Now that the system has been tested by the developer during their unit tests, the load test is complete and the quality assurance team has successfully executed their standard and new test cases, we are ready for our restaurant’s “Pre-Opening Reception”. The acceptance test is a purely black box test. The end user should focus on two questions.
- Does the new functionality work as I requested?
- Does the old functionality work as well as it use to?
I find the analogy between acceptance testing and a restaurant pre-opening reception very helpful. To illustrate this point read this short article on pre-opening preparation. Using the checklist in this article, here is what I find important for acceptance testing:
1. Invite those who have been most helpful to the requirements phase. Each and every stake holder should be invited or provide a representative who understands the requirements of the new functionality. It is difficult to have someone test the system who does not know what the requirements are. Knowledgeable testers are important.
It is also important to have a representative of the customer support team attend this test. This gives them a firsthand overview of the new functionality. Your customer support also has a better understanding of how the end users use the system than anyone.
2. Insure the development team has scheduled resources to fix bugs and that your team is ready to test development fixes. Agree on a fixed turn-around time. You must have a robust reporting and followup solution in place. Bugs which are discovered must be taken seriously and resolved as quickly as possible.
3. Make sure you have the test staffed with enough quality assurance analysts to comfortably assist the testers, especially if the test is to run more than one business day. It is of little benefit to sit testers in a room on their own and let them have a go at the system. Quality acceptance testing requires support.
4. Insure the test cases are clear and efficient including alternate workflows. Try to raise exceptions. It is also advisable to observe and note how the testers instinctively use the system. This serves as an early warning as to issues which may be reported as bugs but are not.
5. In your introduction to the acceptance test, insure you explain the new features. Getting testers excited about new functionality is the first step in getting the end users excited. Heightened anticipation about any product is a huge plus.
6. Follow up with a quick note of gratitude to each tester and their supervisor. This will go a long way when requesting resources for the next test. Also, ask the testers to bring to your attention improvements in the test process they may find important. Insure recommendations are taken seriously. If you have the budget, small gifts go a long way to foster a since of good will between the quality assurance team and the enterprise.
Click here for Part Four – Selecting the Most Appropriate Test Type