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Effective User Acceptance Testing To Ensure End-user Satisfaction

  • 13/06/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

There is an increased pressure on enterprises today to deliver quality software, while at the same time meet the business demand for reduced costs and shorter time-to-market. Customers expect enterprises to rollout superior quality products while every business is striving to deliver them to beat the competition. Though enterprises focus on the functional aspects, it is quite essential for them to meet the business requirements and demands of its users. Also, there is a need for enterprises to evaluate the readiness of the system for use and identify whether the software system meets the requirements.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) helps software vendors and business software users assure themselves that their software is functionally ‘fit for purpose’. It is designed to find out if a software system meets the acceptance criteria and determines the readiness of the system for use. UAT identifies how compliant the system is with the business requirements and brings out the functionality and business problems. It should be performed in an environment that simulates the real world or production environment and specific focus should be laid in terms of exact real world usage of the application.

UAT involves significant participation from end users and is quite different from system testing which is performed by developers or testers. User requirements will play a key role in UAT as they are usually fluid and are subject to review and change. Hence, BA’s will also have a higher role to play in reducing the amount of last minute change requests and ensure that all stakeholders, both business and technical, get satisfied. Though it is one of the last phases, business users must be involved at all stages of the project. It is crucial to define the acceptance criteria with the customer during the different phases of the software life cycle for effective UAT.

Most of the technical bugs might be fixed during various testing processes conducted during the project life cycle. The functionality and usability aspects of the system must be thoroughly tested during UAT. The testing team should develop the real world test scenarios for the application or system and implement scenario-based testing to conduct the UAT. An effective UAT plan that details out the key focus areas must be designed and user acceptance test cases must be prepared to test the system. Further, the bugs and defects found during the UAT should be resolved and end-user satisfaction must be ensured. All in all, UAT helps organizations to ensure that the software implements the intended business rules and processes, and meets the requirements of users in various environments, while mitigating the risks and reducing the costs of redevelopment.

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