The product has to be used by the user. He is the most important person as he has more interest than anyone else in the project.
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From the user we need the following data:
The first thing we need is the acceptance test plan from the end user. The acceptance test defines the entire test which the product has to pass so that it can go into production.
We also need the requirement document from, the customer. In normal scenarios the customer never writes a formal document until he is really sure of h, are requirements. But at some point the customer should sign saying yes this is what he wants.
The customer should also define the risky sections of the project. For instance, in a normal accounting project if a voucher entry screen does not work that will stop the accounting functionality completely. But if reports are not derived the accounting department can use it for some time. The customer is the right person to say which section will affect him the most. With this feedback the testers can prepare a proper test plan for those areas and test it thoroughly.
The customer should also provide proper data for testing. Feeding proper data during testing is very important. In many scenarios testers key in wrong data and expect results which are of no interest to the customer.