User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

2 min read

by Sue Armitage on 4th July 2024

5 steps to UAT Nirvana

What is UAT nirvana?

A bliss-like state where user¬†acceptance testing is carried out¬†effortlessly by engaged business¬†users, helping to make software¬†release-ready and lowering the overall risk to an enterprise.‚Äč

This article is based on a webinar with the same name, and will cover the 5 steps to UAT nirvana. You can watch the webinar in full here (watch time 25 minutes).

The 4 pillars of UAT nirvana

Image shows a top-down view of 4 ancient Egyptian pillars. The 4 pillar of UAT nirvana are written over the image: Project, release, quality, people

Project | Release | Quality | People

1. Project

Ensure that:

  • You know the coverage, status & delivery date‚Äč
  • Automated regression tests happen before UAT starts‚Äč
  • Issues are rapidly found & fixed

2. Release

Well-planned and implemented UAT helps your business:

  • Regain control of SaaS vendor releases
  • Handle higher cadence of releases
  • Deliver training as part of UAT

3. Quality

Quality UAT should:

  • Needs 2 cycles of testing
  • Reduce lead times, impact and chaos
  • Have fewer issues, and allow for your to re-work in live

4. People

Having the right people means having:

  • End users that want to do UAT
  • UAT focussed on new features
  • A reduced impact on the business users

The 5 Steps to UAT Nirvana

1. Nail your regression

Often UAT is executed by business users and SME’s: this is not their main job. If they start to test and it crashes, then this will further reduce their motivation and will to get things done. Confidence in the product will drop, which leads to negative connotations moving forward even when the product is fixed.‚Äč

A thorough regression test before releasing to UAT will solve this; often, this can be done quickly with the right automation tool.

A man leans over a flat surface hovering a hammer above the surface. This represents nailing your regression testing in order to achieve uat nirvana.

2. Organize better

Centralized management allows the users to see what they need to do and plan accordingly, but also management can forecast release times based on progress. If the process is tailored to your own specific operation, then the overall project will run more smoothly.‚Äč

Collaboration and visibility are key here as often the participants of UAT are from different departments all over the company and even separate geographical locations.

An image of dominoes stood up in a row.

3. Make feedback easy

Not having to spend time re-producing errors already found and then documenting them will help save lots of time for the end users. With the automatic capture of test executions, the end users can easily produce feedback for the team with less effort.

Providing a simple tool to enable this will ensure a standardized format which will be consistent for all users.

A man in a yellow tshirt and hat holds a megaphone up to the camera. We don't suggest shouting, however making feedback is important for UAT.

4. Remove knowledge islands

Once processes are recorded and documented, all existing knowledge on an application can be centralized in one place.‚Äč

This can be used to produce training and how-to¬†guides so that onboarding will be easy for new¬†staff but can also be used by staff not familiar¬†with certain areas.‚Äč

Test cases/instructions can also be formalized and used during the process; they can be reusable and used for each test cycle.

A man in a tattered, muddy suit sits on a sandy beach. He didn't get the message that you should remove knowledge islands for uat nirvana.

5. Get in control

  • Plan ‚Äď what, when and by whom‚Äč
  • Monitor ‚Äď test progress, staff availability, issue status, and forecast resources.‚Äč
  • React ‚Äď redistribute work, change deadlines‚Äč
  • Report ‚Äď the outcome of the cycle
The view of a cockpit in a jet airplane, taken from the pilots perspective while in-air. Like flying a plane, you want to keep control of your UAT!
See how Original Software could help you get to UAT Nirvana even quicker. Our clients report time and effort savings of 60%.
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