What to Automate in a CPQ QA Project
First things First…
The previous article ‘CPQ QA Automation – Inevitable for Enterprise CPQ Implementations’ explains why CPQ QA automation is a necessity for any organization. Say an organization wants to start implementing CPQ QA Automation, what’s the first step? One could suggest that a feasibility study of automation tools, planning followed by the automation effort is a viable sequence, but hold on for a moment there. How about starting with the automation scope?
When talking about scope, regression tests always come to mind first as they’re stable. However, “regression tests” is a broad term. The exact scope needs to be identified for automation that focuses not only on faster regression cycles but also on the speed of deployment of new changes, updates and implementation (remember ‘Launch of New Products’ and ‘Pricing Updates & Promotions’ points of the previous article). Additionally, the scope would help us identify the appropriate automation tool which would serve our purpose.
The following areas should be considered first when launching a CPQ QA Automation effort:
Product Pricing Rules: Pricing is at the heart of any product structure. CPQ facilitates the creation of complex pricing rules using the Price Matrix, Price Rule Sets, Conditional Charges, Multi-currency pricing etc. Automation could be leveraged to drive thorough testing through systemic calculations and submission of complex data. So, scenarios related to product pricing should be considered while getting started with automation. Promotions driven by pricing rules and conditional pricing, make great automation candidates, especially when it comes to time bound promotions.
Product Constraints: An important area after pricing is in regard to product constraint rules. Though they’re easy to build, the critical challenge is validation as they require a large number of permutations and combinations to be validated. It may not come as a surprise that constraint rule test cases are usually higher in number when compared with other areas. To avoid a proportionately high level of manual effort, automation could be successfully leveraged to drive testing efficiency at scale for complex product portfolios.
End-to-End Business Flows: One should consider automating End-to-End scenarios, rather than focusing only on the specific feature flows only. Not addressing the comprehensive business process flows is a common mistake in CPQ QA Automation that leads to inadequate testing of business scenarios.
The automation sequence could be divided into two parts, one starting from Account/Opportunity creation leading up to asset validation and the second could represent the complete cycle of asset management (alteration, termination, replacements etc). Automating E2E flows usually surfaces regression issues (from unidentified areas), integration issues and other critical business issues that may not have been covered in the individual feature test plans.
Product Pricing and Product Constraints are some of the areas of any CPQ implementation. The adverse impact of regression issues to the business can be avoided through automation. By externalizing data for the above areas, one can target regression while accounting for evolving business needs (like the introduction of new product suite(s), new product pricing, promotions which are highly time sensitive and require rapid deployment to production.)
Please comment on areas relevant to your CPQ QA Automation effort.
Author : Mehul Savariya
Mehul Savariya is one of Hansen’s Salesforce Quote to Cash experts. He has held the position of QA Lead on multiple full project lifecycle CPQ, Billing and CLM implementations for a wide range of enterprise organisations across multiple verticals.
Hansen is a specialist consultancy helping you maximise Lead-to-Cash ROI. Our expertise is focused on unlocking value from your investments in CPQ, Billing and Unified Commerce on the Salesforce ecosystem.