Testing Software Services: Reasons to Avoid Overlapping UAT and System Testing

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“Quality is above all; it is the ally of cost and schedule and in no case their advisory. If quality is sacrificed due to having to meet the deadline it is an indication that the job being done is wrong from the beginning.”

                                                                                                                                                                                       James A. Ward

 Testing software services are provided to ensure the desirable quality of applications while they are developed.  

When projects have tight schedules, the participants tend to take one of their favorite actions, that is a misapplied one because it consists of overlapping testing phases, namely running user acceptance testing (UAT) in synchrony with system testing. Of course, it may seem very logical and deadline-friendly if you consider these activities to be independent but it is not like this. Unlikely, in software testing, the processes are closely interrelated.

In any project, schedules (deadlines) and milestones are derived directly from the “critical path”. Since all of us are most likely to see by chance, critical path, as per PMI (Project Management Institute) is the ”longest chain of activities included in a project plan which is to be completed in a timely manner so that the project can be ready for a set date”. Again, “a critical path activity will not ever start until the preceding activity will complete”.  And, system and UAT test phases are the successive activities, therefore, esteemed testing services companies will neither do them simultaneously nor merge them…

But some organizations feel like doing this and cannot understand why they shouldn’t. Doing them in parallel you are risking to distribute a buggy and immature system to your customers, have a vast number of duplicated bugs introduced by business users and testers; again, turnaround time for defect fixes will expand dramatically (development team will slow down), and, that is not all, as you will also partially lose control over both releases and test environments (especially if there are separate test environments for system and user acceptance testing).

Further, you will be unable to avoid facing monitoring problems, customer/user confidence issues and a number of other problematic outcomes. Eventually, it will be impossible for you to accomplish your testing in time (100% tested) and realize any benefit by starting user acceptance testing before the designated time.

A good software test company strictly complies with these rules and runs the system testing and UAT one after another and never in parallel.

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