What is business process testing (BPT)?

Business Process Testing, or BPT, is a testing method that focuses on validating an end-to-end business process.

The focus of BPT is to test an entire process, end-to-end, rather than just a small element of it. By its nature, it is more likely to be cross-functional, and across multiple applications and systems.

Examples of business processes:

  • Retail POS and inventory management
  • Invoice management
  • Marketing data management
  • GDPR procedures across the business.
  • Sales order processing

End-to-end testing of business processes ensures that business applications work effectively, with no defects or impacts on other systems.

The need for BPT

BPT doesn’t exclusively focus on one application or functionality. Instead, it focuses on the business processes that support the company and its goals. It is a complex task and requires end-to-end system testing, especially on integration and how change can impact and affect each system.

BPT is crucial in ensuring processes are fit for purpose, delivering on company strategy and that all systems are functioning correctly to support it.

The importance of regression testing for BPT

Business Process Testing must focus on the interrelationship of different applications and systems – how they interact and manage data between them.

Any change in one system may have an impact on another, potentially affecting or breaking functionality.

Regression testing allows you to test what effects these changes make across different systems. This ensures that unexpected issues are picked up before they get released to the production environment.

Business process testing BPT

Benefits of Business process testing

Process improvement

By testing the business process and the multiple systems involved in delivering it, the company can improve the process. Improving the process and the applications can significantly increase efficiency and productivity for the business.

Greater efficiency

Testing an end-to-end business process is complex and involves multiple systems. This magnifies the complexity of any tests being completed and the repercussions of issues identified. This complexity does increase the risk of missing the impact of changes across multiple systems. Deploying testing tools that can manage this complexity can help.

Saved costs

Business process testing can save costs. Not only is the testing more efficient, saving time, it also improves the speed and efficiency of the business process itself. Increased test automation and the reduced risk of outages can help save business costs and reputational damage.

Reduced risk

Full regression testing can help find defects in the end-to-end business process. This significantly reduces unexpected and unintended errors and defects getting to production. With a focus across the business process, BPT helps eliminate defects and reduces the risk of expensive outages and system failures.

Business process testing challenges

Complexity

Testing an end-to-end business process is complex and involves multiple systems. This magnifies the complexity of any tests being completed and the repercussions of issues identified. This complexity does increase the risk of missing the impact of changes across multiple systems. Deploying testing tools that can manage this complexity can help.

Resources squeezed

The use of testers and subject matter experts across a complicated business process takes time. QA and testing are always squeezed in terms of time and resources and the increased complexity of testing a business process makes this even more difficult.

Application knowledge

Business Process Testing involves multiple applications and integrations. In turn, this requires multiple application experts, which often include 3rd party vendors, such as SAP, Oracle or Salesforce. Testing and resolving defects across the business process, across multiple applications, needs detailed application knowledge to understand and resolve the issues.

Coded test automation

Due to the complexity of Business Process Testing and the multiple applications involved, using coded test automation is problematic. Coded test automation takes time to develop and validate. With BPT and testing multiple scenarios, the time taken to create coded test automation makes it slow and a significant barrier for organisations. Testing multiple applications requires expertise and knowledge for every application. Coders, developing automation, do not have deep application knowledge. With BPT, and multiple applications, this is magnified slowing down testing.

Conclusion

Business Process Testing (BPT) helps improve vital business processes, saving costs and mitigating the risk of change across multiple applications.

However, the challenges and time involved in BPT mean that organizations may only use it for their core business processes, ones that drive significant business value.

Selecting the right end-to-end testing tools is also important, which can help capture business processes, automate regression testing without coding, and empower business users to test and feedback in the BPT process.

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