What is User Acceptance Testing, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of User Acceptance Testing
User Acceptance Testing, otherwise known as beta testing, is the final step in the change management process where a proposed strategy, technology implementation or product is tested with a group of individuals that are representative of the audience that will be affected by or utilize a new system. These “users” are typically individuals who are employees who volunteer or are requested to try out the new technology or service.
Description of User Acceptance Testing
In order to truly test whether the product or service will be useful and work in real-life, it is important that the proposed change be comprised of the same materials during User Acceptance Testing as the product or service that will be sold to the organization’s customers or used by its employees. In addition, the feedback that the selected group provides should not focus on cosmetic issues. Rather, comments should focus on whether or not the product or services is up to organizational standards, and is fully functional.
After testing or using the product, individuals should provide detailed feedback to the change-management team, who will make any final adjustments before the changed process or service is officially launched. This process is critical to ensuring that the proposed change is functional in real-life scenarios and has the potential to fit into or enhance current organizational processes. More specifically, User Acceptance Testing seeks to examine whether the proposed solution to the users’ problems is acceptable to them.
User Acceptance Testing typically involves four steps:
Step 1: Before the product or process is given to the selected employees, develop a list of criteria that can be used to evaluate whether the proposed change “works” (i.e., whether it fulfills the needs of the organization, its employees and/or its customers or whether it is perceived as useful or practical).
Step 2: Create a list of steps that the user acceptance testing will follow. More specifically, consider the context in which you will present the proposed system or product to the selected group and what reactions you expect them to have. Think of multiple scenarios, and determine the actions that will need to be taken to arrive at each outcome. Then, follow the best course of action.
Step 3: Run the test and keep a detailed record of the results. Based on this feedback, make any corrections or adjustments to the product or process. Organize a re-test, if necessary.
Step 4: After the initial or subsequent tests, have the team sign-off on the finalized product or service before officially launching it to the intended audience.
Tools & Templates
User Acceptance Testing requires the use of writing software or a database, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, to collect and keep track of individuals’ feedback on the proposed process or product being tested.
upBOARD's Online User Acceptance Testing Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional User Acceptance Testing techniques, upBOARD’s online User Acceptance Testing collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other change management best practice tools and templates, including:
ADKAR Change Management Model, AIM Accelerated Implementation Methodology, Beckhard & Harris Change Process, Boston Consulting Group Change Delta, Bridges’ Leading Transition Model, Burning Platform, Change Management Impact Analysis, Change Management Maturity Model, Change Management Plan, Change Management Roadmap, Change Readiness Assessment, Change Resistance Management Plan, Change Risk Assessment, Communications Planning, Deming Change Cycle, Focus Groups, GE Change Acceleration Process, Go-Live Planning, Head, Heart and Hands Model, Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model, Kubler Ross Change Curve, Lewin’s Change Management Model, Nudge Change Model, People Centered Implementation, Performance Support, Process Mapping, Prosci Change Management Levers, Sponsor Roadmap, Stakeholder Analysis, Stakeholder Interviews, Switch Change Framework, User Acceptance Testing, VRIO Framework and What’s In It For Me (WIIFMs).