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November 26, 2013

What Is Acceptance Testing?

You’ve your application or system tested thoroughly for all kinds of defects and all the issues have been corrected within a time. Now, the system or application is all set to deliver to the intended users or customers for the acceptance testing. Acceptance testing is one of the most important facets of a successful product or application, but many people often fail to leverage from it!

So, what is acceptance testing and what are the reasons that cause most of the teams fail to carry it out successfully? Well, this article is intended to help you get answers to all such questions related to the acceptance testing. So, let’s explore acceptance testing!

What is Acceptance Testing?

Acceptance is nothing but a process that the parties on an agreement utilize to identify or determine whether their application or services meet the requirements mentioned within an agreement or not.  You can find plenty of different types of acceptance testing based on the product or services being provided by the parties.

User acceptance testing is a final step of validating your product or application. It is the time when customers get their hands on the application. One of the main reasons to conduct acceptance testing is to bring confidence in the system that is going to be used by the intended users. There are four different types of acceptance testing you can use: User acceptance testing, operational acceptance testing, contract acceptance testing and compliance acceptance testing.

Why is Acceptance Testing Important?

  • It helps you know whether the deliverables provided by the supplier really meet the requirements agreed by the parties or not.
  • The scenarios of failing to pass this testing are generally critical for the ICT supplier. Moreover, acceptance testing requires a substantial milestone payment or payment of the total fee.

Most of the acceptance testing effort happens at the last moment or the end of the project, when the entire system or application is installed or assembled. This means till the end of the project and user could only test parts of the system rather than testing entire system or application, which is not a good practices and results in a failure of the acceptance testing.

Apart from these, there are plenty of other reasons why teams could not carry out acceptance testing successfully. If you’re planning for acceptance testing, ensure you avoid all the pitfalls discussed here:

  • Lack of collaboration:

    One should understand that acceptance tests should be produced collaboratively. Everyone involved in development gives their input from their area of expertise. It is important that you personally discuss about the requirement specification with the entire team as people build a shared understanding of the domain and the problem. However, most of the people avoid such collaborative discussion on specification, which ruin their acceptance testing on the go.

  • Considering more on tools:

    Many times testing teams focus more on the tools and features offered by such tools, irrespective of the things that is not at all fit into their chosen tool. This at the end results in failure to cover all the specifications, which are not covered by a specific tool.

  • Overlooking the significance of acceptance testing:

    Agile acceptance testing is not all about quality assurance, but it is more about specifying and understanding what should be done. Many teams often consider it as a part of QA and assign tasks to the junior testers, which are responsible to write a specification. Always consider the significance of acceptance testing and utilize resources in an effective way.

  • Considering acceptance tests to be a full regression suite:

    Many testers often specify too many things and cover all the possible facets of the system or product, which will make it more complicated to understand and may affect the analysis. One should understand that acceptance testing could not bring a full regression test suite for you, and requires a lot more tests. So, never make a mistake to consider it as a full regression test suite.

  • Lack of understanding required to perform acceptance testing:

    • Performing acceptance testing is a critical process and often depends on the way teams are organized and approach specifications. It requires a huge investment of time and skills, mastering tools, dealing with resistance to change and so on. Overlooking efforts required to perform acceptance testing will result into a failure.

We’ve seen what is acceptance testing and also try to highlight a few of the most common reasons that can ruin your acceptance testing. Have you ever faced any of such issues? Share your views in the comments…!

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Author Bio:

Prashant Chambakara is a Test Automation Specialist. He is currently working with Cygnet Infotech – a leading test automation services company and the parent company of TestingWhiz, a cross browser testing tool. Connect with Prashant on Twitter @prashant_geek.

About Prashant Chambakara

Prashant Chambakara is a Test Automation Enthusiast. He loves to share insights, views and information on software testing and its associated branches.

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