The key user acceptance testing strategies your organization needs to stay on track.
Testing, more specifically user acceptance testing (UAT), is often pushed to make more time for development to address other issues. While correcting more defects may seem like a wise use of your time, it’s essentially creating more problems than it’s worth. Early intervention and identifying needs from the beginning of the process prevent these issues from happening down the line.
Public Knowledge® (PK) is here to address the most common ways to navigate the challenge of UAT and how to be better prepared for the process.
Creating a Testing Plan in Early Stages is Crucial to Success
While it may sound simple, keep test planning at the forefront of your strategy—during the early planning stages, even as early as developing your Advance Planning Documents or federal funding requests.
Evaluate your Organization’s Capacity for Testing
The first step is setting your organization up for success by identifying if your team has the proper skillset and capacity to create an in-house testing team. If the answer is yes, it is critical to identify, engage, and foster the integration of your key testing leads on day one. Involving these essential players as early as requirements design and procurement provides continuity with program intent and alignment with the system requirements in implementation.
What to Keep in Mind When You Need to Outsource Test Teams
After you evaluate your organization’s capacity and you find it is best to outsource, there are two key questions to ask yourself:
- Can you hire new testing staff and train them in your programs?
- Do you need to build time and budget to hire an independent testing contractor to augment your program staff?
It’s important to remember that external testing contractors will still require adequate time to onboard and learn about the inner workings of your unique program.
Internal vs. External Test Teams
Choosing between an internal and external test team for UAT is a significant decision that can drastically affect your timeline, and it solely depends on what is best for your organization.
- Can be made up of trained system testers and other business users.
- These teams would have greater business process knowledge and know what works and doesn’t work for their specific programs and business goals and objectives.
- Can be either a Testing Contractor or a testing team from a partner agency.
- Outsourcing your testing to a specific Testing Contractor or partner agency provides you with best-of-breed testing approaches and standards.
- You can also ask them to perform parallel UAT testing alongside the system/solution contractor for an independent point of view and improved downstream results.
Something to Keep in Mind
Finding defects during testing is good when you plan well and maintain adequate UAT time in your schedule. The problem is finding issues during production.
Best Practices When It Comes to UAT
As an organization equipped with first-hand experience, we offer three critical things to keep in mind:
- Do not have system vendors perform your user acceptance testing planning and test design. It is okay to use any templates, plans, scripts, and test cases as a starting point, but it is critical to take ownership to make modifications and updates to reflect your practices. Development and UAT should be independent of each other for best results.
- Involve your testing team early.
- Ensure that your testing team knows your programs as much as they know how to create test scripts and test cases.