The Acceptance subphase
In the USoft Approach, Acceptance is a subphase of the DELIVER phase.
During the Acceptance subphase of the DELIVER phase, tasks are performed that ensure that the released specifications and implementations are in fact successfully incorporated in the daily routines that human end users and digital systems go through as they make use of the released materials.
NOTE: The Acceptance subphase must be clearly separated from acceptance testing, which occurs in different subphases and is a different activity with a different goal altogether.
If you overlook the Acceptance subphase, end users or administrators of digital agents may not know that something was released, or they may not understand how it is supposed to help them. They may continue to prefer alternatives that they are already familiar with - maybe the very alternatives that the release was trying to replace.
The verb "accept" must be taken in the sense of "embed in daily practice", rather than in the sense "agree with".
The following key activities could be part of an Acceptance subphase. They must accompany a Release subphase. Most of them will occur just after the release itself, but they must be identified and prepared ahead of time.
•Publishing documentation (traditionally referred to as "release notes") that identifies what has been added and changed in the release, and explains how this new functionality works.
•Inviting end users to take advantage of new features, perhaps by publishing online tutorials or attractive video introductions or (if necessary) organising formal training.
•Monitoring the successful use of new features by inspecting system log files and data. This is especially important for new functionality used by other systems, but also for functionality used directly by humans. Techniques for monitoring human use range from questionnaires and interviews to observing in person (in the case of implementations) how end users perform tasks or (in the case of specifications) why and how they look up and find, or miss, information.
Organising release acceptance in this way is NOT the same as eliciting new requirements for the next release (that is part of the Business Orientation subphase of the next PLAN phase), but in practice it sometimes provides interesting input for that exercise.