How to Implement a QA Process in Your Organization: Top 3 Approaches
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- 11 min
- Jun 18, 2020
The ultimate goal of each software product owner is to ensure that end users are satisfied with the product. And the primary tool for attaining this goal is quality assurance. High-quality testing allows you to identify critical issues that may influence end users’ impressions of your software product. This article will show you how to implement a QA process in your organization to ensure the high quality of your software.
What a QA process is and why you need one in your organization
Quality assurance is a systematic activity performed by software testing engineers to check a product’s quality. Testing engineers do this by investigating a product’s requirements and specifications and checking if the product meets them.
A QA process may bring the following benefits to your organization:
- Reduced costs. According to IBM, the earlier you find a bug in a software product, the cheaper it is to fix it. If implemented appropriately, a QA process helps you detect bugs at early stages or even prevent them.
- Improved software quality. Quality assurance checks help you identify issues with your software product’s security, speed, and responsiveness. Once any issues are found, your development team can start eliminating them.
- Higher customer satisfaction. The fewer bugs your software has, the more satisfied your customers are. Testing engineers not only check if software meets functional requirements but also ensure that the user experience is as smooth as possible.
A well-established QA process helps a company not only maintain the quality of your software products but also may prevent bugs and rework.
How to establish a QA process in an organization
Implementing a QA process requires time and effort. Here are three options for how to implement a QA process in your company.
Option 1 ‒ Build an in-house QA team
Creating an in-house team of QA specialists is the right choice if you have enough capacity for new employees and a long-term project they’ll be involved in.
Benefits of having an in-house QA team
An in-house QA team may bring many advantages to your company.
Close cooperation between QA specialists and developers
When development and QA team members are familiar with each other, it’s easier for them to cooperate. Moreover, teams that are acquainted have a better understanding of the distribution of roles and responsibilities within your company. This helps team members address their questions to the right people right away without clarifying who is responsible for a specific aspect of the project.
Growth of expertise within your organization
A good QA process helps all project stakeholders influence and monitor the quality of the software product. Creating a QA team and integrating testing into your software development lifecycle enables you to implement a test-driven culture in your organization. Throughout the software development lifecycle, QA engineers work together with project managers, business analysts, and developers. During the process, QA specialists share their knowledge and skills and engage other teams’ members in the QA process.
Employees follow your corporate culture
According to Deloitte, 94% of business executives believe that corporate culture is essential to business success. When building your own QA team, you can choose testing engineers that fit your corporate culture. You can include tasks or questions in an interview to see if candidates have traits and follow principles that are valuable for your company.
Challenges of creating an in-house QA team
Let’s look through the challenges you’ll face when creating an in-house QA team.
Hiring enough QA specialists
A proper quality assurance process requires a team of highly qualified testing specialists. Even the most skilled and knowledgeable QA engineer will not be able to promote quality assurance in an organization on their own.
To kick-start the process of building a team of testing engineers, the first person you need to hire is a QA team leader. This person should be able to set quality standards for the team of testing engineers, define quality metrics for your projects, coordinate with project stakeholders, and select the appropriate QA engineers to join your team.
Another vital aspect of successfully building a team is searching for QA specialists well before the start of the project. This way, you ensure the team will be able to start working on your project without delays.
Finding the required specialists
Hiring skilled testing professionals is complicated, time-consuming, and requires specific skills.
When hiring QA engineers to join your team, you need to check if they have the experience, knowledge, and skills required to test your software. Together with your QA team leader, you can list the types of testing the team will need to perform, the skills your ideal candidates should possess, and the areas candidates should have experience in.
Establishing an efficient workflow
High-quality testing isn’t only about skills and knowledge. A team needs a clear and consistent workflow to properly test a product. Minimizing bugs is possible if you establish a clear flow of tasks, precisely distribute roles and responsibilities, and set testing goals.
First of all, a team needs to choose the appropriate testing approach. Would you like to use shift left testing to integrate testing at the initial stages of the development lifecycle? Or do you want to implement risk-based testing to analyze the most probable risks at first to know what to pay attention to? There are numerous approaches you might use to facilitate testing. You need to choose the appropriate ones for your project and establish rules so your QA team follows them.
The next step is to set the sequence of testing steps. A typical testing process includes the following steps:
- Planning. Testing engineers set the scope of tasks to perform on a project and define testing activities to include in the testing process.
- Requirements analysis. During this stage, QA specialists analyze your software requirements and design test cases.
- Test implementation and execution. At this stage, testing engineers run test cases to check if the requirements are met.
- Reporting. Quality assurance engineers provide reports with testing results to keep the testing process clear.
When establishing a workflow in a newly created team of QA specialists, don’t expect immediate results. There’s no universal solution for every team. Some approaches may work well for your in-house specialists, while some may fail. It takes time to set up an effective workflow that will bring the advantages you’ve been looking for.
