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User Acceptance Testing

Need an information management user acceptance testing checklist and want practical suggestions to ensure rapid project delivery?

What is quality assurance testing?

The objectives of the quality assurance testing phase is to ensure that allUser Acceptance Testing software components meet requirements and are ready to transition to production.

What is a test plan?

A plan is a communications tool, which clearly sets testing expectations for all team members. The plan should identify:
  • Test strategy;
  • Test plan;
  • Test data strategy;
  • Test deliverables;
  • Resource plan;
  • Training considerations; and
  • Test schedule.

What is user acceptance testing (UAT)?

The objective of user acceptance testing is to certify that a release meets user expectations and is ready for production.

User acceptance test checklist

Scope

UAT testing should focus on testing a set of requirements (that is expected to move to production as a Production Release) to ensure that the release meets user expectations.
UAT testing should certify that the requirements meet user expectations.


Entrance Criteria

The following entrance criteria should be verified before UAT commences:

User acceptance testing testing should commence upon approval of the user acceptance Test Lead, Quality Assurance Test Lead and Data Architect/Project Manager who shall ensure that UAT test entrance criteria have been met. 
A configuration management process has been established and documented to handle requested changes to project documentation
The code migration process has been documented and arrangements made to accommodate testing.
A turnover package has been prepared and all code changes are identified in and made available to the Requirements Manager and test team. This includes database changes, changes to install scripts and instructions, structure changes, etc.
Code to be tested is locked-down and ready to be moved into the test area.
A user acceptance testing environment baseline has been updated with the release baseline. (i.e. the code and program versions in the UAT test environment "mirror" the production environment).
UAT test team members have been involved in project meetings since the requirements analysis phase.
At least one UAT test team member is on all applicable project communications lists.
The requirements specification has been base lined, is under configuration control, and has been made available to the UAT team for review.
All design documentation has been base lined, is under configuration control, and has been made available to the UAT team for review.
A business systems analyst has been identified and assigned to support the testing effort and is listed in the Test Plan.
Independent code reviews & review/checkpoints have been completed and documented.
Unit testing results have been documented and reviewed by the testing team.
Unit test defects have been fixed, validated or otherwise properly finalized, and documented.
Integration testing results have been documented and reviewed by QA Test Team.
Integration test defects have been fixed, validated or otherwise properly finalized, and documented.
Quality assurance testing results have been documented and reviewed by the UAT Test Team.
Quality assurance test defects have been fixed, validated or otherwise properly finalized, and documented.
A development team representative from each subject area has been identified and assigned to support the UAT testing effort (and is listed in the Test Plan).
A QA Test team team representative has been identified and assigned to support the UAT testing effort (and is listed in the Test Plan).
All required support files (such as account lists, flat file inputs, ini files, etc.) have been documented in the UAT Object Migration Plan.
The UAT defect management process has been documented and implemented.
The UAT team has been trained in and have appropriate access to the defect management tracking tool.
A Defect Manager has been identified, allocated, and trained.
Test Plan(s) have been completed and approved.
UAT test cases and scripts have been completed and approved.
Test cases have been traced to the requirements specification  through a Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM).
A unique UAT test environment has been reserved and under Configuration Management control.
The UAT environment has been verified as accessible and functioning including connectivity to all applicable systems.
All applicable test tools have been installed, verified as functional, and user guide/documentation up-to-date.
Proper user ids and permissions required for testing have been obtained and verified.
Test data has been received and pre-tested for validity.
Deployment and installation instructions have been successfully executed and validated.
Contacts have been assigned for their various component responsibilities and are listed in the Test Plan.
All applicable service level agreements are in place and updated if needed, including clear ownership of Incident Resolution.
Any training required by the UAT Test Team  has been completed.
Any waivers or exceptions to the above have been documented and approved.
A release schedule has been established and documented. This schedule must include periodic planned builds for defect fixes while in test.

Test Cases

End users should create user acceptance testing test cases with support from the Quality Assurance test team.
The Test Lead shall ensure that UAT test cases are recorded in the test management tool e.g. Rational Test Manager or Test Director.
One or more UAT test cases shall be created for each requirement included in the release and shall specify:
  • The steps needed to execute the test; and 
  • The expected results of the test.
Test Scripts

Repeatable test scripts should be created by an assigned resource, stored in test management tool and used by the UAT Tester.
Test scripts should be retained for regression test purposes.


Test Execution

UAT testing shall be performed in the user acceptance testing environment by UAT team members assigned from the end user team.

Test Data

UAT test data should be created as part of the test data acquisition plan.
UAT test data should be based on a sub-set of production data, produced by the production support team.
The UAT testers should not augment this data as it is should be assumed that QA testing has certified that the release meets specifications.

Defect Management

User acceptance testing  “defects” shall be identified, and recorded in the defect management tracking tool, e.g ClearQuest, by the UAT Test Lead (on behalf of the UAT Testers).
Defects should be identified as:
  • Requirements Defects i.e. functionality meets approved requirements but the requirements do not meet user expectations; or
  • Functional Defects i.e. functionality does not meet approved requirements as determined by the users
Defects should be assigned to the project manager who should:
  • Determine impact on project deliverables;
  • Approve/reject change; and
  • Create and manage Change Requests as appropriate to ensure that requirements are changed, reviewed, and approved before commencing technical analysis design, build, test and deploy.
Defects shall follow project methodology  e.g. analysis, design, build, review/checkpoint process before defects are certified ready for re-testing in the UAT Test Environment.
Defect resolution should be monitored by the Project Manager.

Test Results
UAT test results should be stored in test management tool , by the UAT Test Lead, as an “attachment” to the UAT test.

UAT Test Exit Criteria

UAT testing shall be considered complete upon sign-off and approval of the Production Support/Release Manager, Project Manager, UAT Test Lead and business owner who shall ensure that UAT test exit criteria have been met.
Any updates to test documentation have been completed and are under Configuration Management  control.
UAT Test Cases has been executed according to the test plan and any deviations documented and approved.
All required test types have been completed.
All defects have received a final disposition (i.e. open, closed, postponed, invalid, duplicate).
All closed defects have an assigned defect root cause. 
Sign-off has been obtained from designated stakeholders indicating test completion.
Other test completion and validation conditions, as specified in the Test Plan, have been met.

Summary...

User acceptance testing should focus on testing a set of requirements (that is expected to move to production as a production release) to ensure that the release meets user expectations.

The project test plan should identify UAT roles and responsibilities, tasks, deliverables and entrance/exit criteria.



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