A mirage is the natural distortion of light that allows a viewer to see reflections of distant or nonexistent objects. As the viewer approaches the mirage, it disappears. VMC’s Damian Gibbs explains that so-called “bugs” in User Acceptance Testing (UAT), like mirages, are sometimes not what they appear to be.
By UAT, it is expected that technical bugs related to the functionality of a solution or tool have already been fixed. In UAT, we look for bugs that interfere with the usability and business process alignment of an application. However, it can be difficult for participants to know which issues are bugs and which issues arise due to something else entirely.
If the non-prescriptive script that gives direction to the participants is too vague, participants fill in the gaps and make educated guesses. Sometimes, the guesses don’t work out and participants think it’s a bug. To avoid this, it’s important to pick the right mix of power users in the UAT participant pool, and it’s important to find the right balance when creating scripts – to not give away too much information, but also to not be overly ambiguous.
Perceived “bugs” can also be flukes. When an issue is logged, it’s important to for the UAT team to try and reproduce the issue. If the team can’t, they contact the participant who logged the issue and go over the steps that led to the issue. The issue is often examined and scrutinized further during the daily triage. If the UAT team finds that the issue really isn’t reproducible, then it’s not a bug; it’s a fluke. Flukes are when errors occur due to a temporary disruption. For instance, during a server change, permissions in a certain locale may be interrupted momentarily.
UAT validates that your solution meets business requirements and is free from defects. If careful attention is not paid to discerning bugs from non-bugs, you risk implementing a solution that does not work optimally. What steps can you take in order to release a solution that isn’t an aberration?
Contact Damian Gibbs at DamianGi@vmc.com or call 877.393.8622.