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User Acceptance Testing – Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

  • 28/07/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

With technology underlying every business process today and given the pace at which new technologies are emerging, there is a need for enterprises to introduce new products and services at a faster pace than their competitors while meeting the quality requirements and the needs of the end-users. While focusing their efforts on quality assurance helps them launch superior quality apps, the success of a new product/application will depend on how well it meets the requirements and demands of its users. Even if enterprises will be successful in launching quality apps, but fail to meet the requirements of the end users there is high probability for the failure of the application.

Enterprises have to realize that better user experiences will translate into real business value and any time, money, and effort spent in ensuring this would help them maximize their earnings and build good brand reputation in the market. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) helps software vendors and end-users assure themselves that the software meets the acceptance criteria and determines its readiness for use with significant participation from the end users. Given the importance of UAT, though it is one of the final stages of the software life cycle, efforts should be put in by the organizations right from the starting stage of the software life cycle. Focusing efforts at the go live stage will expose enterprises to potential risks that would lead to expensive and time-consuming rework.

Critical to the success of UAT is the effort that is put in designing the right requirements and defining the acceptance criteria with the customer at every phase of the software life cycle. Business Analysts, who possess direct knowledge of the business processes, will have a higher role to play in designing appropriate requirements, which forms the base for testers to create the test cases. UAT should be performed in an environment that simulates the production environment and specific focus should be put on the exact real world usage of the application.

While several testing processes like unit testing and system integration testing conducted during different phases of the software life cycle will detect most of the technical bugs, UAT should focus on identifying the functionality and usability aspects of the application. An effective UAT plan with key focus areas should be prepared, appropriate test cases should be designed, and the bugs and defects should be identified and resolved, while finally meeting all the user requirements. Overall, an effective User Acceptance Testing ensures that the software implements the planned business rules and processes, while meeting the user requirements across various environments.

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