You deserve a pat on the back! You made it through discovery, requirements preparation, requirements elicitation (and probably a lot of negotiation), and came out the other end with a pristine, beautifully prepared business requirements document (BRD). It is time to send it to your IT partners and start working out your UAT plan, right? Not quite! There is a lot of work to be done between requirements approval and UAT.
First, it is important that your BRD be translated into something your IT partners can digest. Chances are you will work with a technical analyst to translate your BRD into user stories and/or functional requirements. Your IT team will develop design specifications based on this work. Even if you’re not explicitly asked to, it benefits both the project and you, to review the IT design specifications. This will save costly development rework and help you with your UAT planning. Additionally, you can help the project along by making yourself available to the inevitable questions of your IT team as they look to customize a solution that fits the business need/requirements.
Chances are your pristine, beautifully prepared BRD contains its share of unresolved, open issues. As your project team and you work to lock down answers on these open issues, requirements will change and new open issues will arise. It is important you manage the requirements with a good change control process. Additionally, do not skirt your share of responsibility in working on open issues. Not only will this help the project along, but it benefits you in that you will come to be known as a valuable team player and a Subject Matter Expert in whatever you are working on when you stay engaged throughout the project life cycle.
As your IT partners buckle down into their assignments and the PM gets a good hold on your project plan, you can take a deep sigh and begin working on your UAT plan. Lay out a plan that dictates who, how, when, and where the testing will occur. It is important to think ahead to the environments, access rights, and assistance you will need in executing UAT. It is also helpful to have a clear understanding of how to report any issues. From there, the last steps are translating your requirements into test cases and executing against your test cases. With all of the other work you’ve done to this point, this part should be a breeze. The more plugged in you stay to the entire project and the more preparation you do, the easier the project becomes!