As a project reaches its conclusion, there is one remaining hurdle standing between your organization and the full benefits of your newly developed solution – User Acceptance Testing, or UAT.
During UAT, end-users verify that a solution meets the business requirements defined during the discovery process and refined throughout development. A successful UAT is completed within a specific timeframe while identifying any issues that need to be corrected.
But thorough, intensive testing takes time, especially if it isn’t planned out beforehand. Below are some strategies to help ensure your UAT is complete and stays on schedule.
Create Test Scripts
A common reason for UAT to go over time is not planning out specifically what is being tested ahead of time. That’s why test scripts – a documented set of steps with an expected outcome – are important to the process.
Test scripts should be relatively short and focus on specific pieces of functionality.
An effective way to plan your test scripts is to review the business requirements and write scripts to cover each of them, ensuring that you address each piece of functionality.
Involve the Right People and Report Issues Clearly
Once you have the test scripts, assemble a small team to execute them. A good UAT team includes people who will use your new solution when it goes live.
This serves two purposes. First, these people understand the business and have context for the functionality that they are testing. Second, because they are participating in UAT, they are likely to become advocates for your new solution when it goes live. Ideally, someone from each group in your organization that will use the new application should be part of your UAT team.
When issues do come up in UAT, giving a detailed report will help developers find and correct them quickly. A defect report provides a list of steps to reproduce the problem, along with an explanation of the result you were expecting versus the result you actually received.
Focus on the Original Scope of the Project
During UAT, some users have a tendency to look for features that weren’t discussed as part of the original scope of the project. While there may be additional features that can be added to an application in the future, focusing on them during UAT will take the focus off accurate testing of the solution.
If there are additional features that users would like added, a best practice is to deploy your new application as-is, then move forward with a second project for the additional features. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of your new application right away, as well as receive new features as part of a future project.