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Successful UAT Test Planning in 4 Simple Steps

by René Ceelen, on November 18, 2020

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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. 

Because of this, it’s important to select UAT tools that optimize the entire UAT process: test cases, requirement/risk management, test runs, results analysis, and issues management

Quality UAT tools will also offer multiple runs and milestone cloning, as well as comprehensive result tracking, smart reporting, filter and visualization options, intuitive user integration and third-party integration for formats such as Jira, DevOps, and Slack.

Step 3: Ask the Right Questions

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. 

TestMonitor can help your team take a deeper dive into each of these simple steps as we build your UAT plan together. Download our free e-book, The Complete Guide to Next-Level User Acceptance Testing, to begin your successful UAT journey today. 

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