If you don’t plan ahead and implement a thorough process, QA can often become an afterthought, leading you to a release full of bugs, client complaints, and spending more time on the project than necessary.
The importance of quality assurance is something everyone involved in the project needs to be aware of, both stakeholders and the project team. No product development process is complete without QA – it’s a crucial step that allows you to launch your product with full confidence, knowing it meets the required standards and customer expectations.
To avoid problems later on, you should aim to integrate quality assurance into your product development plan from day one. However, setting up a QA testing process for the first time can seem overwhelming, and you risk falling down a rabbit hole of unknowns and unanticipated complications.
Whether you’re new to creating a QA process or you’re looking to improve an existing one, these suggestions will help you get started.
Setting up the QA testing procedure
Since there is no universal formula that will work in every situation, one of the biggest challenges of setting up an effective QA process is designing the process itself. You need to think about the overall environment and take many factors into account:
QA testing procedures at your company
Your team’s objectives
Tools and the technology stack used
Project time frame
Understanding these aspects can help you work around any constraints and make the most out of your team’s capabilities. It will allow you to align your process with the project’s needs and requirements and effectively prioritize your QA efforts.
A great QA testing process will be thorough, organized, effective, and in line with the project’s objectives, limitations, and available resources.
For example, I recently worked on a project where I was able to improve the QA process just by thoroughly reviewing the task description and flow. I produced a document specifying the exact responsibilities of each team member working on the project. We discussed my propositions with the development team and the project manager, and we all agreed on the tasks required for each role and the bug-reporting procedure.
Thanks to the adjustments we made, the QA team received clearly specified tasks, and the developers received thorough and precise bug reports. Everyone participating in the project was pleased with the clearer and more efficient workflow.
Explicit requirements minimize issues
Anyone in QA can tell you that the majority of serious problems revealed close to the project’s delivery date arise due to poorly defined requirements and false assumptions. Stakeholders assess and approve requirements in the early planning stages of a project, and your team should have a procedure for establishing and disseminating acceptance criteria in place. This should be a regular part of the development process.
To ensure that everyone is aligned around the expected results, the development team also has to know exactly what “done” means. The whole team has to be on the same page about their definition of ready and definition of done.
Focus on the QA environment for better results
The success of software testing is ensured by setting up a proper test environment. Any errors in this part of the process could result in additional expenses and delay.
When setting up the testing environment, you should base it on the requirements for the client’s product, and it has to be the same on the server side and the client side. If you don’t test in a setting that is a perfect replica of the production environment, you will get erroneous results.
Another way to ensure your product will work as expected with real users is to create a testing and staging environment. That way, you can feel more confident that each component performs as planned.
Improving collaboration with developers
Most QA teams now work in an iterative fashion together with developers. As soon as a functionality is developed, it’s delivered to the quality assurance team.
However, especially effective QA teams adopt a proactive instead of a reactive strategy. They monitor the development process and identify quality problems before they reach the production stage rather than dealing with them when the development is complete. Developers and QA specialists work together as part of a project team and should therefore be in charge of delivering certain KPIs.
Documentation sharing – shared files and reports should be accessible to developers and QA’s.
Transparent metrics – documents on software developers’ areas for improvement containing data-driven and easily measurable KPI’s
Joint meetings – the QA and development teams should get together at least once a week.
Save time with QA test automation
QA automation testing is a long-term investment in productivity. Setting up a framework for long-term projects can take quite some time, even for an experienced QA automation tester, but it will save dozens of hours of work.
The initial step in automated testing is feasibility analysis. The team first determines whether a test should be automated at all. This is followed by the choice of tools; QA engineers select tools and frameworks for the process once they’ve defined the types of tests they want to automate. Finally, there have to be metrics to gauge the level of automation for each process (the amount of caught faults, fixed bugs, escaped defects, etc.).
Nourishing a culture of quality
We’ve gone through a number of reasons why it’s important to work on a thorough and systematic quality assurance procedure. Saving clients’ time and money through early identification and correction of defects is just the basic one.
The QA testing process is not just QA’s business. Developers and project managers committed to the project’s success will recognize the value of testing products both before and after release. For maximum results, the entire project team should understand the process and feel confident participating in it. Better teamwork and communication ultimately improve project results.
A well-defined procedure can ensure that the product satisfies client expectations and generates repeat business, and we advise including QA on every project. Once created, your process can be used as a template for future initiatives and contribute to creating a culture of quality assurance inside the company.