Okay, we are at part five of our seven-part series on Project Management in the Sale Performance Management Space. We Scoped, Designed, and Built/Configured our Sale Performance Management solution, now we turn our attention to the User Acceptance Testing. If we have done everything correctly up to this point then executing the User Acceptance Test should be a breeze.
But wait, there are some things to do related to the User Acceptance Test execution that must occur before that UAT execution actually take place. First, we need to get test cases from the client. What examples do they have for us to prove that the solution actually works? We of course expect the Users to test more than just the test cases during the User Acceptance Testing phase; however, at a minimum we need to be able to meet the hurdle of their test these cases when we move to the UAT phase.
So yes, the test cases should be developed with the client earlier in the implementation. The test cases should be considered and utilized during the build/configuration phase. We know what to build based on the design, but the test cases help us ensure that we were building it correctly as we were progressing along. User developed test cases can be adapted to provide the basis of a unit test. When a number of the test cases are strung together they can provide the foundation of an end to end system test.
The most important part of a successful User Acceptance Test, is the users. They need to be an active part of this process, not just observers on the sidelines. This is the part where they get to touch and feel the system. That brings up another good point. Is the User Acceptance Testing meant to provide training, augment earlier training, or to be conducted only after an official training period or process has been conducted? There is of course no one correct answer. It is often dependent on the Sale Performance Management tool being implemented and the size and sophistication of the client.
Many Sales Performance Management vendors offer training related to their products. But one vendor’s training course is not the same as another’s. Is the training offered by the vendor merely “a how to navigate the system”, or does it go deeper? If the training available from the vendor only scratches the surface, then the project team should plan to make on the job training a part of the User Acceptance Testing.
If the Users are doing their job correctly during this stage it is expected that they will encounter some (hopefully not too many) system issues during this stage. For the implementation team, it is typically their responsibility to receive and track the issues uncovered during the UAT. Users must be trained on what to document regarding issues, but the project team needs to be ready to facilitate the receipt of the issues. Once a list of issues is compiled the implementation team can work with the Users to prioritize issues, and then based on priority start to correct the issues.
Assuming any high priority or critical issues can be corrected within the UAT, the users will be expected to retest the system once items have been corrected.
If issues exist beyond the expected UAT period, then the project team will need to determine whether or not to put the UAT on hold until fixes can be made and the UAT can continue.
Typically, all high priority and critical issues are address before moving to deployment.