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Reduce Business Risk with UAT in an Agile Mode

User Acceptance Testing is the most critical phase in a  software development life cycle, as it is the last quality gate that checks product quality, compliance and accuracy before its deployment into production. A successful UAT is crucial for deploying systems devoid of errors and business risks. However, implementing UAT in an agile environment leads to reduced and frequent cycles of testing, which in turn mandates UAT testers to develop skills of optimization testing techniques, automation and work in cohesion with the development and QA teams, which come with their own set of challenges.

 

Realizing the need for more predictability and assurance of quality in the UAT testing phase, we (Ravindra Kambhampati & Srinivas Yeluripaty) put together this article to call out how test teams can operate successfully in a center of excellence framework, coupled with a few testing accelerators and methods, to really drive greater quality in the UAT stage. We discuss all this in detail in our latest POV titled 'UAT (User Acceptance Testing) In an Agile Mode of Development' at http://www.infosys.com/IT-services/independent-validation-testing-services/Pages/user-acceptance-testing.aspx.

 

We look forward to your feedback, opinion and experiences related to UAT.

Comments

I'm wondering about your definition of UAT. You say that UAT testers need to have skills of optimization testing techniques, automation, and work with development teams in an agile environment. But I thought that UAT meant "User Acceptance Testing"? which means they are the real end user. I can't see having a real end user participate in this type of testing. I guess it depends on the structure of your contract and what type of communication and involvement there is, but seems to me it is not typically the case. Sure the end user may do some testing, but I don't think they would be involved that deeply with development or need skills in automation testing.

Hi Phil,

Though I agree with your view point that the UAT should be done by the End User, there are instances where the User Acceptance Testing requires optimization techniques, which may not be the forte of the end user. In Agile mode of development, as the developement cycle gets shorter, it is imperative to implement efficient testing processes to enhance coverage with optimum number of test cases as well as automate majority of the business requirements. This helps in effective UAT in each of the sprints. The team should be a mix of business analysts (to help in user level scenarios) and testers (to help in optimization and automation techniques).

I can quote an example where we did this in the recent past. we had to test a dental application which involved testing of numerous combinations of diagnostic codes and procedure codes. In this instance, the testing team that is part of UAT, have helped in building a optimized test suite to ensure adequate coverage with optimal number of test cases.

-Regards,
Ravindra

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