3 Tips for Successful Travel Tech UAT
You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive. So why launch new travel tech without letting your employees test it out?
Introducing new technology (or implementing any type of organizational change) rarely comes without change management risks. When a change in existing processes or knowledge is going to affect your employees, it’s important to adequately engage users in testing those new tools before they are deployed across your company. And an easy way to do that is through User Acceptance Testing.
User Acceptance Testing: It's in the name
As the name suggests, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) allows organizations to test their new technology solutions by leveraging real-world use cases and intended end-users. It is often the final stage of the implementation process and helps determine whether the new tech has met business goals and employee needs while allowing for issues (if any) to be fixed before the system goes live.
In other words, it’s when your employees sit down and begin using your new travel tech in realistic, scripted scenarios to make sure it works as it should before it’s launched.
Why does it matter?
While your TMC’s development team runs their own tests to minimize bugs and improve software efficiency, UAT is designed specifically for the client (you) and their end users (your employees) to test the platform and confirm that it works as expected.
Sure, you may find some bugs during this phase, but the real objective of UAT is to verify whether your employees are easily able to use the tech in a way that meets their day-to-day needs. UAT should also mitigate change management risks by:
- Decreasing employee resistance
- Increasing ROI of an application
- Keeping ongoing maintenance costs as low as possible
- Increasing end-user happiness
Ready to get started?
To help your change efforts become the most effective, we’ve put together our top 3 tips for successful UAT of travel tech.
1. Decide what you want to measure
First things first: it’s important to think about what you want to measure and why. This may seem obvious, but it's a commonly overlooked step.
Before you can start to measure your travel tech, ask yourself:
- What is our ultimate goal with UAT?
- What are the change management KPIs (key performance indicators) that will tell us if we’re on track or not? (i.e., NPS, employee sentiment, etc.)
- What are the key risks/challenges associated with this implementation? And how might they affect your change management metrics?
There are many things that can be measured, but in order for this process to be effective, you need to focus on the most important metrics that will help you achieve your change management objectives and monitor potential risks. Once you have a good idea of what needs to be measured, then you can move onto figuring out how exactly you’re going to do that.
2. Put real end-users first, not just stakeholders
This may sound redundant, but always, always involve real end-users during UAT.
When implementing corporate travel change, it’s easy to get caught up in what stakeholders want…but they aren’t always the best people to ask about user needs. Sure, while stakeholders may know exactly how they want travel technology to be implemented, they don’t necessarily know how real people will use it. Without testing real end-users, these oversights might only be discovered after the platform goes live – leading to low technology adoptions, project delays, and other avoidable major risks.
Be strategic in whom you select to test your system. Identify these personas before beginning tech implementations by understanding who is going to use the software and who it’s going to serve. For example, when implementing any sort of new travel tech, whether you’re transferring to a new OBT or adopting a mobile travel app, you’re mainly going to want feedback from travellers, travel managers, and bookers.
3. Create a feedback loop
Your UAT process doesn’t stop once your employees provide their initial feedback. You’ll want to make sure you have a feedback loop in place. This means using a tool that allows you to collect data and then use that data to improve your process.
For example, you could create a survey for test users to provide insight into how well they think your organization’s new OBT performs per their travel needs and booking experience. This survey would then be sent out in regular intervals (i.e., every week) depending on how often you plan to update the UAT process. The results of the survey would reveal what worked and what went wrong with your corporate travel change management. This type of information will help you identify areas where there’s room for improvement, so you can adjust your change efforts accordingly.
Keep testing until you’ve ironed out all the kinks and issues in your tech, and ensure test users see those resolutions.