Why do we need User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?

November 9, 2016

Written by: Stephanie Tuegel

You’ve gone through your initial calls with the client, you’ve finished your analysis of their old system and understand their wants and needs from the new system, and you’ve fully configured their data.  What’s next?  The next step of the process is system testing, in which you, the consultant, go through a series of internal testing stages and reporting options, to verify whether you believe the system looks good and is accurate to your naked eye.  If you see anything that requires updating or a small tweaking, then you’ll make those changes as you go.  When you’re ready to pass the torch to the client, we’ll begin the next step – User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

User acceptance testing is just as it sounds.  It puts the client, or user, in the driver seat.  They will go through the new system and enter in all the changes that occurred since the data file was converted.  This is not only a way to enter information in to the system, but is a training tool that allows the client some hands-on access to their system.

UAT will allow the users a chance to try out their new system.  They can go through day to day activities, and see how the system functions for their needs.  They’ll provide feedback to the system consultant, who will update as needed.  In a payroll system, UAT is used to verify that all steps in a payroll process are functioning properly.  It verifies that the proper people are going to be paid, the time import or time clock files hold the proper information, and all other aspects seem to trigger appropriately.  At the end of the test payroll, UAT will allow us to know if the bank received the proper direct deposit or positive pay files.  The most important points of this UAT are — Did my people get paid?  Was it on time?  Were there any issues?

UAT offers a few benefits to the client and consultant:

  1. Keeps costs lower because you’re able to test and fix any functional issues early.
  2. Maintains the reputation of the consultant and software vendor, by allowing the users to work together with their system builder or consultant.
  3. Peace of mind – when a customer can get their hands on the new programs, it gives the customer the comfort of knowing that they will be successful, because they’re comfortable with the product and their knowledge.
  4. Happy customers are repeat customers and great references.

So what is the point of UAT?  Well, simply this – UAT at its best will show the strengths and weaknesses of the system, and will allow you to see how stable the system is.  Additionally, it allows the client to become comfortable in their environment, and shows them how the data is used in one area compared to the next.

HRchitect has the skills and expertise to assist your company in all of its Human Capital Management (HCM) technology needs.  We provide services from strategic planning, technology evaluation and selection, Change Management, Project Management, and implementation services. Talk to the experts at HRchitect to ensure a smooth implementation and to help you get the most from your investment.

Stephanie Tuegel

About Stephanie Tuegel

Stephanie Tuegel is a Senior  Consultant at HRchitect. Stephanie specializes in guiding clients through implementation of HRIS and payroll systems. Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn.