The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made in User Acceptance Testing

by Thijs Kok, on November 30, 2021

Summary: This article highlights common mistakes to avoid in user acceptance testing and offers strategies to improve the process for better end-user satisfaction and product success.

After weeks—if not months—of development and initial testing, it can be tempting to rush (or even overlook) user acceptance testing (UAT).

However, bypassing or undervaluing this phase of your software testing can come with some stark consequences, including delivering products that may functionally work but fail to provide the usability that customers need. You could also miss a unique chance to build end-user buy-in before your official launch.

Often, the reason behind speeding through (or past) UAT is the amount of time it can take to set up and administer testing and remediate the issues found. After years of working with a wide range of customers, the team at TestMonitor has found that if you focus on avoiding some key mistakes, your overall UAT can run much more smoothly.

So how can your organization avoid the common pitfalls? Here are five of the most common mistakes we see in the UAT phase and how to avoid them.

1. Lacking End-User Involvement

The ultimate goal for UAT is to help your team better serve your customers.

This is why it is vital to involve internal and external stakeholders in the process early and often, including developing requirements and standards for testing.

Take some time to identify the stakeholders who should be involved in the testing process and be upfront about your expectations for their time and effort. Once testing is underway, utilize tools that make reporting testing status straightforward so that stakeholders know where they are in the process. 

Doing so will ensure your UAT occurs with no surprises on either end, meeting both groups’ goals.

2. Failing to Plan

We’ve all heard the adage: “If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.” With UAT and all of its moving parts, failing to develop a firm test plan that outlines the key aspects and phases can be a critical error.

Knowing how to move from requirements to test cases to test runs and when you will need certain UAT testers are not things you want to learn on the fly. 

It’s expected that some parts of your plan will change, but developing well-thought-out acceptance criteria and thinking through the timeline, steps, and stakeholders can prevent frustration, wasted time, and confusion. This can contribute to a big boost in momentum to reach the final launch.

3. Going It Alone

Understandably, UAT can be complicated for any organization. 

Take advantage of the best practices, industry experience, expert support, and latest industry test management tools designed specifically for software testing to streamline and boost the effectiveness of your testing.

4. Failing to Think with the End in Mind

Although the idea of saving time by bypassing or speeding through UAT can be tempting, the defects that may slip through and ultimately launch with your software can have wide-reaching implications.

Not only can customers lose trust in your brand, but also your organization will likely incur additional—and potentially costly—patches and updates to be distributed to customers.

5. Forgetting UAT Is Also a Skill

Conducting UAT isn’t just an activity that organizations do—it is a skill that can become more efficient and effective with time. Your team members can also develop their skills as they gain experience conducting UAT. 

To expedite this learning process and avoid mistakes, use preconfigured test cases, blueprints, and test management tools that offer customizable dashboards, notifications, and reports to build more trust and strength in your UAT capabilities. 

Also, take the time to document lessons learned after each UAT phase and record those in a knowledge base to share with future teams to avoid making the same mistakes twice.

Take Your UAT to the Next Level

Although UAT can be stressful and intensive, it is essential to remember that your organization doesn’t have to go it alone. 

TestMonitor provides an industry-leading test management tool designed specifically to add the necessary rigor, visibility, and efficiencies to testing processes.

Ready to try out TestMonitor’s industry-leading test management solution for yourself? Contact us for a free demo.

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