business. Both sets of products come from different parent companies and were built to different standards. Something that may be regarded as very obvious in one product may not be so for the other. The problem grows exponentially when the acquired product has "spaghetti code." The problems that could arise from removing these duplicate functionalities should be discussed in detail before any removal action is taken. The team should implement rigorous regression testing and maintain very careful attention to detail to ensure a smooth product transition.
The purpose of acquiring a product is to give it a look and feel similar to an existing suite. The members of the QA team who are already familiar with the existing suite, familiarize themselves with the new product through the exploratory efforts. Instead of going through a formal round of usability testing to consider enhancements, conducting an informal brainstorming session to change the user interface can often yield the desired results.
Run Requirements Development and Testing Parallel
It is always a great idea to involve the QA team in the requirements gathering phase of any project. The reality, however, is that it rarely happens. For enhancements to a third party product, this becomes a very critical issue. At times, the creation of test cases during the user-interview sessions can uncover confusion, ambiguity, and avoid misrepresentation of the system. When the entire project team is fairly new to the product, extensive teamwork will be highly beneficial.
Analyze the Impact of Enhancements on System Performance
One important point is that the customers already have the product, and the users are already used to it. They take the performance of the existing system as the baseline and will not be thrilled if performance goes down when the enhancements or changes in the UI (for suite compliance) are implemented. Customer expectation of the product should be considered when enhancements or changes are planned. System enhancements should not have a negative impact on the system's performance, response time, reliability, efficiency, integrity, or other attributes. Keeping these tips in mind when contemplating product upgrades or eliminations of duplicate functionalities can lead to fewer headaches for you and your project team. A systematic approach by the QA team, coupled with commitment from management, can solve many of these problems and reduce the risks of transition.