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User Acceptance Testing  – the key step in system implementation

User Acceptance Testing – the key step in system implementation

Posted August 14th, 2015 by Cambridge Online

Why is it important?
User Acceptance Testing not only checks to make sure the system performs how expected in a real-world environment, it is also the point where the client signs-off the system as fit for task.
User Acceptance Testing is all about reducing risk to the client, by reproducing normal volumes of day-to-day tasks to ensure the system does everything the client expects. It’s usually during User Acceptance Testing that despite both the client’s and the software developer’s best intentions, areas are found to be missing from the User’s requirement documentation.
Many clients fail to give User Acceptance Testing the attention it deserves, seeing it as an unwanted or unnecessary task, yet the results of not running thorough User Acceptance Testing can be very bad indeed.

Risks of not doing User Acceptance Testing
If a part or all of a system fails it can have a devastating impact on a business.
Reputational Risk – not being able to supply your customers or pay your suppliers can leave lasting damage to a company’s reputation leading to loss of business or increased costs.
Legal Risk – it is possible that a system could break laws leaving a company open to legal proceedings.
Time Risk – a delay in the implementation of a system could lead to missing key business deadlines
Resource Risk – if the system doesn’t properly integrate with your organisation’s processes it can lead to a lot of resource being wasted working around the system.

Excuses why User Acceptance Testing is not carried out
There are many reasons given as to why User Acceptance Testing is either reduced or not completed. A number of clients believe that because the system has already undergone unit testing by the software developer and functional testing by the QA System Testers it doesn’t require further testing however this testing doesn’t test the many different ways a user could use the system, or for functionality missed from the Requirements document.

1 The Project is late
Lack of time is the most common reason for not doing User Acceptance Testing, especially if a project is overrunning. The idea is by cutting the User Acceptance Testing the client can reduce costs and get the project back on track, but by missing User Acceptance Testing a client may incur major costs rectifying a system after go-live.

2 Expertise cannot be spared
While pressures to focus key staff on their day-to-day roles is understandable, not involving them in User Acceptance Testing could lead to poor or inadequate testing that will have a severe impact on both their roles and a company’s performance.

3 Faults can be fixed when a system goes live
The biggest problem with this approach is that there’s no way of knowing what faults will appear. There could just be minor glitches or there could be issues that prevent the system from working. Once end-users get their hands on a system, they can quickly spot an issue not considered by functional testers. It is better to do this during the User Acceptance Testing as any changes made after go-live could be very expensive.

4 It’s a standard package so shouldn’t need testing
If UAT is preformed then many possible issues can be picked up and dealt with before going Live, therefore preventing a lot of heartache for both the customer, the customer’s customers and for us.

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