Launching your next-level User Acceptance Testing (UAT) project can seem daunting without the proper tools. From the start, we should understand what UAT is and what it’s not. UAT is not any single process—it’s a progressive process made of many moving parts that tests how well you’ve done in developing your software. That doesn’t mean it’s complicated. These steps can be simplified within the context of focused planning. UAT is simply a journey with a set of tools that encompass specific steps and benchmarks.
What does this mean? It means that, when it’s time to plan the test, team leaders understand that the best strategy is to leverage a super-charged UAT tool that provides simple navigation and executes the right steps in the proper order. The result? A winning UAT plan!
Step 1: Determine the Need
It may seem absurd to imagine a project launching without first determining the need it will fulfill. And yet, this happens all the time. Teams get so bogged down in process details, they forget to actually define a successful UAT plan.
Without a high-octane UAT planning tool, the objective may be either ill-defined, confusing, or not defined at all. It’s not enough to define a test as “making sure the accounting software works.” Rather, you must define what success looks like when the need is met. Example: “When a user clicks a certain link on a mobile device, the device’s app store opens.”
Your test objective should be simple enough to define in a sentence. By understanding the need to be met, your team can better understand how to interact and communicate the test outcome with users. Finally, once the objective and stated needs are crystalized, deployment of specific tools can be launched to cover requirements, risks, test cases, and dependencies.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools
There’s a variety of choices when it comes to UAT tools. As you gather these tools, it’s vital to the success of your test to take into consideration the overall UAT plan and understand how the proper tools will fulfill the needs and objectives across the whole project—from high-level concepts to detailed communication channels for all parties concerned.
As we covered in our recent post, “4 Key Questions to Ask When Test Planning,” asking questions is the bedrock of any solid test plan. What does a successful UAT look like? What are key warning signs and risks? How will we develop an interactive communication platform for team members and testers? What are user expectations and fears? What UAT toolkit best serves the needs of the project?
The questioning process is like a funnel. It starts with numerous questions that can be asked by any team member without condemnation or judgment. Gradually, questions start to drive priorities as they funnel downward. Finally, a set of core questions arrives at the funnel’s bottom to navigate into the next step.
Step 4: Know the Risks
Your UAT test plan will never get off the ground unless it has a solid means of defining and mitigating risk metrics. Risk metrics drive understanding of the project’s eventual outcome. Your UAT plan and toolkit should identify test results with the highest risk factors (operational or financial risks, for example). And these risk metrics must be directly linked to test cases.
Proper risk management enhances the entirety of the UAT project. Defined risks can be teased out and highlighted via dynamic filtering features. By understanding, identifying, and mitigating risk factors, your project will benefit across the board with superior analysis of test cases, test runs, test results, and other issues based on your defined risks.
Stride through these steps armed with next-level UAT tools and your success will be driven by action-based strategies and tactics, rather than paper-thin hopes and wispy wishes.