AppTracker - How it Works
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
Once an application has successfully passed through the Quality Assurance process we can arrange for the application to be tested by the business (typically the application owner). Depending on your organisation's processes this may involve adding the application to the deployment tool (eg. SCCM) or you may just manually install the application on a test machine. If you are using AppTracker you could trigger a PowerShell script to auto-create the required objects in your deployment tool.
Once we have the application ready for UAT we will need to engage with the business. It's quite typical for the person who created the package to handle the communications with the application owner and oversee the entire UAT process for that application. This has a number of downsides:
- No centralised UAT calendar
- No standardised form to record the outcome of the UAT
- Tracking UAT progress is dependent on individual Application Team members
- Application packaging technicians do not necessarily have the soft-skills required for managing UAT with the business
- Inconsistent approach to UAT communications (templated email? instant message? mentioned over lunch?)
There are ways we can overcome these problems. We may want to a) ask someone in the Applications Team to be responsible for managing all the UAT, or b) have a dedicated person for this role. However both these are expensive options as they either impact productivity (a) or require investment in a new team member (b).
AppTracker is another possible solution to this problem. Let's take a look at how it can help:
1. DEFINE test SCRIPTS
Depending on the type of application being tested you may require different test scripts. A web application will probably require a different test script than a standard desktop application. AppTracker allows you to create up to six unique test scripts for UAT. Here's a screenshot showing how to build a test script.
2. Schedule the test
Now we are ready for our application to be tested by the business. If we need to add this application to a deployment tool such as SCCM we might want to automate this via a PowerShell script. This script can be triggered from AppTracker to further streamline the process.
To schedule the application for testing we change to the "App Testing" tab in AppTracker and click "New Test". We are taken through a wizard where we can choose:
- The test script required for this application (web application, desktop application etc)
- The user who will be testing the application (if an application already has any contacts assigned you can pick these from a list)
- The Blueprint that this test applies to (a location, office or department typically)
- The test start and end dates
- The option to include a calendar file so the UAT dates can be added to the UAT person's calendar
- The test machine name
- The option to include an RDP file in the email so the user can connect directly to the test machine from their own machine
This is the summary screen shown at the end of the wizard:
3. end-user tests the application
The end-user will receive a templated email from AppTracker notifying them that their application is ready for UAT. Notice that an ICS file is included so the user can add this testing window directly to their calendar. Also note that an RDP file is included which allows them to connect to the test machine and run their UAT without having to leave their desk.
Let's assume that the user has connected to the test machine and is testing their application. To record the results of the UAT they click on the "Sign Off" link in the email which will open this screen in AppTracker:
They can then submit the details of the testing, along with the UAT result which will ultimately be either pass or fail.
4. review the results
The Applications Team can now review the submitted test results in AppTracker, including all notes added by the UAT tester. They can view this result individually in the "App Testing" tab, or they can view the UAT results for all the applications in the main Applications grid. Finally, the dashboard in AppTracker 4.5 and later contains widgets where you can view success/failure rates for UAT.
Applications which pass UAT will be assigned the team responsible for deploying the application to the live business machines. Where an application fails UAT it will be assigned back to the Applications Team for rework.
Some applications will require UAT by multiple areas within the organisation. This can get complex to track manually, but AppTracker can help as shown below:
Here we can see that the application "Netxp SMSCreatorMini" has been UATed three times. One user passed it, and two failed it. In a default instance of AppTracker we display this result as "Mixed", however we can easily change this configuration so that this is a "Pass" or "Fail" if desired.
Managing UAT in using AppTracker overcomes all the issues previously listed:
- No centralised UAT calendar. Solved with the AppTracker UAT calendar. Screenshot below.
- No standardised form to record the outcome of the UAT. Solved with customisable test scripts.
- Tracking UAT progress is dependent on individual Application Team members. Solvedwith centralised UAT tracking in AppTracker.
- Application packaging technicians do not necessarily have the soft-skills required for managing UAT with the business. Solved with templated emails for UAT.
- Inconsistent approach to UAT communications (templated email? instant message? mentioned over lunch?). Solved with templated emails for UAT.
Here's a screenshot of the UAT calendar:
Why is this process more efficient with a workflow tool such as AppTracker?
- Centralised UAT scheduling and tracking
- UAT email contains RDP file to allow instant access to the test machine from the user's normal machine
- Multiple test scripts for different types of application
- Web-based forms allow UAT feedback to be compiled quickly with just a web browser
AppTracker introduces a huge increase in efficiency for the testing phase of applications. In our experience you can save approximately 40% of the time when using AppTracker vs manually scheduling and tracking UAT.
Next process: Live
To see what savings are possible for your organisation please refer to our ROI Calculator.