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The importance of user acceptance testing

User acceptance testing (UAT) is vitally important to the successful implementation of any application. This is because of the “mystery factor.” No matter how many functional tests are performed, there will always be the difficulty of integrating a new piece of software into the operational pattern of any organisation. Operational stresses that cannot be accounted for in earlier testing can only be found during the user acceptance phase.
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Unfortunately, this phase often gets cut short, and not only for financial reasons. The end users are usually stretched to the limit just running their organisation as it is and can’t afford the time to test new software. This is why it’s important to have a dedicated team of professional testers in the UAT phase.

UAT is vital for the successful deployment of any application. Failure to do proper user acceptance testing can result in turning a business’s customers into user acceptance testers. This is a very fast way to create a PR problem that may take years to rectify and can ruin a company’s reputation, even if it is performing quite well outside the framework of that single malfunctioning application.

Failure to do proper user acceptance testing can also result in legal risk, missed deadlines, wasted resources and added cost. This is why the major purpose of UAT is to determine how the software will interface within a given company before that application is actually implemented. Properly done, user acceptance testing protects the organisation from a whole host of potential problems.

User acceptance testing is also important because failure to do it places an unnecessary burden on system developers who, while they may be experts in development, are not familiar with the vagaries of running an organisation or the day to day difficulties that the software they are developing must account for.

UAT is concerned with both software performance and human behaviour. It ensures that the software interfaces with human behaviour and thought processes in a realistic manner. This increases both employee and client satisfaction. Quality software builds confidence in the company that uses it, while it makes running the organisation easier. Smooth client interaction attracts more customers and the company’s reputation rises. The customers get better service and the company gets more customers. Ultimately, everyone wins.

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