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How do you approach user acceptance testing?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 13590 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Testing & Quality Assurance (QA)


There are three things that are important to consider when preparing for user acceptance testing: 1) identifying the right testers, 2) identifying the right test scenarios, and 3) identifying your testing and communication strategy.

Identify the Right Testers

Identifying the right testers involves bringing together a diverse group of testers that will be able to approach testing with different perspectives. Look for testers that have varying roles in the process, or come from different departments. At a high level, certain characteristics to look for in testers are: curiosity, unafraid to ask questions or bring ideas to the table, won’t just mindlessly run through a test script. Do not be afraid to mention these characteristics when working with team leads tasked with identifying testers from their areas.

Identify the Right Test Scenarios

To identify the right test scenarios it is important to go back to the user stories that you likely created earlier in the project. From these user stories you can build out several pertinent test scenarios, focusing on the particular steps the user needs to take and the specific outputs the system or process produces. Just like involving varying testers, make sure to involve test scenarios that apply to each segment of your testers. Good test scenarios will give the testers the actions they need to execute and what they should expect as a result.

Identify Your Testing and Communication Strategy

Now you have your testers and your test scenarios, how do you present those scenarios to your testers? I prefer to use the same UAT testing template with each of my projects so navigating the test script is straightforward and consistent each time. For each scenario, I specify the necessary steps and expected outcomes and then leave specific places for the user to document whether the test passed or failed and any additional notes they may want to include. When something fails I ask my testers to detail the specifics of what went wrong or any additional steps they may have taken. Additionally, I encourage general notes for each scenario, and this is where I glean my most interesting feedback - questions, ideas, and sometimes even details that would indicate things not quite working right even if the test was considered a “pass” by the tester.

Other Tips for Smooth User Acceptance Testing

  • For more complex systems or processes, kick off testing with a demo before asking the testers to go at it alone.
  • Specify a timeframe for testing to keep things on track. When initially asking for testers, communicate time estimates on how long testing will take and, if possible, ask about tester workload or time out of the office and work around those things.
  • Encourage open communication between you and your testers; let them know you are available for any questions or technical support needs they may encounter.
  • And finally, thank your testers and their managers for their time.

By doing these things you set up your testers for success. Successful testers will be engaged in the process, will approach testing with a critical eye and will feel comfortable bringing up even the slightest questions or concerns.

Onalee Edwards
Business Analyst
LinkedIn Profile



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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.



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