What is Pilot Testing? A complete step-by-step guide to Pilot Testing

Tram Ho

This post helps you learn and learn about Pilot testing, its goals as well as the steps taken, compared to other types of testing, …

Pilot Testing is a type of Software Testing that is done by a group of end users before software is deployed to the market.

Some small functions or the whole system will be installed at the final stage for the customer to perform the test. At this stage, the customer will perform continuous and regular testing in real time to find the error.

The end user group after performing the test will provide a list of bugs for developers to fix in the next release. This allows the user to find the error before it goes to the Production environment. Because it is tested in real time, this type of test is also known as a real environment replication or pre-system verification.

What is Pilot Testing

Pilot Testing is the phase between UAT (User Acceptance Test) and Deploy to Production. The purpose of performing this test is to determine the project cost, risk, feasibility, duration, and efficiency.

Pilot Testing Goals

To determine project cost, feasibility, risk, time, etc.

To conclude for the success or failure of the software.

To determine end-user behavior.

To give programmers opportunities to fix bugs.

Why is Pilot Testing important?

Pilot Testing is important because it plays the role of:

Decide if the software is ready for use. Software error detection. The inspection procedures are followed. Make decisions about the allocation of time and resources. Checking for End User Feedback This is a reflection of the overall progress of the project.

Pilot Testing Example:

Microsoft runs Windows Insider Programs for Windows 10 Pilot testing.

Google: To Pilot Testing Android OS for Nexus users, Google runs the Android Beta Program.

Steps to perform pilot test

The Pilot Testing process consists of 5 steps:

  1. Plan Pilot Testing
  2. Prepare for Pilot Testing
  3. Deploy and Test
  4. Evaluate
  5. Deploy to Production

Let’s analyze the steps listed above:

1) Planning : The first concrete step is to plan the test procedures that will be followed. This plan after being formulated and approved will be continued after that and all activities will adhere to this plan only.

2) Preparation : When the plan is completed, the next step is to prepare for the test, ie the software will be installed for the customer side, select the team to perform the test, collate the necessary data. for testing. Before the test begins, all test environments must be ready.

3) Deploy and test : After the preparation is complete, the software Deploy will be done at the customer’s premises. Testing is performed by a previously selected group of end users who are considered the target audience of the product.

4) Evaluation: After the implementation is completed, the test will be performed and evaluated by the group of end users who will conclude the condition of the software. They generate a report and send bugs to fix to developers to fix in next rollout. Based on their assessment, whether further implementations in production are implemented will be decided.

5) Production Deployment : A production rollout can only be performed if the end-user rating is the same as what the user expected of the product, that is, in response to customer requirements.

Points to think about in Pilot Testing:

In order to perform this type of testing, the following points need to be considered and noted:

1) Test Environment : Establishing a suitable test environment plays an important role. This test requires a real-time environment that the end users will actually face. Everything needs to be guaranteed, including the hardware / software used and installed.

2) Group of testers : To do this type of testing, it is important to select the test group as the target audience as the testers must be representative of the targeted user audience and if not selected. Correct results can lead to inaccurate results. Testers also need the proper training to be effective.

3) Proper Planning : For any successful project, planning is crucial from the very beginning. Test scenarios require resources, time, hardware and software, budget, server deployment, everything should be well planned.

The evaluation criteria for Pilot testing should be planned such as number of participating users, number of satisfied / dissatisfied users, support requests and calls etc.

4) Documentation : All necessary documents should be prepared and shared among stakeholders. The installation process must be properly recorded before starting the test. The test scripts must be available for the software to be tested, along with a list of the functions to be executed.

Issue / bug list should be shared with developer or designer in a timely manner.

Steps after assessing Pilot Testing

Once the testing is complete, the next step is to perfect the next strategy for the project. The test outputs / results will be analyzed and the next plan based on that.

  • Stagger Future: In this approach, a new resource will be deployed to the test team.
  • Restore: In this approach, the recovery plan is done, ie the test team is reverted back to the previous configurations.
  • Pause: As the name suggests this experiment is paused according to this approach.
  • Patches and Continues: In this approach patches are deployed to fix existing issues and testing is continued.
  • Implementation: This approach occurs when the test results are satisfactory and the software or functions have been tested to meet the requirements for upload to the Production environment.

Pilot Testing benefits:

  • This particular test is done from the user’s point of view, thus knowing the actual needs of the product.
  • Helps to resolve defects before they go to market, resulting in better quality products and fewer defects.
  • Help make the product / software more appealing to the end user.
  • Make software deployment easier and faster.
  • Help predict the success rate of the product.
  • Helping the product become the best.

Pilot Testing and Beta Testing

The table below lists the differences between Pilot Testing and Beta Testing:

No.Pilot TestingBeta Testing
firstPilot testing is performed by a group of users chosen to represent the target audience of the product.Beta test is performed by the end user
2Pilot testing is done in real environmentBeta testing requires implementation on the developement environment
3Pilot testing is done before going to the Production environmentBeta Test is done after the product is posted to Production
4Testing is done between UAT and deploy to ProductionTesting is done after deploying the product to Production
5Feedback provided by those selected as test representativesThe response is provided by the client itself or by their end-user
6Test performed on the system component or on the complete system to verify the ready-to-deploy product.Testing is performed to minimize risk of product failure


Pilot Testing is one of the important types of testing because it is done in real environments by the end users who give valuable feedback to improve the product. Testing in real environment gives product quality insight and defects can be found and fixed before the system is put into service.

Before starting Pilot Testing there are a number of things that need to be considered such as documentation, user group selection, and appropriate testing planning and environment.

Depending on the results of the test, the next product strategy may be decided whether to continue fixes, pause testing, revert to a previous configuration, or deploy the system in the environment. production school.

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Source : Viblo