What is Pilot Testing? Definition, Meaning, Examples
What exactly is a Pilot Test?
The term “Pilot Testing” refers to a specific kind of “Software Testing” that validates a portion of the system or the complete system while it is functioning in a real-world environment. The Pilot Test is designed to assess the practicability of a research project in terms of its length of time, expense, level of risk, and level of performance.
This testing is carried out precisely in the transitional period between UAT and production.
During the pilot testing phase, a subset of the system’s intended end users interacts with the software in question and provides input prior to the system’s wider rollout.
In other words, it means to carry out a practise run before the actual usability test that will be carried out later.
Bugs in the system can be found earlier and more easily with the help of pilot testing.
Why Pilot Testing is Important
Installation of a system at a customer location (or in a user-simulated environment) for the purpose of evaluating it under conditions of continuous and regular use is what pilot testing entails.
The most frequent approach to testing entails repeatedly putting the system to the test in order to identify its vulnerable points. After then, bug reports detailing these flaws are given to the system’s development team, where they are addressed and corrected before the next version of the system is released.
Acceptance testing may occasionally be performed concurrently with compatibility testing at various stages along this process. This takes place if a new system is built in order to replace an existing one.
When it comes to software engineering, pilot testing will provide an answer to questions such as whether or not the product or service has the potential to sell.
How to do Pilot Testing
Pilot testing is essential for a number of reasons, including the following: fixing bugs in the software and procedures used for testing; determining whether or not the product is ready for full-scale implementation; making more informed decisions regarding the allocation of time and resources; providing an opportunity to ascertain how the target population responds to the programme; measuring the level of success achieved by the programme; providing the team with an opportunity to practise the activities they will use in the usability test.
Good Practice for Pilot Testing
The size and complexity of your migration project will determine the extent of pilot testing that is necessary. The real Pilot testing is carried out in an area that has been set apart for the purpose, such as a lab; here, users replicate the functionality of the software by carrying out a variety of procedures, transactions, and reports.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the project, pilot testing may be carried out.
A pilot test can be carried out with a sample population of users on a set of servers located in a data centre for an organisation that operates on a more generic scale.
When running a business that specialises in web development, a pilot test can be carried out by hosting the website’s files on staging servers or by placing folders live on the internet.
It is possible for commercial software companies to put their products through a pilot test with an exclusive set of early adopters.
During pilot testing, it is necessary to follow the Test Plan.
Step 1: Create a Pilot Plan
The second step is to get ready for the pilot exam.
Step 3: Put the pilot test into operation and test it.
Step 4: Analyze the results of the pilot test.
Step 5: Get ready to deploy in production environments.
Before moving on with a Pilot Testing, the following items need to be taken into consideration:
Example of Pilot Testing
An implementation strategy for deploying the servers and getting the systems ready for the pilot
Detailed instructions for carrying out the installation process
Scripts for testing each individual software application It is made up of checklists of activities that need to be carried out.
Through the use of e-mails or websites, continuous input should be provided from users to the design and testing teams.
The assessment criteria for the pilot should be established, and should include information such as the number of users who expressed dissatisfaction with the service, the number of support calls and requests, etc.
Involve a working group of community partners or other stakeholders who have invested in your initiative and who will meet regularly to discuss your advancements in the project.
In order to collect the required data regarding the pilot group’s knowledge, as well as changes in their attitudes and behaviours, an evaluation plan and evaluation instruments or tools were developed.
The team will collect and analyse test data while the Pilot test is being conducted. The team will make its decision on which strategy to pursue after considering these data.
Stagger Forward – Give the pilots access to a fresh release candidate every so often.
Execute the rollback plan in order to return the pilot group to the configuration state it was in before the rollback was performed.
Suspend– Suspend pilot testing
Patch and Carry On — Make the necessary adjustments to the currently deployed solution using patches.
Deployment means to move forward with the deployment of the solution.
Standard Operating Procedure for Flight Tests
Set aside two days for the pilot test before moving on to the usability test.
Do not begin pilot test until all users, clients, and project team members have reached an agreement on the criteria for a successful result.
Request that users highlight any problems that they find on their own copies of the materials, provide an explanation of their concerns, and make improvement suggestions (if they have any).
Provide users with information regarding the purpose, duration, and current status of the pilot.
Test Run in the Role of a Pilot
Listed below are some examples of common types of pilot testing:
Windows Insider Programs are used for testing Windows 10 and are managed by Microsoft.
Nexus users are invited to participate in the Android Beta Program, through which Google tests its Android operating system.
Pilot tests of HP’s products and services are conducted online by the company.