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When implementing something as complex as software or a new integrated system of modules, testing is essential, although rarely appreciated. It frequently takes a long time to accomplish too. Actually being a veteran of many projects and much UAT, its fair to say, the longer it is, the more reliable the go-live. Often where a go-live goes smoothly, more than once someone has said to me, “What a waste of time all that testing was, as it went really well today”!
Clearly, anyone who says that, is missing the absolute point of UAT.
How on earth should UAT be explained to first time testers? It is a bit abstract when you think a bit more deeply about it.
UAT generally comes in a number of cycles. Two or three rounds of it, are often popular and even the thought of that, just needs some explanation to staff. Its imperative that proper testing takes place and generally I like to capture examples of UPRN’s, accounts etc, that users have actually tested, so authenticity can be verified. The UAT document is a living, breathing thing that should accurately reflect progress in confirming a new solution, will be fit to work when live.
As its teams of users testing, its useful to show handy progress of each team in chewing through the tests. Line graphs are great at showing this, based on how far testing has progressed, per team, up to 100%.
The first UAT pass should be expected to throw up a lot of issues. This is normal and its prudent to warn our testing users, that this may be the case, to set some realistic expectations. Once that first pass is complete, some revisions of config, data, workflow or software bug fixes, are likely to be necessary. Clearly at this point, engagement of your supplier is crucial and responsible suppliers, will have factored in some essential attention at this point.
After the fixes are in, the next round of UAT can begin.
At this point, in addition to our graph of progress, I generally add a graph of what’s passing too. More tests should pass at this stage, so its more likely to be a better motivator. Once we get to a high level of confidence, we have moved to being very close to be able to confirm we are ready for a final round of user training and the go-live.
To get your testers motivated and to understand the whole UAT process, be sure to set expectations, right from the start. They need to understand too that every day spent testing, potentially saves ten times that, if those issues are only detected after, rather than before go-live. Most importantly, they need to be able to deal with that fact that problems will be expected to be found, that’s the job of UAT.
Get in touch if I can add some insight to your data project, Integrated Housing or Finance system review or procurement.
Related Post: For your DLO, use the right software to meet your aims
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Kasabian - Test Transmission.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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