Prior to releasing a new system to a jurisdiction, we must complete extensive internal and external user acceptance testing. We recently tried a new testing format and found it to be very successful.
First, I will explain how our testing used to work. The internal and external testers were provided with an overview of the system, walked through the user role test plans and then they tested on their own. This testing method worked but took a lot longer and was difficult for those using the system for the first time. In addition, testers did not have someone to immediately answer any questions. Testers were also unaware of any challenges other testers may have been having in the system. Testing would last multiple days and people tested when they found time.
We decided to implement what we call a “Testing Squad Scrimmage”. This is live group testing that is scheduled on the tester’s calendar. We first started with the “Internal Testing Squad Scrimmage” which included both our Development and Support Teams. We created users for each tester according to the system role they would be testing. We created test plans applicable for each system role for them to complete. We first provided an overview of the system to highlight areas that were unique to the jurisdiction we are testing. We each followed the test plan scenarios on our test plans and began testing together. The project lead shared their screen to show the testers how to complete each scenario. The testers could also share their screens to ask questions or to show any bugs they may have found. We then wrapped up testing and each tester saved their results. The project lead then provided a consolidated list of changes to the development team.
We learned that having multiple people on our internal team test the system together, made it easier to communicate the issues we found by literally sharing our screen with everyone. Since the internal testing squad includes the developers, they were able to see issues real time and did not need to request additional clarification. With our internal team testing together, testing was completed in a couple hours. Having the Developers with programming knowledge on hand made it much easier to identify technical issues and increased our confidence that if we did find a problem, they would understand how to recreate it.
Our “External Testing Squad Scrimmage” is a group of users that the client has selected for testing each role in the system. They completed testing without test plans. We first provided them with a complete system training following a new client from start to finish in the eligibility process. We then allowed the testers to ask any questions and asked the testers to make sure they could log into the staging environment. We then shared our screen and walked through each test scenario while they followed along on their end. The external testers could ask questions real-time or share their screen if they ran into any issues. The project lead then documented any findings or change requests to take back to the development team. With this change, we were able to have the first round of user acceptance training complete in a couple hours.
Our new Testing Squad Scrimmage testing was very successful. Testing our systems used to take at least two weeks but with this change, we completed internal and user acceptance testing in a fraction of the time. We will definitely be using this new testing model moving forward.