Walking the test path. Literally!

A paper System Integration Test (Paper Sit or Simulated SIT) is in fact a role play in a facilitated environment in which the business processes are simulated end-to-end.

A paper SIT is a tool to:

  1. detect defects and inconsistencies between integrated systems at an early stage of a project;
  2. fully understand the new situation;
  3. start communication between all parties involved.

ICT projects facing a complex end-to-end aspect are very suitable for a paper SIT; e.g. when they are impacting business processes in multiple internal/external domains that vary in user types, hardware platforms, programming languages and in-house built software/vendor applications (intensive interfacing or SOA architecture). Also, in case of an international organization wide ERP migration a paper SIT can have significant benefits. Don’t do it, when the SOLL situation of a project is well-defined and clear to everyone and the scale – in terms of number of domains, end-to-end processes, interfaces and user types – is limited. A paper SIT will then be experienced as a bit overdone.

If you choose to execute a paper SIT, make sure you prepare it properly. Especially, when you consider that many people are needed, and they also often in waiting mode during execution. There is always a risk that progress stagnates. This is not cost effective and bad for the motivation of the participants. You, as a test manager, can act in these sessions as the moderator or more discretely as a “postman” walking the test paths. Literally!

About the Author


Arjan Steltenpool (1970, The Netherlands) is an experienced test consultant who has worked for CGI since 1998. Currently, he is product owner of a DevOps test automation team at pension provider APG. DevOps way of working, test automation and Test Data Management have his special interest. The aspects of working in software testing that Arjan really finds important are teamwork, entrepreneurship and well-considered communication. This comes forward in the blogs he posts on EuroStar Huddle; e.g. about an alternative way of leading an UAT in large ERP implementations, and Test Data Management: Organisational and Technical Challenges.  
Find out more about @arjan-steltenpool