A golfer wouldn’t use a driver to chip a golf ball from a sand trap or a pitching wedge to attempt a 300 yard drive from the tee. He matches the club by its purpose to the goals and conditions of his next shot. VMC expert Galen Erickson talks about why it’s equally important to be purpose driven in selecting just the right User Acceptance Testing (UAT) participants.
We select a specific mix of participants based on the kind of UAT we’re performing. We don’t send out blanket inquiries to every person who uses a tool because users have different proficiency levels. It’s hard to perform UAT with participants who are technically users of a tool but barely touch it on a daily basis.
We take three different routes to find participants: solutions and delivery teams, field deployment teams, and project management teams. We interview people from these groups and develop a list of potential UAT participants. We want to get diverse representation, to see a tool from all angles.
People from solutions and delivery teams often have specific ideas on how they’d like a tool changed or adjusted. They’re tapped into end user concerns, so they have solid recommendations for UAT participants. People from field deployment teams are concerned with how to manage the new or updated version of a tool because they train end users to get up to speed; participants recommended by this group tend to orient around that. We also find UAT participants through project management teams. These participants have very specific requirements that we purposely want to target and test.
It takes strategic participant selection to conduct a UAT that effectively determines whether users will consider your solution up to par. What are you doing to drive greater user acceptance by choosing the right representation for your validation team?