UAT is an essential discipline that transcends how the application was acquired or the methodology used to create it. IT applications may be built internally, purchased off the shelf or consumed in the cloud, but they all have one thing in common – you wouldn’t dream of putting them live until at least one UAT cycle has been successfully completed.

UAT can understandably be viewed as a distraction to the business users involved but UAT is an essential step before an application can be deployed and you need proof of the extent and diligence of the testing performed. Armed with that proof you can make a risk-based assessment of your readiness to deploy the application into the live environment.

Many issues will be reported during a UAT cycle, some real which must be addressed by development, some which will be left for a future release, and some that can be resolved through better training. However every perceived issue must be thoroughly documented so they can be reviewed; genuine defects identified and passed development and an alternative action planned agreed for the rest.

And UAT is about more than testing. UAT cycles are often a key step in training users on a new application or new capabilities. While learning by osmosis has value the effort will have to be replicated as formal training materials are created.

Qualify Sidebar goes to the heart of the UAT pain making the automatic complete documentation of all test activity totally intuitive without needing the tester to alter their behavior at all.