User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is very critical in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). UAT is all about testing the software from the end user’s perspective to ensure its readiness for production use. It is the final step before software deployment and allows users to validate that the software meets their requirements and performs as expected in their environment.
With the help of UAT, organizations can easily identify and fix any issues or defects before the software is released to the end users. This reduces the risk of costly post-deployment issues and ensures a successful software launch.
If we talk mainly about complex enterprise software solutions like ERP or CRM, UAT is very crucial since it directly affects software adoption. Projects like ERP implementation require huge investment and maximum ROI can only be achieved if users adopt and use the software properly without any difficulties to manage mission-critical business processes.
What is UAT?
UAT is a type of testing where end users or representatives from the target audience test the software to ensure its usability, functionality, and performance. They test whether or not the developed software meets their requirements. UAT validates that the software is fit for purpose and aligns with the business goals and user expectations. It is typically conducted in a real-world environment that resembles the actual production environment.
Best Practices for User Acceptance Testing:
Listed below are UAT best practices:
1. Clearly define UAT objectives and scope
Before starting UAT, establish clear objectives, scope, and expectations of what needs to be tested and what criteria the software must meet for acceptance. Define the roles and responsibilities of UAT team members, stakeholders, and end users to ensure everyone is on the same page.
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2. Involve end users from the beginning
Since end users are the ones who need to use that software to accomplish routine tasks, it is recommended that they should be involved from the early stages of software development to gather their feedback, requirements, and expectations. This ensures that the software is designed and developed to meet their needs, reducing the chances of surprises during UAT.
3. Adequate Time Allocation
Since most of the time is consumed by development teams, organizations often overlook UAT or allocate minimal time to ensure fast to market. Due to this, often bugs get detected post-deployment causing embracement to development teams. To avoid this, it is recommended that adequate time should be allocated to business users to perform UAT.
4. Develop comprehensive test scenarios and test cases
It is recommended that QA teams should create comprehensive test scenarios and test cases that cover different use cases, workflows, and scenarios that end users are likely to encounter in real-world usage. Test cases should be realistic and representative of actual usage scenarios to accurately assess the software’s performance and functionality.
To ensure this, business users should be supported by providing test automation platforms like Opkey that make UAT seamless and effortless.
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5. Test in an environment close to production
It is recommended that UAT should be performed in an environment that closely resembles the production environment. The hardware, software, network configurations, and data, all should be mirrored from production. This ensures that any issues or defects identified during UAT are likely to be replicated in the production environment, reducing the risk of post-deployment issues.
6. Test with real-world data
Use real-world data during UAT to simulate actual usage scenarios and ensure that the software performs accurately with real data. This helps in identifying any data-related issues, such as data validation, data integrity, and data privacy, that may impact the software’s performance in the production environment.
7. Test end-to-end workflows
End-to-end testing of workflows and business processes should be done during UAT to ensure that all interconnected components and integrations are functioning properly. This helps in identifying any gaps or issues in the overall workflow and ensures that the software works seamlessly with other systems and processes.
8. Document and track issues
During UAT, document all issues, defects, and observations meticulously. Use a standardized issue-tracking system to capture, prioritize, and track issues to ensure they are addressed and resolved in a timely manner. This helps in maintaining transparency and accountability among team members and stakeholders.
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9. Communicate and collaborate effectively
Effective communication and collaboration is the key to success. UAT team members, stakeholders, and end users should collaborate seamlessly. Keep all stakeholders informed about the progress, results, and any issues identified during UAT. Foster open communication channels to encourage feedback and resolve any concerns or questions that may arise during the testing process.