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Streamlining Your UAT Testing in 5 Steps

by René Ceelen, on June 23, 2023


The concept of UAT testing—validating a system's functionality, usability, and overall user satisfaction with what was developed—sounds easy on paper.

But as any quality assurance (QA) manager knows, it’s not always as easy as it sounds – and every software testing cycle can be very different and have its own unique challenges. From working across timezones and coordinating on defect resolution to preparing all of the test environments and datasets, QA professionals have a lot of tasks to juggle and roadblocks to avoid when it comes time for UAT testing. 

Searching for an effective UAT test plan template? >>

If you’re looking to streamline your UAT testing, smooth out any bumps and pitfalls, and get the most out of your team’s work, here are five steps your QA team should be integrating into your UAT testing program.

The 5 Steps Toward More Streamlined UAT Testing

Whether your team is comprised of seasoned QA professionals or you’re just establishing your organization’s best practices, here are five steps all teams can take for a smoother, more effective UAT testing process:

Step 1: Establish Clear UAT Testing Objectives and Scope

One of the first steps your team can take in streamlining your UAT testing process is ensuring clear objectives and scope for each testing cycle that are communicated to all team members involved. 

Starting with clear boundaries helps prevent scope creep and keeps your team on schedule and able to move ahead without wondering what they should be doing next. Even better, involving stakeholders in the process ensures that the testing objectives align with their requirements, building buy-in and engagement from the start.

Step 2: Design a Comprehensive Test Plan

Next, focus on ensuring thorough testing coverage by drafting a comprehensive test plan. A solid test plan includes:

  • The key functionalities and features that need to be tested
  • High-level test plans that align with the stated objectives
  • Test cases and scenarios that cover all relevant use cases
  • Prioritization criteria and issue resolution guidance
  • The required resources and timelines for testing
  • Determinations for if and when automated testing can occur and when it shouldn’t be used

The end result should be a test plan that outlines the scope, key functionality to be tested, prioritized test cases based on criticality and impact, and an appropriate assignment of testers aligned with the available timeline.

Step 3: Prepare Test Data and Environment

It’s never too early in your UAT testing process to focus on preparing the necessary representative and realistic test data and aligning and pre-loading it into test environments as they are readied. 

Your team can also make future UAT efforts easier by documenting test environment configuration standards and requirements in a test management tool to provide quick reference. This step is crucial for maintaining consistency and accuracy throughout the testing process.

Step 4: Facilitate Test Execution

When it’s time to begin testing, using a test management tool can greatly streamline the test execution phase. Not only does a test management tool help QA managers administer and prepare the test runs, but it can also help with:

  • Assigning test cases
  • Tracking test results
  • Structuring and organizing follow-up tests
  • Storing test cases
  • Communicating among testing teams

Leading test management tools also make the process of creating status reports on testing progress easier, allowing for easy consolidation of any issues or defects encountered during testing as well as tests completed and those outstanding compared to the planned schedule.

Step 5: Foster Collaboration on Defect Resolution

Finally, in stressful and hurried QA testing periods, it’s critical to encourage clear communication between testers and the QA team, especially when it comes to documenting and resolving defects. For example, it is important to clearly document defects and the environments where they were present, and to ensure this feedback flows smoothly back to the development team. 

Test management tools can provide the necessary structure for capturing tester feedback and facilitating the analysis of UAT test results, assisting with the prioritization for rework and retesting helps ensure that critical issues are addressed promptly. Additionally, test management tools can assist with end-to-end traceability, providing a comprehensive view of the testing process.

Bringing It All Together

Although no UAT testing experiences are the same, these five steps can help your QA team go a long way toward streamlining its UAT testing process, increasing efficiency, setting a high standard for tester engagement, and delivering the high-quality software your customers expect. 

The linchpin for all of these changes often comes with the help of a powerful and dynamic test management tool to:

  • Share, document, design, track, and communicate testing activities
  • Foster the necessary collaboration for effective defect resolution
  • Achieve a smooth and successful UAT testing cycle

Interested in learning more tips, recommendations, and tricks to improve your UAT testing from QA professionals like you? Download TestMonitor’s 2023 UAT Testing Survey Report.

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