Doing UAT Right

Of all forms of testing, user acceptance testing is often the most essential to get right. Why? Because it saves you money. Too often I find organisations underprepared for the task of doing UAT properly and I believe this is largely due to the organisation not knowing the true impact of NOT doing UAT properly.

In 2017, IBM found the cost to fix a bug found after a build was 4 to 5 times higher1 than if the bug had been found in the design phase. More alarmingly, it was 100 times higher if the bug was found after deployment to production.

diagram cost of bug fixing over stages

4 Steps to getting UAT right

  1. Define your UAT team
    It’s important to avoid restricting your UAT team to project team members. The most important group to include in UAT testing is the “real” end users of your solution. And the key word here is ‘users’. This is crucial because they’re the people who will use the solution daily. Every persona and stakeholder group should be included, which means that people from each group should be selected to join the UAT team. Prepare that UAT team early and enable focused UAT to happen by booking in the UAT resources ahead of time. Consider booking time in your UAT team’s schedule to enable them to adequately perform UAT.
  2. Confirm test cases and acceptance criteria
    Agree upon user stories and their acceptance criteria during the design phase of your project. Each user story should cover a specific use case or scenario of the solution and therefore lends itself to being turned into test cases for your UAT. The test cases are normally a set of actions which the UAT team member can carry out to verify if the solution has worked as intended. The acceptance criteria define what is considered to be “working” in the solution.
  3. Develop a UAT plan Consider the following when writing your plan:
    • When will UAT start and finish?
      – It is important that a finite date is applied to the UAT period to avoid perpetual testing.
    • How will the test results be collected?
      – Write down how the communication between your project team and your UAT team will take place while testing. Doing this prevents the project team from the nightmare of receiving emails, word documents, spreadsheets, screenshots (or no screenshots) and endless discussions through email and other channels.
      – Collecting and managing bugs in a central repository will also mitigate the risk of duplication of bugs, as well as assist with the management of bugs through the correction and retesting process.
    • How will you label any bugs found (bugs, feature-requests, usability, training, etc.)
    • Who will triage the results?
      Remember: the triage process can bury you. Plan ahead and appoint someone to manage the triage and confirmation of defects.
  4. Conduct UAT
    Provide the UAT team with the list of test cases (as demonstrated in table1 below) as well as for instructions about how to log a bug well (i.e. the bugs should include the account used for testing, the device used for testing, screenshots, URLs, description of how to reproduce, etc.). Consider holding a UAT ‘briefing session’ to take the UAT team through what is expected of them throughout the UAT period.
    With the UAT plan in place and the UAT team readied for the task, the UAT can begin with the tests being performed and the results recorded. Were the tests successful, or did defects result? Any bugs raised then need to be triaged, confirmed as defects, corrected and re-tested.

    Table1 – Sample UAT test caseSample test case:
    As a user, I can see news on the home page
    ID Acceptance criteria description Pass/Fail/other Comments
    1234 Verify that you can see a news carousel on the homepage
    1234 Verify that the news carousel auto rotates
    1234 Verify that you can click on a news image and be taken to the news page
    1234 Verify that when you click on the navigation arrows in the carousel, the image displayed changes.
  5. Close and sign off UAT
    Once all testing is complete and all bugs are corrected, the project team should conduct a UAT closure meeting. During the meeting, you should look to tie up any loose ends, and formally close the testing period. Signing off or closing the UAT period means that you can move your solution into production.

Many development teams, including Engage Squared, apply an agile approach to projects with continuous integration and continuous testing. Agile’s incremental approach allows more feedback, flexibility, and of course testing, so that every time a feature, fix, or function is added or changed in the code it’s checked for bugs. In turn, we have found this helps avoid preventable bugs – ultimately saving time and money.

 


1 https://www.researchgate.net/figure/IBM-System-Science-Institute-Relative-Cost-of-Fixing-Defects_fig1_255965523

Office 365 Matter Center

Update to SharePoint Lists and Libraries

I thought it is important to let you know about an announcement Microsoft have made this month about changes to Office 365, particularly with SharePoint online.

 

“Starting April 1, 2019, it will no longer be possible to restrict an entire organization (tenant) to classic mode for lists and libraries.” (Announcement here)

 

What setting are they referring to?

If a SharePoint admin has selected that the default lists and libraries experience to be Classic for the tenant, this will no longer apply. Here is the setting in the SharePoint admin console:

SharePoint Admin Setting

What is the impact to the end user?

Any list or library that is currently being displayed to an end user using the classic experience as a result of this setting will switch to the modern experience:

 

Classic experience

Classic Library in SharePoint

Modern experience

Modern Library in SharePoint

 

Can I still restrict lists and libraries to the classic experience?

Yes you can, Microsoft have provided a number of tools to assist. You can still disable modern experience for specific site collections via a PowerShell script. This can be for a single site collection or for a list of site collections. List owners can use List Settings to configure that list to use the classic experience for all users. Users can still use the “return to classic” option on modern views of lists or libraries to temporary return to classic.

 

Microsoft has also provided a tool called the SharePoint Modernization scanner which identifies sites and lists that have customisations that are not supported by modern experience (all unsupported features of modern experience).  Although many of these lists will automatically remain in classic experience even after this change, you may wish to keep some sites running entirely in classic to avoid users switching between different experience modes within a single site.

 

If you have any questions please get in touch! help@engagesq.com 

Enterprise Social Network

Changing the channel doesn’t change the world

I’ve been attending a few events recently about the various enterprise social network (ESN) platforms available to organisations to help them connect, collaborate and work out loud. These events are generally tailored towards organisations but even though I’m consulting now, I like to go along to learn about how different companies are using enterprise social, what successes they have seen and what lessons they have learnt.

During a Q&A session at the most recent event I attended, a question was asked that really got me thinking – “if the ESN we are using now isn’t working, how can we switch everything to a new platform to make it work again?” At Engage Squared, I spend my days talking to clients and helping them come up with strategies to engage with and adopt technology in the workplace and this question from another attendee sparked a million more in my mind:

“Why isn’t it working?”

“What have you tried to build engagement?”

“Do your employees understand the purpose for your ESN?”

There are a few enterprise social tools available to organisations and all of them are reasonably easy for an employee to use. With the ease of use and connection to these tools, it can’t be the channel for collaboration that needs to change, it’s the way that it’s used and simply changing the platform isn’t going to fix this problem. Sure, you’ll launch a new ESN, there’ll be some fanfare and the shiny new toy will get some great attention and use from employees for a few months but ultimately this enthusiasm will die off and so will use of the enterprise social network. Not even taking into consideration the time and money spent on the project to do this!

So, if you’re facing this challenge now – it might be low usage of your Yammer network or only one department posting messages on Workplace – think less about the collaboration tool you have being the reason and more about how you are using it. When tools have a place and a purpose within the corporate technology landscape, and employees can understand how and when they should be using them, it will give them the confidence to use an enterprise social network to its full potential!

Another important tip is not to rely on adoption to be driven from the bottom up. You need to have senior leadership support to drive real engagement from employees in enterprise social. Think of it this way, on LinkedIn the most prominent and successful business people have the most followers, comments, likes and mentions – imagine this in your organisation with your CEO! Now imagine how engaged employees would be with your enterprise social network if their CEO liked or even replied to their posts – that can turn an employee’s average day into a great one, just think about how valued that employee would feel!

Of course, it’s not as simple as just telling employees the business purpose and getting your CEO to click ‘like’ a few times to really see true adoption success on an enterprise social network. However, these are some key drivers for change and adoption in an organisation and by starting here you will begin to create a movement to work better, together!