Acceptance Tests are important through the various stages of a software development project. It depends much on the methodology that you choose for that specific project. However, testing is usually done before release as the development cycle nears its end.
The Waterfall model has been a popular SDLC model alongside the Agile model. We will consider both models while we understand the details of UAT
UAT under the Waterfall model
We may get into further details once we recap all facts concerning the Waterfall Model. Depending on the product development steps, this traditional SDLC methodology has been developed.
However, since testing and development don’t go hand in hand, there is no overlapping of these two phases. UAT is performed once the development is completed and the system testing is done and signed off
How the Waterfall Model Backs the User Acceptance Stage
In Waterfall, User Acceptance Testing occurs during the ultimate phase of development before the final release. It should be performed after the application gets functional and code-ready
Benchmarks for Performing UAT:
- Business-needs have to be fulfilled
- Code base is covered
- All critical and high priority defects need to be resolved
- Minor visible issues have to be in an acceptable range
- UAT environment needs to be a proper replica of production environment and has to be up and running
The readiness of software is demonstrated at a specific point when user acceptance tests are performed under the Waterfall model. The product is considered to be fit for release once it passes through production after fulfilling the criteria set for User Acceptance.
Checking an application for all its bugs and functionalities gets completed following the UAT activities. The main objective is to validate the product features with the pre-set goals, especially the needs of the end user.
UAT under Agile methodologies
Compared to the Waterfall Model, the Agile Model of software development seems a bit more complex. It iterates every stage of development till the time the product achieves a specific functionality and quality.
In every phase, the iterations enable all necessary dynamic alterations and flexible software creation since not much documentation is needed for Agile. That is the reason why the changing needs of the customer can be addressed quickly by the development team.
How the Agile Model Backs the User Acceptance Stage
The validity of a product can be ensured by performing user acceptance tests at various stages of development.
Compared to UAT in agile, UAT in Waterfall is performed several times held within the iterations and the outcome affects the initial necessities.
It even provides feedback on the possible requisites instantly.
Points to Consider End-user Testing for Agile Projects:
- Pre-set business needs
- Documentation of the system performance or UX
- Ideal environment for User Acceptance alongside demonstrations, appropriate prototypes, and interactive copies
Different tools and forms are used for UAT since it is an integral component of the testing activities in Agile.
Such testing activities in the initial stage involve tests based on functional as well as non-functional needs.
All assumptions made by the testers during the planning stage are thus validated.
The acceptance testing outcomes at the end of every iteration are useful for modifying system architecture and other requirements like User Experience style guides.
Where Lies the Importance of UAT?
System Stability- The extent of unexpected errors encountered while performing UAT helps determine stability.
Test Coverage– The total count of test scenarios and test cases that the QA team writes and the percentage of such scenarios/cases on the total finished tests help determine the coverage of UAT. Comparing the user journey map with the UAT test outcomes helps determine the extent of untested functionalities.
System Usability- The number of tests that fail due to the user’s inability in finding the appropriate means of performing them helps determine the system’s usability. Usability Testing helps test the UX to its entirety. UAT is regarded as a separate entity while the QA experts perform it.
Customer Experience – UAT addresses the software experience as a key aspect of satisfaction for the customers. Ensuring customer delight is the primary goal of a product or app. The experiences shared by the sample users ought to be noted by UAT in every possible manner. It will help the QA team to extend their feedback to the development team. This, in turn, will help the latter in delivering an appropriate product to the end users.
Data-Driven Tests –. The absence of real data often affects system testing to a large extent. During UAT much of the coverage can only be extended even for some big transformational projects. Possessing appropriate data helps in spotting bugs in the most critical workflows. Till it affects a large database of users after production, it needs to be fixed.
Contract Adherence – Once the end-user tests are performed, the QA experts check the necessary compliance adherence. It’s about ensuring that the initial scope of the contract or the pre-set objectives of the development process are fulfilled by the software build even when some changes have been committed by User Acceptance.