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Is There Value in UAT (User Acceptance Testing)?

COMMENTARY 

By Eddie Williams

USA
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It seems that many organizations and individuals in a number of industries seem to know what it is, User Acceptance Test, but how many understand its value. Do you?

UAT, User Acceptance Testing (http://www.techopedia.com/definition/3887/user-acceptance-testing-uat), also known as beta testing, end-user testing, site (acceptance) testing, or field (acceptance) testing.… (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceptance_testing) is the last phase/process or activity of a testing strategy (Unit/component, Integration, functional/system and UAT) or development and system testing which includes unit, integration, and functional and system testing. This testing can be conducted/performed at the end of each Agile iteration before delivery/deployment or at the end of traditional development testing before deliver/deployment.  In the commercial industry typically before the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is performed, successful functional and system tests are performed by Quality Assurance (QA).

The Value of UAT

The purpose of UAT: User/client operational acceptance of a system, product or application. The UAT ensures the system works, is reliable in the operational environment and has no major or show stopping defects, deficiencies, or errors; the system or application is production or operational ready.

If UAT is performed after successful development and QA functional and system testing, who performs the UAT?

UAT is a test performed by the client/user representatives and provides the user\client representatives the opportunity to validate the system/product/functional components in an operational setting against functional and non-functional requirements and the applicable business’ Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) for operational use. It is a test process performed by the users and business analysts and other testers or by the users and supported by business analyst and QA. If you are client/user focused and understand the importance of requirements and expectations, UAT is the most important test in a series of tests before a product, system, or an application is deployed or released into Production or operational use.

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About the Author

pmwj20-mar2014-williams-AUTHOR PHOTOEddie R. Williams flag-usa

USA

Eddie R. Williams has over 25 years of experience as a program and project manager for system/software engineering and Information Technology (IT) development and management in aerospace, DOD, and commercial IT industries. He has been a Project Manager, Sr. PM, Program Manager, and Sr. Program Manager. Mr. Williams has been a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute since 1999. Before becoming a certified project and program manager, he held positions such as Systems and Procedures Analyst (programming and creating system/software specifications), Configuration Management Specialist and Manager, Software Product/Quality Assurance Engineer and Manager, Division Administrator/Manager (development methodologies, management and control).

He is also a coach/mentor and educator, has been a speaker at numerous conferences, and is the author of:  Software/Firmware Configuration Management (Within the System Development Process), Management Control and Quality. Eddie can be contacted at http://www.itprofessionalfacilitator.com.

Learn 10 Proven Strategies to Improve Your IT Project/Program Success! Visit: www.itprofessionalfacilitator.com

To view other works by Eddie Williams published in the PM World Journal, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/eddie-r-williams/.