At Hart Square we have had to adapt to delivering projects successfully in a virtual world. We continue to focus on managing all stages of our projects and supporting our clients at the same levels of quality and effort as we did pre-pandemic. This includes running User Acceptance Testing (UAT), which forms a critical part of any technology implementation project and is critical to going live.
There are two key elements to ensure UAT is delivered successfully, which I will explore here: preparation and delivery.
Preparation is the most important element and confirms that you are ready to undertake UAT. Firstly, it is important to understand what a test script, user story and acceptance criteria are; the key lies in agreeing clear roles and responsibilities not just for for who is responsible for preparing the scripts but also explaining what the purpose of them is.
By planning enough time to get ready and understand the process for putting your scripts together, you will feel more comfortable and confident in understanding the strategy. In addition, it is critical to put in place clear roles and responsibilities for the team, including your lead for triaging issues and agreeing a process for feeding back on issues that are found.
Finally, you need to have a clear definition of a showstopper which could significantly affect the progress of the project, and other critical tasks, in advance of UAT.
Once you are fully prepared, you are then ready to move into the delivery phase of UAT. The delivery of UAT virtually will require all stakeholders to be flexible for any technology disruption. Ensuring the right technology platform is used and following a clear and detailed testing plan, which has been put together in advance, will minimize this.
There are some elements that can be included to ensure the smooth running of UAT, including starting each day with a huddle with all testers to allow any questions to be asked and ensure that everyone is clear on the approach. Clear communication is vitally important, even more so in the current environment, to ensure that any issues are identified quickly and resolved efficiently.
During the periods when testers are undertaking their UAT tasks, you should maintain a continuous central online meeting to act as a hub. Regular catch ups must also be scheduled to ensure teams can raise questions or screen share to replicate a specific issue. By having regular catch-up sessions in the day, it enables the team to raise issues and feel supported.
Throughout the testing period, it is vital to have a dedicated resource to triage issues and ensure that showstopper items are escalated first, followed by high impact items. High impact items must include those which stop process completion and therefore block further testing of key functionality. This will ensure these are prioritized for fixing and can be resolved to enable you to move forward.
Despite the challenges with running UAT virtually, by ensuring clear preparation, processes, and flexibility – with support from your technology partner – they can be delivered successfully and fulfil their purpose.
The two most important elements to any successful virtual UAT are strong and reliable communication channels and a clear and well-prepared testing plan.
With both elements in place, you can ensure that being virtual is as effective as being there in person.
To learn more about system implementation management, join our training programme “How to deliver successful projects“. The whole course is invaluable and module 5 focusses on “Delivering a Successful System Implementation” including running UAT.