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User Acceptance Testing: Process Stages, Deliverables, and Quality Assurance Place

Quality assurance is required to ensure a product’s technical quality and detect defects and logical errors in software. But QA testing won’t tell you whether the final product meets business goals or can function in real-world circumstances. User acceptability testing is critical to ensuring the development team builds the right product for the end-users.

What is UAT, and how is it different from QAS?

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) evaluates a product’s suitability for end users. End-user testing is sometimes known as an operational, application, beta, or validation testing. Differentiate between validation and verification in quality assurance.

Verification refers to generic QA techniques that verify a product’s technical elements to guarantee they operate.

Validation ensures that the product meets business criteria and is usable by the end-user.

Overall product testing validation and verification

There are two kinds of testing invalidation.

This is the first step of acceptance testing to confirm the product works correctly and fulfils business criteria.

Beta testing tries to fulfil user acceptability requirements. UAT may be done by actual users, users of prior versions, stakeholders engaged in the product development, and business analysts as end-user experts.

The development team uses this method to solve usability difficulties, glitches, and unforeseen system design and business needs.

Why do you need UAT?

Acceptance testing ensures that the product meets the requirements of consumers (specified during product discovery) and is ready for launch. In an Origsoft poll on UAT use, over 75% of respondents claimed they do numerous rounds of testing, with 57% citing product quality as a reason.

So, these are the key reasons why UAT is vital to your growth.

Ensure business needs are met. As stated before, UAT is done to ensure the product works in real-world situations and helps end-users solve issues. If you neglect UAT, you may overlook critical faults or system problems that lead to user discontent.

Adapt initial needs. When end-customers test a product, they may provide vital feedback on how to improve it. Receiving such input will help you change your needs to serve your consumers better.

Prevent loss. First, it’s cheaper to resolve bugs early in the development process. Therefore, UAT problems will help your development team enhance the product faster (this is mainly true for Agile models). See below for information. Second, we’ve all heard of products failing due to poor functionality or usefulness. UAT gives you real-world user input and reduces the risk of a failed product launch.

In any event, UAT demands planning and preparedness. To confirm your product’s legitimacy, examine the procedures below.

UAT phases

  1. Define critical deliverables and product criteria

UAT planning begins with a product needs analysis. The software requirements specification is the primary source of input information since it comprises all business and functional needs.

Company requirements are high-level organisational goals that convey business demands. “Clients should be allowed to utilise numerous payment methods,”

a technological solution to a commercial need. Implement PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and Payoneer payment gateways.

This overview will inform you precisely what to test if the implemented solutions function for the users and address business challenges. Business requirements may be turned into test cases. That will help you develop a testing approach. Consider including your business analysts, QA engineers, or product owners.

The last planning step is to create UAT process documentation. Your testing approach, guidelines, test scenarios/cases, and standards go here. The following sections cover user acceptance testing documentation.

UAT deliverables

UAT plan

Having a UAT test strategy will help everyone stay focused on the same goals. It contains all the details on who will test what and how. To fully understand UAT, you must understand the testing approach and entry/exit criteria.

End-user testing plan The strategy defines the product being tested, the goal of UAT, test types, and objectives. Your testing plan should cover products, purposes, scope, standards, testing kinds, testers/roles (process curators, managers), and reviewers.

Criteria. These are the conditions for testing the program. The development team, QA, business analysts, and stakeholders establish them early in the planning.

Entrance/exit criterion

These are the requirements for the software to be valid for users. Your UAT would end with matching acceptance requirements.

Scenarios. Test scenarios are fictional user interactions with your product. They help your testers navigate potential system use issues.

A test scenario should describe the test. “Check shopping cart functionality” is an example. Each user scenario has one or two needs. They are created to test the system’s usability using actual data.

Consider including end-users in the approval process to incorporate all conceivable use cases, both common and atypical. Also, avoid convoluted terminology or too technical explanations.

Tests. Test cases test and validate a system’s behaviour, feature, or functionality. Test cases are more specific units that must match all test situations. You’ll often construct efficient test cases from user stories and business use cases. Some test scenarios are:

The unregistered user adds a product to the basket.

Examine cart filtering.

Check the “shop now” button.

A test case is efficient when it has a clear objective, and the user knows what to do to finish it. An example of a test case user guide:

Start the app.

Add any item to a cart.

No need to authenticate.

Go to the cart.

You may also provide predicted outcomes in the test case to inform the user:

The item will be added to your cart.

