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What Is UAT in Agile?

UAT, or user acceptance testing, is the final stage in the software testing process. It is typically performed by the end-users or client to determine whether an application or feature fulfills its purpose. UAT must be completed before the software can be released to the market.

In the Waterfall methodology, UAT is typically the final phase in the software development life cycle. However, in Agile software teams, user acceptance testing is done for each iteration of working software.

How to perform UAT in Agile

There are six steps involved in conducting Agile user acceptance testing. These are:

  1. Analyze the business requirements: It’s important to understand the business and functional requirements of your software. For example, if a business requirement is for customers to have multiple payment methods, the functional requirement is to set up various payment gateways. Analyzing these requirements will show you what needs to be tested.
  2. Create a UAT plan: The UAT plan outlines the strategy for UAT testing in Agile. It documents the entry and exit criteria, test scenarios/cases, and timelines of the testing.
  3. Identify test scenarios and test cases: Test scenarios are the hypothetical situations your users may encounter as they interact with your software and are written to guide testers through possible problems. A test case, meanwhile, is a set of specific actions taken to test a particular feature or functionality. Both test scenarios and test cases are created from your analysis of the business requirements.
  4. Select your testing team: Testers can be recruited from your existing user base and often include real-world users, subject matter experts, stakeholders, the product owner, or the customer. The test scenarios and test cases must be clearly defined for the testers.
  5. Run tests and record the results: The testers run the test scenarios and test cases. Bugs are logged and re-tested once fixed. Data from user reports can provide more insight into the test cases performed.
  6. Sign off: Once the team has addressed the issues revealed by the UAT, the testing team indicates acceptance of the software. This means that the product meets user requirements and is ready for release.

UAT best practices in Agile

Here are some best practices to ensure an efficient process for UAT in Agile:

  • Plan Agile user acceptance testing in advance. Usually, UAT is conducted prior to launch when teams are already under pressure to meet deadlines. Planning for UAT will ensure that you do not miss any important test cases.
  • Know your target audience. Who will be using your software? What are their needs? What problems could your software solve? Attempting to answer these questions will save you from wasting time on features that don’t work.
  • Be specific. Your test cases should be as detailed as possible to guide testers during the UAT in Agile process. Create a step-by-step plan that shows them which buttons to click, what results to expect, etc. 
  • Have well-defined acceptance criteria. You must determine the metrics for success before carrying out UAT testing in Agile. Your acceptance criteria must be measurable, simple, and account for the user’s perspective.

Incorporating UAT into your Agile workflow ensures that your product meets the needs of your end-users, saving any potential time, money, and effort spent addressing problems after the launch.

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