User Acceptance Testing in an Agile Environment

Agile introduced user acceptance testing to all stages of the software-development process. Agile invites business stakeholders such as product owners into the fold to ensure they are satisfied. The critical component of testing is user acceptance testing (UAT), where business stakeholders decide if an application or feature serves its purpose. UAT is often the last phase of the software development process. It can be costly and difficult to discover that a product does not deliver as promised or has major defects before the product goes live.

This problem can be solved by product owners in Agile development. Product owners can provide input on the prioritization of user stories, how to establish acceptance criteria, questions from end-users, and feature approval for release. Business stakeholders will find fewer major defects if they test the product earlier in the process.

This article will show you how to integrate UAT in Agile workflows before, during, and after a sprint. We will also discuss best practices for user acceptance testing.

UAT in Scrum or Agile ceremonies

When team members receive updates and share important information, ceremonies are held during an Agile development project. These events are a time to focus on UAT.

Before the sprint. Sprint planning sessions must be attended by the product owner. They must also be available to participate in daily standups if necessary during the sprint. Bring the business stakeholders early if a sprint is dedicated for UAT so that they can perform the testing efficiently.

During sprint. The sooner UAT testers are involved, the more comfortable they will become with user stories. These business stakeholders can also provide input that will shape the final product. UAT testers can provide feedback early in development and testing by demonstrating the product .

After the sprint. Sprint review meetings should be attended by product owners and other business stakeholders who perform UAT. This meeting provides feedback on the features and backlog that the team has developed. These features can be released by the product owner at this meeting.

Three Amigos Meetings

Development teams can clarify and create user stories with the Three Amigos to help them meet their acceptance criteria.

Three perspectives are combined in a Three Amigos Session:

  1. What do customers want from businesses?
  2. Developers: How to implement the user story
  3. How to test the user story to meet customer expectations.

While Three Amigos sessions typically have three representatives, it’s important to include other people when you require their expertise or information. If the team is developing a feature that will make the application more accessible to disabled customers, it’s worth including a UX specialist or accessibility specialist into the discussion.

Best practices for user acceptance testing

User acceptance testing is more than asking business stakeholders to test the application and try new features. UAT success requires meticulous planning and execution just like any other type of test. These are some user acceptance testing best practices.

Establish testers who can succeed. Make sure business stakeholders are subject-matter experts and have the time to devote to testing. Many candidates have other responsibilities. UAT testers will not be effective if they are pulled in too many different directions. Communicate the testing window and timeframe to address this issue. The business stakeholders should choose which tests are prioritized and decide how they will be executed. Place user acceptance testers into a test laboratory so that their normal jobs don’t distract them.

Create a realistic environment and test data. The UAT environment should not be mixed with the QA environment. A complete refresh is an option if this is not possible. To ensure that the environment is working properly, QA professionals must inspect it before UAT.

Develop test criteria. A QA leader or manager should work with QA professionals in order to ensure that all test coverage has been completed. Test cases and scripts are not as effective as checklists. Testing user stories should be based on acceptance criteria.

Separate UAT and other QA testing. It is just as important to understand what UAT does not include. UAT should not be duplicated by user acceptance tests . UAT does not address risk. However, the priority and risk assessment of these tests should be based on the perspective of the user.

Before the IT team can deploy the software to production, the business stakeholders must agree to the feature or application. The customer will then find any problems and defects. Do not underestimate the importance of additional testing before you make any final decisions.