The bottom line
Building a team from scratch may be complicated. Before your team knows exactly what approaches work better for them and how to properly test specific software, you might run into a considerable number of mistakes, missed bugs, and frustrated customers. However, you can find a consultancy company to eliminate the weaknesses and gaps in the workflow of your in-house QA team.
Option 2 ‒ Hire a consultancy company
In addition to having an in-house QA team, you can hire an experienced team of QA specialists to improve your company’s current QA processes. Hiring a team of consultants means hiring a team of QA professionals to analyze your in-house team’s workflow and identify gaps and weaknesses. Here are the steps QA consultants at RubyGarage follow to improve our clients’ QA processes:
Let’s see what these steps mean for your project.
Analyze existing QA processes
QA consultants assess the overall software testing process in your company, the testing tools your QA specialists use, and the strategies they apply during testing. They also review your team’s test plans and test cases to ensure high quality.
Share expertise and experience
A consultancy team suggests efficient testing approaches according to the specifics of the software under test. They also share knowledge and experience so your QA engineers can learn how to solve critical issues in testing, increase their productivity, and avoid the most common problems.
Form an effective QA workflow
After analyzing your testing team’s workflow, QA consultants provide workable solutions on ways to improve the QA process in your company to boost testing efficiency. QA consultants also suggest ways to distribute responsibilities across team members to increase overall productivity.
Help your team to create proper documentation
Documentation is a crucial aspect of the software development lifecycle. Testing engineers, developers, and stakeholders can use documentation for different purposes. QA consultants teach teams how to create well-structured documentation with detailed system specifications, test designs, bug reports, operator results, and other software-related information.
Provide ongoing support
Your cooperation with a QA consulting team doesn’t end when all the recommendations are given. After you implement the suggested changes, QA consultants monitor your progress and suggest new improvements.
Once your software product is released, QA consultants also perform a quality audit and product re-testing.
Perform a quality audit
A quality audit checks if your product corresponds to quality standards. It helps you check if your software still has any issues that could lead to frustrated customers, monetary losses, or security breaches.
Re-test the software
QA consultants re-test your software product on their end. This allows you to not only check if you’ve missed any bugs but also identify issues and gaps in your testing engineers’ knowledge or skills.
The bottom line
Working with a consultancy company is beneficial as it allows your employees to continually enrich their knowledge and skills. However, doing so takes more resources as, in fact, you have two teams: an in-house QA team and a team of QA consultants.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money to create an in-house QA team and then optimize your company’s testing processes, you have a third option ‒ hire a dedicated team of QA specialists.
Option 3 ‒ Hire a dedicated QA team
Hiring a dedicated team of QA specialists will provide you with testing experts who are entirely concentrated on your project. You’ll have complete control over your dedicated QA team and will be able to set the scope of tasks, number of experts on the team, and working hours.
Here are some of the advantages you can get when hiring a dedicated team of QA specialists.
Hiring a dedicated team of testing specialists relieves you from spending time and resources for recruitment, legal support, and staff training. Moreover, dedicated teams can integrate into your software development process in a matter of days.
Dedicated QA teams put a lot of effort into their team members’ development to stand out from the multitude of software testing outsourcing companies. They also follow the latest and most efficient testing approaches to provide their clients with exceptional service.
Optimal team size
When hiring a dedicated team of QA specialists, you can specify the number of testing engineers you need for your project. Moreover, as your testing goals change or your workload increases or decreases, you may easily resize your team to meet your project’s current needs.
Dedicated QA specialists participate in daily meetings, retrospectives, demonstration conferences, and other product-related activities to be aware of the current state of the product.
At RubyGarage, we use a communication plan that allows for productive communication even if stakeholders are located in another country. A communication plan outlines who should be provided with information about the testing process, the timeframes within which this information should be given, and the communication channels that should be used to get in touch.
High speed of work
The skills of dedicated testing specialists allow them to start working on a project right away and maintain a high pace of testing throughout the process. Moreover, if you wish to accelerate the testing process or reduce your product’s time to market, with a dedicated team, you can add additional testing specialists.
High quality of services
Strong testing skills and well-established communication with developers and other stakeholders allows dedicated QA specialists to perform outstanding quality assurance checks. This helps your development team minimize bugs, avoid risks, and satisfy customers with your software product.
Hiring a dedicated QA team is an excellent solution for those striving to get a high-quality testing service quickly and at a reasonable price.
No matter which option you choose to implement a QA process in your organization, your aim should be to improve the quality of your software product.
- Reduced costs
- Improved software quality
- Higher customer satisfaction.
- Analyze existing QA processes
- Share expertise and experience
- Form an effective QA workflow
- Help testing engineers to create proper documentation
- Provide ongoing support
- Perform quality audits
- Re-test your software
- Build an in-house QA team
- Hire a consultancy company
- Hire a dedicated QA team
If you’re searching for a consultancy company to help you improve the QA process in your company or for a dedicated QA team to start implementing a QA process from scratch, contact RubyGarage to get started ASAP.