The system will prompt you to log in.

Reporting norms Define a report’s appearance and what data the user should give.

Reports. When the test is finished, the output data is documented. Info might include diverse information depending on the testing criteria and circumstances. In UAT, QA teams usually simply need the tester’s signature. A sign-off simply confirms that the test met the user’s requirements.

After UAT, QA engineers or a UAT manager may utilise the deliverables to extract relevant data and report findings to the development team.

Traditionally, quality assurance engineers handle end-user input. Test results, issue reports, and pass/fail records are sent to developers to keep the team informed. The QA team may give software quality metrics based on end-user input to track UAT progress.

UAT templates

We’ve identified a few critical papers for successful UAT strategy and implementation. There are many ways to write them, but here are several templates.

A/B/C/D

sfsu template (download link) or iiba template (downloadable link)

Test case template

2nd report template When and how to do user testing

Acceptance testing may be done at any point of the project. However, it is usually done towards the conclusion of the development cycle before release. The following are two standard software development project management methodologies: Waterfall and Agile.

Waterfall model acceptance testing

Before going any further, let’s briefly summarise what a Waterfall model is. It’s a typical project management approach centred on product development.

There is no simultaneous design and design testing or development and testing. The whole process is documented and designed to create a fully working application without iterations.

Waterfall model user acceptance stage

Waterfall conducts user acceptability testing just before launch.

It can only be performed after the system has met the following standards.

The product’s commercial needs were addressed.

Finish the codebase.

QA (system, integration, unit testing) has finished.

Bugs found during QA have been fixed.

Minor cosmetic flaws are acceptable.

Create a UAT environment (UAT manager, testing tools, test scenarios, etc.)

In the Waterfall approach, user acceptance testing certifies software readiness. A product is ready for production if it passes user approval requirements. In such instances, UAT activities are for testing the system’s functionality, usability, and defects. The primary purpose is to ensure the product meets the original criteria and end-user demands.

Agile user acceptance

Agile software development isn’t as simple as Waterfall. So you keep iterating until the product meets your requirements. Agile’s lack of documentation allows for very flexible development and dynamic requirement changes. So the development team can swiftly adapt to changing client needs.

Agile user acceptance testing

The graphic depicts the Agile product development cycle. User acceptability testing may be performed at any stage of the project. The critical distinction between Waterfall and Agile UAT is that UAT is repeated (frequently within each iteration), and its findings may affect the original requirements.

Begin end-user testing with defined business requirements, UX/system documentation, testing materials (interactive mock-ups, high-fidelity prototypes, demo) and a user-acceptance environment (UAE).

Because UAT is part of overall testing efforts in Agile, it may take many forms and utilise many technologies. For example, early-stage testing might confirm assumptions established during the planning stage. Acceptance testing results are used to adjust requirements, system architecture, UX style guidelines, etc.

  1. Form a UAT team with users

As previously stated, current users may be recruited as testers. Subject matter experts, real-world product users, stakeholders, business analysts, product owners, or customers may be involved. You may also engage a freelance user-testing professional or leverage crowd-sourcing sites.

Aim to attract an audience through social media or a landing page. No need to be computer knowledgeable or acquainted with software testing techniques. You may avoid thorough onboarding and QA team engagement by using UAT with people who currently use or will use your product (or a comparable one).

  1. Onboard testers and end-user testing tools

Sure, there are tools developed for end-user testing. Most common tools include reporting, work overviews, and testing documentation templates. Here are some examples of UAT software.

Visual feedback on the software and online apps is popular on Usersnap. It’s a program that lets users flag issues, post comments, and exchange feedback. Similar tools include User back and User Testing.

FitNesse is an open-source acceptance test automation framework. Easy to build, amend and run tests for early feedback. The system generates tests based on user inputs. The output is then returned and highlighted whether it matches the intended outcome. This collaboration tool is popular among Agile teams.

Bugwolf is another tool for UAT. It includes gamification and competitive aspects to inspire and engage users. If you want to do online user testing, built-in payment alternatives will benefit you.

Well-known project management platforms like Jira and Trello support UAT.

Spiral Test dashboard

  1. Set up user acceptability testing and training

Train end-users to get the most out of end-user testing. Your testers and UAT management are to blame. Consider including the following elements in your training plan.

Introduce the testing procedure and goals.

If you employ end-user testing tools, train your users to use them.

Set criteria and norms for reporting.

Assist users in understanding test scenarios.

