The old proverb, “measure twice, cut once” is particularly relevant in carpentry; cut a piece of wood the wrong size and it’s unusable.
In software development, it’s equally important. It means all the things that could go wrong have been thought of … before launch.
As part of every release, Abila’s Research and Development team follows rigorous quality assurance protocols to ensure the product is functioning as designed; that buttons work as expected and general standard operating procedures (SOPs), as we understand them, work as intended. However, once a solution is implemented specifically based on your requirements and unique business processes, we rely on you to test and accept that the solution is working per your specific requirements. Because no one knows your business as well as you and your users!
This is where User Acceptance Testing comes in. Designing, planning, and implementing a software solution is half the battle. Executing your day-to-day functions with that solution is the other.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is an extremely critical step in any project. Unfortunately, it’s too often overlooked and underestimated. UAT is important because your solution needs to work how it’s supposed to for your specific end users. A piece of software can pass all sorts of other automated tests, but those tests don’t catch the unique business processes of specific customers.
When sufficient time isn’t built into the project, or there isn’t sufficient capacity and expertise to conduct thorough UAT, a project can encounter a host of complications, each building on the next.
- Insufficient capacity leads to a delay in reporting issues
- Which stalls the project schedule
- That, in turn, can cause an increase in scope due to additional resources required to manage the project for a longer duration
- This can also lead to an overall lack of understanding of the solution
- All this creates an ineffective partnership between the software vendor and the customer
- Ultimately driving a feeling that there is a lack of accountability for the success of the project
How do you avoid this downward spiral of insufficient testing? Ensure your project is allowing not only sufficient time for testing, but that you’re building in the right expertise and resources. Testing is a crucial step in the implementation of your solution. One that’s used not only to ensure your requirements are met, but – perhaps even more importantly – one that gains the acceptance of your users. This enables you to more effectively and efficiently deliver a system tailored to the needs of your users.