User Acceptance Testing
The ultimate guide

Detailed Plan

The nature of the strategy you are taking will determine the level of detail required.  If you are allocating test tasks at an individual or perhaps department level, you will need a granular plan combining the task, test case, user, and timescale.

 If you’re adopting a looser ‘crowd’ style strategy, the allocation of individual tasks becomes less of an issue in the first instance, but the monitoring of who has done what (or has not been done) becomes more important.

The crowd approach broadly involves making test cases available to anyone who has the time and skills to carry them out and then monitoring the results with a pre-determined execution and pass level. The advantages of this are that it is more dynamic and resource availability determines the progress with a greater sense of visibility of the whole project creating greater accountability.

Collaborate with User department heads

Collaboration will allow for faster access to resources as and when needed through early planning of who will do what, when and what is needed.

Things to consider

Publish goals, approach and timescales company-wide

Determine skills, names and availability of seconded resources

Establish communication methods and frequency

Use a central platform to enhance visibility and remove the reporting burden.

Plan the sequence and dependencies of tests.

Allocate time, resources, and areas for exploratory testing.

Consider timescales.

Determine resources.

Plan communication and access to the central platform.

Exploratory testing

Exploratory testing is essential for ensuring high quality and successful UAT. The UAT’s value as a whole may depend on many factors, not least the influence you have over the final users. The less influence, the more exploratory testing you should conduct to understand the results and their accuracy better.

For example, suppose you have a small group of in-house users who are dedicated and will be committed to following the UAT process rigorously. In that case, exploratory testing will not be a major factor or relevant to your test. However, suppose the application is to be rolled out on a mass scale publicly and contains sensitive or valuable information. In that case, internal exploratory testing may be critical for ensuring your testing process is functional.

Exploratory testing may have been included in earlier quality assurance phases if the software is being developed internally. Still, it is also good practice for the end-user to test the software too before distribution.

Communicate the plan to managers and individuals

Hold briefing session as a group

Inform individual business units

Consider how they will be notified of changes and progress

Provide access to key stakeholders to central dashboards and metrics

As with any testing process, not all phases need to be implemented within every project, but each should be considered to achieve the best possible outcome.

Over the coming weeks, we will cover the whole approach to UAT in a  step-by-step guide.  If you have just found us, you can catch up here on the Overview, Scope and Strategy, PlanningPreparation and Initiation.

Coming up next – Execution

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