Few days back one of our reader was asking about What is Negative Testing and Tips on Writing Negative Test Cases?, so we come up with this article and our readers also appreciated our efforts by liking, sharing or adding there valuable feedback in the comments. I want say Thanks to our reader and this just because of our reader and there support.
On similar line someone asked me about the What are the challenges in the UAT and how to resolve UAT issues or its solutions. So we initiated this article. In this article we are going to cover the what is UAT, objecttive of UAT, challenges faced during UAT, who is going to perform the UAT, how to overcome the challenges etc.
What is User Acceptance Testing?
In a Software Testing Lifecycle, the UAT, alpha and beta testing are the acceptance testing. These are performed at the end of the lifecycle when all the functional, non- functional and regression tests are completed. User acceptance testing is the final stage where the end users can check the software for its compliance with the business requirements. The UAT is carried out by the end users who are aware of the requirements and understand the purpose of building the software. This testing is the last testing performed before the software goes alive.
Objective of User Acceptance Testing?
The software is coded by developers after interpreting the requirements given in the documents. The testers and developers test the software based upon their understanding of the requirements. Thus the software is developed according to the functional requirements of the client or the organisation, but there are some business needs which can only be understood by the end users of the software. These business requirements and processes can sometimes be miscommunicated or missed and thus lacking the software built. Thus User Acceptance testing has an important role in which the end users validate the software whether it meets those business needs before getting live.
During UAT, the end users use real life scenarios and build UAT Test cases for real data; hence it becomes an important part in software release cycle. Thus any defects found during UAT are fixed at much lower costs than finding and fixing defects after release.
Who carries the UAT:
Many tester has question in there mind is that “Who is going to perform the User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?”. The answer to this question is simple, the UAT is carried out by the end users who are going to use the software. The UAT team is generally composed of Beta Testers. Also some organisations form a small group or team from its employees called UAT Team who test the software so that the software is validated from every aspect and every user role.
Challenges faced during UAT:
UAT is a very important and crucial part of software release cycle. Many organisations suffer losses due to flaws in the software release and improper UAT. Organisations face a lot of challenges during release of a software and UAT. Issues like poor participation in UAT, users reluctance to perfrom UAT, improper test planning are some of problems in UAT. Thus it needs to overcome these problems for successful software.
We will see some challenges faced by organisation during UAT.
1. Improper test planning: UAT is carried out in the last stage of software testing life cycle and most critical part. So delay in any of the pervious testing stages leads to pressure and short time for UAT. What happens is that in cases the test planning for system testing and UAT is overlapped. The software is deployed in UAT environment without even completing the functionality testing leading to inaccuracy in the software. There should be a proper UAT plan which should contain test cases and use cases based on real user scenarios. The test plan should also contain test objectives to validate the software better according to business requirements.
2. In correct UAT users: The UAT Testers are not properly trained and don’t have complete knowledge of the new business needs of the software. The organisation put the team of unskilled workers to perform the UAT thus causing improper UAT. Since the UAT team is built new whenever there is a software release. So the team is not aware of the effective UAT. Also sometimes the non-technical people are hired to perform UAT which face difficulties for technical issues.
3. The UAT environment and deployment: The UAT should be carried out on the different environment than the functional and system testing. If we perform the UAT on the same environment, it will lead to missing real data test cases. When there is a different environment for UAT, we need to take care that the latest version of the software is deployed. It will be a total waste of time if the software which is being tested is not the latest version.
4. Handling the new business requirements and defects: During UAT many issues are found due to unclear or ambiguity in the requirements and the testers raise the defects for the same. These defects are expected to be fixed by the customers ignoring the fact that it may take ample time to fix the change requests, hence at this point the project manager needs to take a decision fast otherwise it may lead to delay in the software release.
5. Communication Gap between the different teams : Generally there is always a communication problem between the technical team, UAT team and testing team if they are present at different locations. Email communication between different teams like offshore and onsite leads to a lot of delays which can take a full day for a small ambiguity in the software requirements. Thus there should be a proper planning and timely communication for an effective UAT. There should be tools where all the teams can collaborate and put down notes, log defects.
6. Customers offload their responsibility to functional testing teams: Due to busy schedule of the customers and unavailability of the users, the customers try to offload their work and ask the functional testing teams to perform the UAT. This leads to ignorance of the real user scenarios and inefficient UAT. When the software gets alive the end users find issues. Thus UAT should be assigned to correct users and skilled users having proper business knowledge.
7. Not Accepting the software: Sometimes the customers trying to point out mistakes to reject the software just to show their superiority. The business team tries to put down the development and testing team. It is very rare and happens only if there are some politics going on the organisation. It can be avoided by building positive relation with the teams.
How to Overcome the Challenges face in UAT:
1. Planning the UAT well in advance: We should plan the User acceptance well in advance. Performing random and informal UAT will not be effective in find the deep embedded defects which are the main troublesome for the software. If we do improper planning without any documentation, we will never be sure of the completion of the UAT. The planning should be in phases like at strategic level, logical level and later detailed level. The user should determine the standards for the UAT in documentation, change control process and time frames.
2. Involve actual users in UAT : Generally the companies hire a team of surrogate user who perform the UAT but are not the people who are the actual users. The actual users when work on the software find issues which cannot be seen by the surrogate users. In this case, when the real users are not ready to perform UAT, the company should hold few review meetings with the actual users.
3. Determine the test intensity relative to the risk and skill of workers: Some projects do not require exhaustive testing and projects might require extensive testing. We should perform a risk assessment to determine the area which are severe, critical and can be impacted, so that the team will focus more on those areas to detect defects and avoid negative consequences. The risk assessment should be formal and documented, quantified. Informal risk assessment cannot determine a critical failure.
4. Baseline the real time conditions and not the user requirements: It is the most important thing in UAT; UAT is incomplete if we do not consider the real life scenarios in testing. In UAT we need to perform both Verification and Validation. Verification is performed on specifications and requirements while validation is performed on real cases. UAT Test cases are built to test the software on real world conditions.
5. Understand the phase of UAT: Mostly UAT happens in the end of the project when the software is completed and installed. Before this all the testing is performed on the software parts but not as a system as a whole. End of the project is the worst time to find and fix defects because defects found during this time cost 10 times higher than usual to be fixed. We should involve users from he very beginning so that they can define the acceptance criteria when providing the inputs to the system.
6. Review the test planning: The Test Plans can have common mistakes or errors. It should be reviewed for proper standard by the QA Team or the facilitator or project manager
I think we have cover enough points here which help you to understand the problems faced in UAT. Also solutions will definitively help you in execution of UAT test cases. If you like the article then you can like/share/comment in the below section.
Have you faced any challenges in the User acceptance testing, please share your real life experience with our fresher tester.