How to fulfil iterations against the scope with User Acceptance Testing.
Beyond confirming the Definition of Done and performing an internal peer review, Product Owners should be required to confirm the iteration was completed to their satisfaction against the defined scope. This is where User Acceptance Tests come in. They should be conducted by the Product Owner against all tickets completed during an iteration and compared against the agreed upon acceptance criteria.
Performing these can be done in two ways: the first involves the Product Owner completing them in their own time and submitting decisions remotely. The alternative is for the Product Owner to join a member of the development team in a focused walkthrough session. This allows an internal developer to witness any issues as they occur, which can be very valuable for rectifying problems. This is the preferred method, as it ensures that the tests are completed thoroughly, and the team can be sure that any issues which occur are truly issues, and not just user error.
In the software world, it is not uncommon for a Product Owner to provide feedback which needs to be addressed after UATs. Depending on the urgency of the change, there are three recommended methods to handle it:
- Urgent: This requires an urgent resolution which must be resolved in the next release. In this situation the development team should include the ticket into the current iteration and either delay its completion or remove a ticket of the same size.
- Next Iteration: The resolution is a high priority but doesn’t need to be resolved immediately. The ticket should be moved as a contender for the next iterations backlog.
- Backlog: The discovered problem is deemed a low priority and as a result should be placed in the backlog for later consideration.