Written by Drew Simmons
In the first part of this two-part blog post, we discussed the steps to plan an effective User Acceptance Testing (UAT) process. In this installment, we will review how to effectively execute the testing process according to that plan.
There are two phases of UAT: execution and validation.
During the execution phase of testing, there should be a series of meetings scheduled. The first is a daily conference call that should include your project team and all testing participants. During this meeting, the client project team will orient testers, facilitate introductions of all participants, and guide the testers through the process. There should be three project team members in these meetings to ensure a reasonable workload for each of them. One person should focus on demoing the system as testers have questions about system navigation. The second person should focus on documenting items on the UAT issue logs as testers report them during these live meetings. The third person focuses on talking the testers through the test scripts. Do not expect your participants to test independently. If the project team does not facilitate the process, there is a good chance you will not get meaningful data out of your testing process.The second series of conference calls are for your project team to meet with your implementation consultant. The objective of this type of regular meeting is to debrief your consultant on the progress of testing, seek best practices about system functionality related to issues reported on the testing log, and ask for guidance regarding the resolution of the complex problems reported. You may feel tempted to involve your consultant in a greater capacity than what is recommended here. Testing will be more effective if you resist that urge. Another benefit is saving your budget dollars by not giving your testers direct access to your implementation consultant. Depending on the project scope, you can determine the length of the execution phase of testing. Usually, 1-2 weeks should provide adequate testing time.
Once the execution process is complete, you should schedule a block of time for your team and your consultant to validate the issues reported on the issues log. This is a prime opportunity for project team members to take accountability for learning the system, get comfortable performing research to discover the root of system issues, and determine how to resolve them. If you rely solely upon your consultant to do this for you, you will deprive your team members of a chance to learn the system and face the kinds of issues they will face after going live.
Keep these tips in mind as you proceed through the planning, execution, and validation phases of your testing process.
- Be invested
Make sure to establish accountability in your testing process. You want to ensure that you own it. As you go through the testing process, assign team members to designated tasks and hold them responsible for seeing these tasks through to the end. Delegating task ownership will lighten the load on the team by providing a more even distribution of tasks. By doing this, you’ll also avoid creating a single point-of-failure. You will also avoid draining your project hours and budget by not having your consultant lead and perform 100% of the testing responsibilities. Instead, rely on your consultant to provide best practice advice on how the system can enhance your unique business processes and supply tools to enable a smooth user acceptance testing process.
- Request Signoff
Signoff checkpoints are an excellent method to use to keep the testing process under control. Signoff documents ensure that you are giving your blessing on the testing process. These documents also clarify which items on the UAT issues log have arisen and have been resolved and identify any that may remain but are not critical to resolve before closing the UAT process. It also holds the consultant and the software vendor accountable for any showstopping items on the project. Signoff documentation establishes agreement among the client, consultant, and vendor so that everyone is on the same page when the testing process can officially be closed.
The key to a successful user acceptance testing process is consistent communication, establishing accountability, and thorough planning. When creating your testing strategy, you may want to remember the 5 Ps: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
If you’re preparing for system implementation and want the experts at HRchitect to help you with UAT, project management, the implementation itself, or any other aspect of your HCM technology, please request a consultation.
About Drew Simmons
Drew Simmons joined HRchitect in 2018 and brings over 25 years of experience in the field of Human Capital Management, including 5 years of experience with UKG Pro, to the HRchitect team. In his role as Director, UKG Pro Implementation Services, Drew leads a team of highly-skilled consultants to ensure high-quality delivery of Implementation, Optimization, Integration, Reporting, and Ongoing Support consulting services to HRchitect’s clients utilizing the UKG Pro Suite. Drew holds six UKG certifications and is also Certified in iCIMS Talent Cloud.
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