Quality Assurance depends on the product at hand, industry standards and customer expectations. There is no one template or guide to do a quality job in testing the software’s quality.
However, I asked the experienced quality testers, and these are several ground rules they follow to ensure that quality assurance improves the product’s health. So let’s quickly dive into the QA management best practices.
1. Importance of QA
Quality Assurance is not optional. The managers and board must understand and instill the philosophy that the QA process is vital for growth.
You can make a list of all the best practices, but if the executives do not believe it’s necessary, they will avoid it or do it ineffectively. The organization must implement and prioritize the QA at every level.
2. Clear Objectives
Software testing involves people, and for its success, individuals must feel accountable for their work. Having clear objectives and goals is essential for accountability.
Build a checklist and control points to define the path of the testing team. The clear-cut plan must have SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals.
3. Shift Left Approach
Finding the bugs at the end of development would be more costly and difficult to fix. Code review and iterations are easier at the early stage. The developer who wrote the code can quickly run several tests to find the bugs.
So, empower your developers and set up guidelines to ensure testing is done for individual code units.
4. Diversity Testing
There are many types of testing, including Unit Testing, Load Testing, and Regression Testing. Different tests are run to find different kinds of conflicts.
- Smoke Testing: Code is ready to be tested.
- Regression Testing: Older functionality is not broken.
- Acceptance Testing: Compliance with business requirements.
Do not limit the testing team to one or two types of testing. The more tests you run, the more chances you have to find software bugs and product issues.
5. Peer Review
One simple QA management best practice you can follow from today is making it mandatory to get the code changes reviewed by peers. The team members understand the context, product, and development going on.
They can identify the basic mistakes at the first step and prevent blunders from happening. As said, quality testing is a team effort.
6. Cross-Functional Collaboration
Software changes affect multiple departments. The addition or removal of features can make it difficult for the sales team to sell the product. Or a tiny change in the location of buttons can turn many knowledge bases obsolete.
It is more than fair to ask for suggestions and feedback from the other departments to ensure the changes are not harming their work.
7. External Quality Testers
The developers and product team operate too close to the product. Hence, sometimes they miss the obvious. An external pair of eyes can provide a fresh perspective.
Let the outsiders evaluate the product once in a while to ensure the development is moving in the right direction.
8. Work Environment
Create a friendly work environment. Quality Assurance is not only about testing – but also reporting the bugs.
Developers might hesitate to report the reason for poor product performance if they don’t feel safe sharing it. People find it easy to accept their mistakes if the environment is supportive.
9. Manager Errors
No error is small enough to avoid. If there is a bug, the team must resolve it or add it to the pipeline.
Any minor bug could become big when incorporated with several APIs and code modules. Sometimes a bug is only a symptom of an undetected problem. Find the origin of errors and decide an action to take.
10. Utilize Automation
Test Automation is the most appropriate way to increase the test coverage, effectiveness and execution speed in software testing.
The scripted bots can learn user behavior from historical data and mimic the user’s action to give an insight into organic software behavior. You can create automation or use the extensive open-source libraries, including Serenity and Cypress.
11. Multiple Devices/Browser
Test the software for all the important and popular operating systems, devices, and browsers. You have to take the effect and compatibility with other products into consideration.
For example, what if the app does not function in the presence of a chrome extension? Similarly, software should work properly for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
12. Keep Documentation
Proper tutorials for fixing a bug will help other developers if the bug reoccurs. The document should contain the bug, environment, os, browser, device, and everything that could add context to the situation.
With your product, money and reputation at stake, you would not like a release with a major flaw. The earlier you find the bugs, the better, and fixes are more cost-efficient. Quality Assurance is a team effort with many people and machines involved. So it would be ideal to set guidelines and follow certain practices to ensure quality assurance.