Manager's Guide to User Acceptance Testing

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For most businesses and organisations, if IT stops, the business stops. Whenever a company turns on a new production line, opens a new retail store, launches a new product or provides a new service, there is invariably a new or modified IT system behind it. Going live is the culmination of time, effort, resources and finance. A problem-free IT system is the “acid test” of significant, often crucial investment.

Whilst the technical testing of IT systems is a highly professional and exhaustive process, testing of business functionality is an entirely different proposition. Does the system deliver the business functions that are required – does it follow the company’s business rules – does it support a government department’s obligations - does it cope with exceptions?

The people who have to make these decisions – to accept or reject the new system – are the business users. It is therefore critical to get the business user involved in testing and not rely only on the technicians. In this paper we explore the rationale behind User Acceptance Testing (UAT), why it is so important, and how best to go about it.

Author: Jan Kusiak

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