One of the most important—but often overlooked—phases of the test cycle during a Sprint is User Acceptance Testing. This time is set aside for your client to approve what your team tested before releasing it to the world. We often look at demos as a type of User Acceptance Test, but having your client spend some time physically testing what you’ve designed and tested is extremely valuable.
UAT can be done as a final step in implementation or executed concurrently at the end of every Sprint. Regardless, having it become a part of the Test Cycle is extremely important.
Let’s look at some of the ways the UAT process helps the overall project:
Reduces Scope Creep
It’s common during project implementation to have a little more work than what was previously agreed upon. But ensuring the client knows exactly what they want and the team knows exactly what they’re developing helps helps mitigate some of that creep—and the costs that go with it.
The UAT Process gives the client a look into how the Agile team interpreted the given requirements before deploying new features or changes. The UAT Process helps curb extra work for everyone. The earlier the client is able to assess new features and give feedback, the better the team is at developing what your client needs and expects.
Helps QA understand user needs better
The UAT cycle also gives QA a deeper understanding of client needs, helps QA develop better test cases and edge cases for testing during the Sprint cycle, and encourages a stronger bond between QA and the client.
Armed with this understanding, QA can better triage bugs and defects that team members discover and help test bug fixes the client uncovers without having that responsibility fall on the client. It’s a win-win for all parties.
Maintains confidence in the product
Having a UAT process in place gives the client more confidence that the team is listening and developing according to the project requirements. It gives the client a chance to stress test the product using real-life scenarios. Having this early on, before the project is complete, builds confidence that the final product will be what the client expected from the start.
The UAT cycle can become a bottleneck for the team if not scheduled correctly. Just like taking time to test your product is important, giving your client some time to test is just as critical. Here at DockYard, we strive to include this step in our development process, and we’ve seen it do wonders for the rapport between the team and our clients.
DockYard is a digital product consultancy specializing in production-ready apps that scale wonderfully as companies grow. We offer a range of consulting services with capabilities in product design, full-stack engineering, project management, QA, strategy, training, and user experience (UX). For over a decade, DockYard has solved complex product challenges for visionary companies like Netflix, Apple, Nasdaq, and Harvard. We’re also dedicated to advancing open-source web development technologies, such as libraries and tooling built around the Elixir programming language. From idea to impact, DockYard empowers forward-thinking teams to build for the future.