The definition of prototyping, or a conference room pilot (CRP) is “a product model constructed for testing and evaluation to see how the product performs before releasing the product to manufacture.” A conference room pilot is exactly that, a prototyping of the software functionality and customizations prior to releasing the product to the end user.
Each customization should be prototyped and executed during a series of detailed pilots or module walk-throughs.Each pilot should be designed to target a specific stage, event, or business process of the enterprise during an implementation and should determine success or failure as the outcome.
A successful CRP can be divided into three stages, namely Identification, Definition, and Execution.
The first step in most projects is to understand and document the current organization business processes, or the creation of the “as is business model”. Understanding the organizations business processes helps lay the foundation required for a successful implementation.
The Definition stage provides some of the keys to executing the CRP – one of them being the end user testing documentation. This stage consists primarily of documenting the testing scenarios and scripts for execution during the CRP. These scenarios will consist of real organization processes and data. Remember the CRP is a prototype of the production environment and all testing needs to be as realistic as possible.
Business scenarios are your organizations required future business process based on Oracle Application terminology and processes.
During this stage of the project normal implementation activities of creating the master testing plan, scheduling CRP resources and executing the CRP tasks place.This stage is where the rubber meets the road. All testing documents have been approved, the CRP instance is ready and waiting, and all we need to do to get on with the CRP is to organize the testing documentation and assign testing resources.
The CRP should be performed at least three times, or should simulate three business closings. During the execution of the CRPs you will find that problems and issues will arise, sometimes over and over again. Executing the CRP three times will help flush out application issues, train end users, and solidify customizations and data conversion
Original content taken from 'OAUG Insight March 2008' by 'Bill Dunham'. All credits on this document should go to 'Bill Dunham'