How to Plan a User Acceptance Test

By Tammy Clevenger

In order for a software project to be considered complete and successful, user acceptance testing must be performed with users who will be utilizing the system. The user acceptance test (UAT) plan is the standardized form used to document testing by users. Many pre-compiled UAT templates are available. However, creating a UAT plan is fairly simple and straightforward. Remember to document every scenario to be tested by the UAT testers.

Step 1

Research existing project templates to get an idea of how to structure a UAT Planning document for your project. Several templates are available for user acceptance testing such as the User Acceptance Test Plan by IBM Rational.

Step 2

Standardize all project documents, structuring project documents in a common way so information may be easily be found by readers. In other words, make sure all project documents are similar in format and structure, and easy to scan by readers.

Step 3

Open an MS Word document and create a new UAT Plan template for your project.

Step 4

List each scenario to be tested by the User Acceptance Test team, along with instructions regarding how to complete the scenario and the desired outcome of the scenario. Each testing scenario should include a brief description with instructions (use case descriptor).

Step 5

Provide an acronym-style identifier for each testing scenario.

Step 6

Insert a space for traceability notes for each testing scenario.

Step 7

Insert the business requirement for each testing scenario into the traceability space.

Step 8

Insert a column of checkboxes, one checkbox for each scenario. The checkbox for each item will be checked once User Acceptance Testing is complete for that item.

Step 9

Insert a column for sign-offs by the UAT tester, the business analyst and the project manager for each testing scenario.

Step 10

Include sign-off spaces for the entire test plan at the bottom of the document for project stakeholders, the project manager and executive decision-makers.

Step 11

Execute the test plan. Note any additions made to the document template to utilize for future test plans.

References & Resources