People tell me that launching a piece of software, especially a big project, is one of the most stressful things in their professional lives. The planning and work is tremendous. The number of details that must be managed is mind-boggling. When the finish line comes into view, project team members tend to see it as a magic threshold where worries will dissolve. All the uncertainty will be over, and they can finally go out to dinner with their spouses, have real weekends, or go on vacation.
Unfortunately, “launch” never means instant relief. Sometimes there is even a ratcheting up of work and stress. It's best to prepare yourself, your project team, and the business at large for this reality.
In Chapter 11, we talked about quality assurance (QA). To review, this is the process by which an internal or external group (depending on what's right for the project) runs through “happy-path” and “non-happy-path” use cases, finds bugs and fixes them, and then fixes the regression errors. At a certain juncture in the project, another type of testing is needed: user acceptance testing (UAT). Sometimes UAT comes before QA. Other times a bit of QA may be necessary for the product to be ready for UAT. In iterative situations, UAT may have happened bit by bit all along the way.
UAT generally refers to a kind of testing ...