Creating a UAT Strategy

With any testing process, it is vital to develop a well thought out strategy that outlines the testing approach and what tools will be required. Successful User Acceptance Testing is no different and will need a comprehensive strategy to work off.

Once the UAT scope is determined, the next phase will be to create a comprehensive and holistic strategy.

Refer to Test Policies

Different organisations have different cultures and business practices; some may have developed from historic need and others from dynamic approaches and may have pre-existing test policies.

Having these, however, do not mean they will be appropriate for every testing and reviewing them to determine if they can be implemented needs to be determined early on. However, if you’re going to adapt these policies for the test, this also needs to be outlined early in the process.

If your organisation does not have test policies, take the opportunity to outline a policy for future guidance and best practice but be mindful of how testing is dynamic and policies may not fit every scenario.

Things to consider:

  • Does your already existing policy for UAT work for this project?
  • Does the policy need altering?
  • Does a policy need to be written?
  • If you’re not following the policy, outline why not and get secondary feedback
  • How is the project risk impacted by policies?

Determine the Strategy

Once the plan and initial preparations have been completed, determine a strategy that accounts for everything discovered from the preparations.

Things to consider:

  • Do you need a fully test case driven, documented approach?
  • How much exploratory testing is appropriate?
  • What resources will be used and in what way?
  • Who will write the test cases?
  • Level of detail needed vs SME knowledge
  • Are detailed test scripts required?
  • Who will carry out the tests?
  • How will they do them?
  • How many rounds of testing will be required?
  • Will it all be manual?
  • Is there an exploratory testing phase?
  • Can you build in automation as you go?
  • How will you determine readiness?
  • What metrics will guide you in this and how will you gather these along the way?

Determine the Tools to be Used

As with every test, using specific technology can make life considerably easier.

There are 4 key areas to consider:

Number 1:

You may need a platform to manage the projects’ assets combined with communication, resources assignment and scheduling. Fundamentally, it will act as a test management solution to support the users and the project’s needs.

Technology capturing user actions unobtrusively and accurately with little to no effort, especially if you plan on implementing exploratory testing. Historically, the capturing of results is one of the most frustrating aspects of UAT, with users getting tired of documenting via print screen and pasting to word when errors occur and manually detailing what happened.

Number 2:

The working and strategy undergoing may have different facets depending on the approach being taken. For example, you may have ‘issues’ that do not fall under ‘defects’ or ‘feedback’ segmented by positive, negative and neutral results. Regardless of your approach, your test management platform will need to be designed to support the style of UAT being planned and the users’ needs.

This historic method is unreliable as it depends on users being honest and meticulous in documenting the process. There are inexpensive solutions for capturing the process, which can be easily implemented and take the pressure off users.

Number 3:

UAT needs to be repeated to ensure the results are as accurate as possible; however, after several testing cycles, automation can be implemented to seamlessly run the software, checking for issues that manual testing has overlooked.

Number 4:

The testing process needs a test environment and ideally consistent data to go with it. Test data management tools help handle the data collected, ensuring it is easy to validate when integrated with automation and capturing user actions technology.

Factors to Consider for Technology

Before implementing technology for the project, there are factors that need to be considered:

  • How will you organise test assets?
    • Requirements
    • Test Cases
    • Test Scripts
    • Test Results
    • Issue Reports
    • Defects
    • Surveys
  • How will you ensure traceability for test coverage?
  • How will tasks be allocated?
  • How will users know what to do and when to do it?
  • How will progress and KPI’s be measured?
  • How will test results be captured and analysed?
  • Can aspects be automated?
    • What automation solution fits team, skills, timescales, approach and business objectives?
    • Are there existing tools or will you need to acquire them?
  • How will you create consistent test environments?
  • How will you communicate with product teams, business users, stakeholders and buy-ins?

It’s important to take the time to determine a holistic strategy for successful UAT; it will cover the aspects of the testing process and ensure that it runs smoothly and reassure the UAT managers that if issues arise with the change, they will be detected.

Download the free Ultimate UAT Guide today for a comprehensive understanding of the entire UAT process and how to optimise it for success.

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