I am sure that any business analyst who has written user acceptance scripting can confirm that script writing is super detailed, critically important and mind numbingly boring. But is it important – yes it is. Why you ask would something so boring be important? Well, if the business user cannot validate that the new business process or system (or both) work – then they will not sign off on the new process/system and you are left holding the bag.
It is critical that business process owners be involved with this process and can work with the actual script to validate the requirements. You as a BA cannot sign off for the business owner – the risk if you do the sign off can be high if a critical requirement was interpreted incorrectly. The business owner would then have every right to put a halt to any roll out of the process or system.
Currently, I am writing UAT scripts with the business owners for our team. Three other BAs are writing UAT scripts for this large and complex project. So how do we keep this fun, keep the motivation high and keep smiles on people’s faces?
- The rapport I have developed with the business process owners is critical here and I have talked about this before. The relationships require trust and understanding.
- Laugh – when you are through a difficult negotiation or a tough patch of scripting – joke! Make people laugh. Find a way to inject humour into this tense time.
- Feed them – lunch is a good start, but snacks are important too. When you are locked in a room for 5 days from 8 am to 4 pm – treat people as you would want to be treated! What’s a little sugar or salt to keep people moving forward…
- Take breaks – my team looked at me in amazement when I forced them to take a 20 minutes break. We went outside, for a walk, answered some email – whatever worked but we all came back fresh and with less tension in our shoulders.
- Thank them very much for their ideas along the way, for their contribution at the end of each day, for all that.
- Have some jokes – email jokes work well – handy to share. Even the cute ones will work depending on the audience.
For something as serious as UAT scripting – keep it light where you can and you will be successful!
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