"Testing, Testing" - EngageUAT Blog

Improve Your Testing Process With a Fresh Perspective

Colin Robertson on Jul 23, 2014


It appears to be a perfect marriage. The QA team that just completed your functional testing can be the same ones that set up the tests and conduct your User-Acceptance Testing. After all, they’re the ones that have experience with testing, knowledge of the product, and know all the use cases. So why not have them at least be involved in the UAT process?

A word of caution - we have seen many companies run into problems by going down this path. Using the rationale above, the decision seems so obvious. But this could lead to big issues down the road.

UAT is about the outside perspective

Depending on who the end user is, they could have a totally different mindset than a member of the functional testing team. They’re going to approach the system in a completely different way, much differently than the functional team could think of. The reason we have UAT is to have a final check against the business requirements of the end user. It requires the perspective of someone from the outside. If you have the functional team creating and managing the tests for the end user, you could have issues when it comes time for go live and the edge cases come into play.

It’s natural to be biased

Let’s face it, if you have your functional testing team manage the UAT process, they’re going to be biased. It’s human nature that they will want to prove how great of a job they did in functional testing process, and there were no issues in UAT. So, whether it’s intentional or not, they will create tests for users that they are confident will pass. By having a dedicated UAT team that’s devoid of this attachment, you will have a much more thorough and honest UAT process.

Conclusion

I, as much as anybody, would love it if the functional test team could conduct a UAT process. It would save us all time, money and a lot of hassle trying to put together a designated UAT team. However, time and again we see this lead to errors when the system is actually put into the hands of the real users, leading to extremely costly fixes. To avoid this, the best thing you can do is get an outsider’s point of view. If don’t have the resources to have a full UAT team, do what you can to bring someone with a fresh perspective to be a part of the process. Anything you can do to avoid a bias will help ensure a successful UAT.