How a sprinter gets off the starting blocks can make all the difference in a race, so much that scientific research on sprint starting dates as far back as the 1920s. In sprinting, starting from a crouched position is more effective than starting in a standing position because in a crouch, a sprinter can rapidly push her center of gravity ahead of her feet and accelerate quickly. VMC Solution Deliver Manager Damian Gibbs says the same principle applies to User Acceptance Testing (UAT); a good start matters.
Coordinating communication with participants and allocating the right block of time for UAT execution can be a lot of work since UAT may involve hundreds of people across many different time zones. This process occurs at the beginning of UAT.
After the team executing UAT figures out who the best participants to test a tool are, the team sends out UAT invitations to the participants and begins tracking them. This is a challenging process, one that has to modified and adjusted continuously as details and additional information trickle in and the UAT guidance documents change, sometimes altering the scope of UAT slightly.
The purpose of the kickoff call is to give all participants need-to-know information, present and explain to them the features that they will be scrutinizing. The UAT team also walks through the process of logging bugs, giving feedback, and the tracking system during the call. Keep in mind, this also needs to be coordinated with the development team and the product owner, which means there are always concurrent streams that the UAT team manage.
It’s not only important to have people with strong communication skills in a UAT team; strong project management skills are also a must. What steps have you taken to ensure that you start UAT off on the right foot?