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What is UAT testing?

In software development, user acceptance testing (UAT)-also called beta testing, application testing, and end user testing-a phase of software development where the software is being tested in the “real world” of the prospective users. UAT can be done through internal testing where volunteers or paid subjects use software, or more typically for widely distributed software, by doing a trial version available for download and free trial over the Web. User acceptance testing is where the software is being tested to determine whether the functions that it performs to do. In short, the software works technically. It is checking that all buttons work as they are supposed to and there are no glitches in the software. Experience of the early users are forwarded back to the developers who make the final changes before releasing the software commercially

User acceptance testing best practices

Simply put, user acceptance testing is a process of monitoring that a solution (piece of software) works! This testing should be done but people who will use the software on a daily basis.

Basically, you need to do the user acceptance testing because you simply can’t predict everything. No matter how much your QA team is testing your product, or how brilliant and intuitive you think it is, you simply do not know how your product will do until it’s in the hands of real customers in real-world environments.

You might think that your customers will be using the product in a way, only to find out they use the these 6 ways you don’t even think about, 3 of which break the product.

User acceptance test plan

UAT is important because a piece of software can pass 100% of its other software tests and still not work well for the end user. The piece of software should not crash and should meet all its documented requirements. During the tests, the users of the system test the software in real life scenarios.  To get it into the hands of customers advance is the only way to ensure that you reach this level. It is simply too much risk to skip this phase of testing. You need your product to work on the level to which the customer expects after the launch. It is important that materials given to the tester be similar to what the end user will have. Provide testers with scenarios of real life, such as the three most common tasks or the three most difficult tasks that you expect from an average user will undertake.

UAT analyst responsibilities

A UAT analyst (user acceptance testing) to formulate an approach to test the plan, prepare and execute test cases scenarios, provide progress reports in respect of the testing process and the results of the tests.

UAT tester Skills

  • They will test the system changes to prepare for new implementations and will create and maintain databases of known test defects.
  • They need to have strong technical skills, abilities and experience. They also need to have the following skills:
  • Good knowledge of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and testing process and methodologies
  • Problem solving and analytical skills strong especially for defects analysis and reports
  • They need to be able to create a UAT test plan, test cases and test scripts
  • Have undergone some sort of UAT tester training
  • Possess excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to interact with databases via SQL
  • With a sharp analytical capacity for detail
  • History of successful project completion working in a team; team player
  • Ability to multi-task and test different applications
  • Good time management skills and ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office

User Acceptance Testing plan

A UAT Testing Plan will often include the following information:

  • Business Requirement # (BR#)
    Acceptance Criteria
  • Name of Tester
  • Test Case Steps Defined
  • Date Executed
  • Test Case Unique ID (or number)
  • Test Case Name
  • Business Impact – High/Medium/Low
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Pass/Fail
  • Comments

Testers should fill out this form and send it along to their QA Manager for review. Test plans can have errors as any other type of project documentation and need to be reviewed by the team before the tests begin.

Final Thoughts

User acceptance testing is much harder and more necessary than people expect. UAT may be one of the most important types and the test on the project risk.  A great deal of attention should be taken to plan, execute and evaluate the UAT tests. These keys for UAT have worked for other organizations and the planning and executing UATs can work for your organization as well.

You can read more about UAT Testing Here.