Allow them to use the testing environment.

End-user testing may frequently be done on the user’s side, eliminating the need to furnish testers with gear. This may also be done online. Complicated projects or sensitive data may need an office-based user testing team. A manager should also give documentation, tools, and assistance.

  1. Execute the tests

Once you have your test scenarios and cases, you can start testing. To help your users acquire the results you need, explain the steps necessary for each test scenario. Remember that your consumers are not testers. During the test, avoid using sample content or fake buttons. Misconceptions may cause students to fail the exam.

Having your developers ready to address any issues is also vital. Your testing environment may crash, or issues may prohibit users from testing. Whether it’s an interactive design or a functional program, users should be able to access essential functionality to conduct each test case in the test plan.

  1. Collect and evaluate output data

During UAT, you will collect a lot of data from the testers. Your QA team must examine it. The data is gathered manually or by a tool. You may also interview other people to learn more about their test cases and opinions.

Consider monitoring the proportion of tests passed/failed/fixed.

Panaya tracking dashboard

There are a few other items to consider:

Consistency. The amount of unexpected mistakes during the UAT indicates stability.

Test coverage. Several test scenarios/cases are written compared to the total number of tests completed. You may also compare your UAT results to the user journey map to see which features were left untested.

System usability. The number of tests was not passed because the user couldn’t discover a method to perform it. However, the whole UX is examined during usability testing.

Contract adherence. After the end-user testing, the requirements are verified. It assures that the software built meets the original requirements/contract scope, even after user acceptance modifications.

  1. Fix, retest, and sign-off

UAT faults must be recorded and sent to the development team. They must modify the code to address UAT’s findings.

After fixing the problems, retest to ensure everything works correctly. When the product meets the acceptance criteria and is accepted by reviewers, it is ready for manufacturing.

Roles in UAT

As previously said, UAT testing differs from other QA activities in that it involves actual end-users and tech professionals. Close coordination with the project manager and development team is also required.

The UAT team’s tasks vary based on the organisation and project, but below is one example.

Program manager.

This individual organises and manages the project to ensure it meets corporate goals. Before starting UAT, the program manager should create a program delivery strategy and business requirements document. They must also examine and approve the test plan and approach.

During UAT, the program manager ensures test activities are completed on time and within budget. Then they evaluate the test result and decide on production deployment.

UAT manager/leader

The test lead must plan and organise the UAT. This generally necessitates close collaboration with the PM.

The test lead collects and evaluates all business and functional requirements to build test strategies, plans, and scenarios. They work with the test team during preparation, assigning test cases and training to ensure testers understand UAT. Preparing and managing resources is also done by the test lead.

During the UAT, the lead organises the execution of test cases and records all outcomes. They keep track of test progress and metrics and create/maintain test reports.

UAT testers

The test team’s primary responsibility is to run tests according to the timetable and directions. Testers should keep records and report issues. They usually take part in retesting (if needed).

The project manager must oversee testing, give organisational support, and report progress—an intermediary between the testing team, developers, customers, and other stakeholders.

UAT list

Using the above UAT rules, we created a checklist to help you plan your testing efforts and not miss anything.

Beginner’s guide to UAT

Ensure that all product components are ready for testing. Issues not resolved before the UAT should be noted.

Determine the essential players.

Assign a team leader to manage the project’s papers.

Agree on the project structure, UAT team, and UAT paperwork.

Discuss and construct a first UAT strategy.

Planned UAT

Create your UAT team with testers from each market segment or stakeholder group. Ensure all participation paperwork is signed (nondisclosure, participation agreement, etc.).

Inform the team of the testing plan. Assist in clarifying roles, processes, and responsibilities.

Assemble and explain all business needs to the UAT team.

Determine entrance and exit criteria.

Assemble the business documents (test plan; scenarios; tests).

Explain the system’s acceptance/exit criteria.

Agree on reporting rules.

Conduct system and tool training. Assist the testers in reporting issues.

Prepare all UAT materials. Reserve if required.

Confirm the environment, management tools, devices and servers (feedback, problem tracking, content delivery).

Ensure you have all logins, security access, and test data loaded.

Running UAT.

Ensure processes are followed, and reports are filed on time.

The test summary report.

Post-UAT plans.

Analyse the output data by calculating test pass/fail percentages and classifying faults by severity.

Determine acceptance criterion status.

Compile and submit the final UAT report, including time and effort estimates to achieve acceptance criteria and recommendations for release.

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