutions for timekeeping, attendance, and advanced scheduling.

As part of Home Depot’s overall strategic focus, they had a vision of enhancing the overall employee experience, through mobile applications they have developed, but then also having the power behind the UKG Pro WFM platform to make intelligent decisions around where people were working, how they were working, allowing associates to swap shifts, pay people appropriately, and just make sure that we have people in the right place at the right time, etc. Through the extensive API capability, having the capability to, in turn, build applications that would be able to put in the employees’ hands to make decisions about their lives.

Paying people is everything. One of Home Depot’s core values is being able to take care of people. And ultimately taking care of employees that rely on their pay, to be able to live out their dreams, paying people accurately, scheduling people, and providing them with the visibility around pay, their scheduling is of vital importance.

Currently, where payroll mistakes can lead to legal trouble and unhappy employees, it’s not difficult with an unhappy employee for them to take their frustrations out on social media, that can damage your reputation, damage the contract with your employees, and ultimately lead to legal consequences for your business. So, it’s critical these days to make sure that you’re paying your people correctly.

With a company of this size and scale, everything is complicated. The small issues that you may face, just turn in either magnified, a hundred thousand times when you have a company of this size.

Some of the key things that Home Depot was concerned about were if the technology was scalable enough to accommodate the complex business and payrolls they had, associated with this particular migration, and whether the API layer of the application was going to be sustainable enough to not only support what’s going on today but then what’s also going to be going on in the future.

How Home Depot’s Compliance Concerns Drove the Need for Automated Software Testing

Pay is paramount. And all the things that are changing require constant change within the platform itself, which ultimately requires a fair amount of regression anytime those changes are being made. The time that it takes to go through building out manual test cases and the resourcing necessary to staff and maintain those tests is huge. Therefore, Home Depot had to figure out a way to be able to continue to stay up to pace in meeting all compliance needs and their overall change needs as a company but then being able to shorten the window when it relates back to being able to test to make sure that they can break things in the process. So, test automation had to be a pivotal driver when it came to their overall implementation.

It’s one thing to test the actual change itself, what you think might have changed, but a lot of times those changes have a trickle-down effect and they break something else. So having the ability to retest everything to make sure nothing else broke is pivotal in helping maintain confidence and move quickly.

Why Did Home Depot Involve TestAssure?

When Home Depot started thinking about this overall platform and the amount of change in size and scale needed, one hundred percent manual testing was just truly not an option to be able to complete the program with any sort of time and urgency that would be necessary.

When Home Depot looked at the overall landscape, they could go about building out their own automated test suite. But when you start looking at TestAssure, the expertise the TestAssure team has specifically related to the UKG Dimensions and the UKG partnership, it was just a no-brainer. That gave Home Depot a jump start as it related to all of their regression and all of their testing efforts.

TestAssure partnered with Home Depot’s internal test teams and gave Home Depot support with all of their timekeeping accruals and scheduling. Those are the basis of the system. Home Depot’s overall test case was over thirty-five thousand different automated tests. There were an additional eleven thousand test cases to support custom functionality and custom integrations and scheduling.

Home Depot ran over five hundred thousand test executions during the Go Live. Assuming manually testing takes about fifteen minutes per test case to create an employee, put in the punches, make sure that it passed past. That’s over five years of non-stop testing for a team of ten (!) testers. That scale is just not possible in any other way.

So, concluding from the Home Depot story, automated testing saves time, and it always comes down to peace of mind. Automated testing just allows you to have that security. It allows you to sleep at night knowing that you’ve done your part to ensure that people get their cheques on time in that day.

Automated testing allows you to gain a very thorough level of testing, at the same time and be able to run a lot more frequently which ultimately decreases your defect resolution. It allows you to increase your development and design timelines because it’s going to take less time on the back end for you to be able to complete some of those processes.

Testing occurs after the build and then there’s just a lot of pulls on your subject matter experts at that time, training, change management, maybe issue resolution, trying to figure out the system might not be doing exactly what they expected. Do we need to chase things down with legal? Automated testing allows to focus on those more strategic tasks at a critical time of the project.

How do you make sure you have effective processes to make sure that your test bed remains complete? How do you make sure that you’re making these changes as you’re getting the correct word out from a change management perspective out to the organisation? And how do you minimise the level of change that’s impacting the end-users? Because you don’t want them to be focused on the platforms or the compliance type changes or being worried about whether data’s accurate, their paycheque’s accurate, whatever the case may be. You want them to be focused on the customer because, ultimately, again, if they focus on their customer, the business kind of takes care of itself from that perspective. So, within your organisation, it’s important to make sure that you have the right processes in place and the right partners involved to ensure that we’re able to maintain the same cadence, of speed innovation.

Instead of allowing testing to be a burden for your team, let’s make a plan together to turn testing into your superpower! Contact us to find out more.