22nd June 2020
"A QA walks into a bar...
…Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 99999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders ueicbksjdhd.
First real customer walks in and asks where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into flames, killing everyone.”
The quote above is obviously tongue and cheek but you might ask “why do I need to perform UAT, you have already tested it?”
Within MtE we take pride in the quality of our software from requirements gathering, to development and through to testing. A big part of this comes from the relationships we have with our clients. We strive to deliver the best solution for them. We work hard to understand their needs and we want them to be as involved in our processes as possible.
Naturally, we develop and test everything we deliver but UAT is different. No one knows the business better than the business themselves, so it is vital that they get involved in the testing. UAT mitigates risk in releases and ensures that your end users do not become your user acceptance testers.
Don’t be afraid to UAT
Companies can be reluctant to perform UAT for several reasons. The biggest obstacle seems to be an uncertainty about how to write the tests, what tests to write and who will run them. It is perceived as a technical task and understandably that can make people nervous.
However, it is important to recognise that UAT is a business task. Functional testing will already have been done by the testers within the development team.
UAT involves the users of the system verifying that it meets their business needs. It can be a daunting task to write the tests but once the functional areas are broken down, this is a job that can be shared among a team so the experts in each area can focus on those tests. In addition, our team is there to support you through it, we all want the same result.
As a client, what should you expect? For UAT to be effective, you need to have the right people in place at the right time. Our software is delivered iteratively, and we see great benefits to UAT starting early in the development process. Early feedback ensures that we are all on the same page and confirms that we have the details accurate.
A schedule should be agreed at the start of development so that you know when your UAT phase can begin. You should also have an environment dedicated to UAT so that it is stable and workable. You should be informed about what has been pushed to that environment and what is available for UAT. Most importantly you should have help and advice available to you if you need it.
At MtE we are transparent and engaged with our clients. We know and have seen the benefits of working as partners with our clients to get the best results.
So, to UAT or not to UAT?
The answer is to always perform UAT. UAT stands for User Acceptance Testing (not developer!) and is a fundamental part of delivering quality software. The client receives the software and runs their own set of tests to ensure that it behaves as they expect and that they can run their day to day business successfully with this new software.