Acceptance Test Limitations

Our customer has a pretty mature organization. They have their own acceptance test group. They are all employees of the customer organization. Their goal is to test everything we do to ensure the stuff with work in Production.

A while back we delivered a major release. The customer has found all kinds of problems that we missed upon delivery. Luckily we were able to fix most of those issues. However there was a significant piece we were not able to deliver on time. We have been trying to deliver the results piecemeal. However the acceptance team is discovering this effort is producing a lot of bugs. Back to the drawing board.

Recently I read an article about the limits of acceptance tests. They cannot conduct a full regression test. You should not depend too heavily on tools for the tests. The testing only adds value to the effort. It needs management support. And the testers need to learn many skills for the project to benefit. I can honestly say that our customer organization has not let these limits hold back their testing. The acceptance test team really does add significant value to the project. My hat is off to them.