Once the application is ready to be released the crucial step is User Acceptance Testing.
In this step a group representing a cross section of end users tests the application.
The user acceptance testing is done using real world scenarios and perceptions relevant to the end users. Usually the end users who will be using the applications test the application before ‘accepting’ the application. This type of testing gives the end users the confidence that the application being delivered to them meets their requirements. This testing also helps nail bugs related to usability of the application.
Before the User Acceptance testing can be done the application is fully developed.
Various levels of testing (Unit, Integration and System) are already completed before User Acceptance Testing is done. As various levels of testing have been completed most of the technical bugs have already been fixed before UAT.
The user acceptance testing is usually a black box type of testing. In other words, the focus is on the functionality and the usability of the application rather than the technical aspects. It is generally assumed that the application would have already undergone Unit, Integration and System Level Testing.
The steps taken for User Acceptance Testing typically involve one or more of the following:
1) User Acceptance Test (UAT) Planning
2) Designing UA Test Cases
3) Selecting a Team that would execute the (UAT) Test Cases
4) Executing Test Cases
5) Documenting the Defects found during UAT
6) Resolving the issues/Bug Fixing
7) Sign Off
User Acceptance Test (UAT) Planning:
As always the Planning Process is the most important of all the steps. This affects the effectiveness of the Testing Process. The Planning process outlines the User Acceptance Testing Strategy. It also describes the key focus areas, entry and exit criteria.
Designing UA Test Cases:
The User Acceptance Test Cases help the Test Execution Team to test the application thoroughly. This also helps ensure that the UA Testing provides sufficient coverage of all the scenarios.
The Use Cases created during the Requirements definition phase may be used as inputs for creating Test Cases. The inputs from Business Analysts and Subject Matter Experts are also used for creating.Each User Acceptance Test Case describes in a simple language the precise steps to be taken to test something.The Business Analysts and the Project Team review the User Acceptance Test Cases.
Executing Test Cases:
The Testing Team executes the Test Cases and may additional perform random Tests relevant to them
Documenting the Defects found during UAT:
The Team logs their comments and any defects or issues found during testing.
Resolving the issues/Bug Fixing:
The issues/defects found during Testing are discussed with the Project Team, Subject Matter Experts and Business Analysts. The issues are resolved as per the mutual consensus and to the satisfaction of the end users.
In the Traditional Software Development Lifecycle successful completion of User Acceptance Testing is a significant milestone.
The Key Deliverables typically of User Acceptance Testing Phase are:
1) The Test Plan- This outlines the Testing Strategy
2) The UAT Test cases – The Test cases help the team to effectively test the application
3) The Test Log – This is a log of all the test cases executed and the actual results.
4) User Sign Off – This indicates that the customer finds the product delivered to their satisfaction