A familiar situation: the application scales, and as it grows, the costs of testing and quality control increase – costs increase, but problems remain. A competent QA specialist will immediately understand that such a deadlock has arisen due to the absence of a clear strategy. Without such a strategy, managers can inflate the budget as much as they wish, but it won’t bring the expected positive result.
There are several methods that help to organize the testing process, make it more flexible, save money, and improve results. Let’s consider them in this article.
Problems, expenses, and absence of positive dynamics
The problem of the absence of results despite the increased QA costs is typical for both large companies and startups that have just recently passed the first round of funding. Quite often, startups ignore QA in the early stages and only catch on when investors begin to pay attention to it.
However, the concept “more money, people, and effort” doesn’t work without changing the overall approach. It is revealing that this problem is faced by companies that are completely different in size and scope of activity. However, the problem might not have arisen if the issue of QA organization had been considered and resolved in time.
7 tips to improve QA efficiency
These tips were collected from the practical experience of many companies and QA departments.
Appointing a supervisor is a must
Appoint an effective supervisor. A company, regardless of its capabilities, needs a specialist who will be responsible for quality control, prioritizing, and strategy development. Such a specialist is still needed even if part of the work will be outsourced.
Integration of QA into development
Engage QA specialists in the product development process. Thus, they will have a better understanding of the application, which will speed up the assessment and adjustment of the development process. The maintenance of individual stages of the lifecycle by testers provides prompt and productive feedback. This is a way to quickly adjust the development.
QA is a priority
Put emphasis on quality control. Many companies mistakenly believe that the QA team should only check the finished product for errors that are already made. However, it is more productive to eliminate their likelihood at the development stage. A well-organized QA department generates profits, not just expenses.
Integration of QA in advance
(Will work if the previous step is executed). Analysis of projects shows that those companies that involve QA specialists at the design/development stage increase their chances of completing and successfully delivering the project on time. Some problems will be solved in the course of the work, and some won’t appear at all.
Maximum automation of workflow
Try to find ways of automating the execution and evaluation of routine tests. One shouldn’t take this advice as a call to go broke on full automation. The creation of scripts and tests, as well as constant monitoring, can gobble up almost all your money and time. Look for small effective solutions that won’t slow down your work. It is worth spending the money on a salary for an Automation QA Engineer and on additional servers. These resources can be used in future projects as well.
Extension of the working audience
Use the collective mind or crowdsourcing. Instead of hiring new specialists, involve employees you already have in completing functional exploratory testing and writing test cases.
Use of QAOps framework
Apply one of the DevOps practices – QAOps framework. The workflow here consists of three steps:
- selection of the right tests,
- their implementation,
- reporting on results.
These three steps intersect and are optimized to provide software scalability, speed, and profitability.
Learn from the mistakes of others
Having analyzed the problems of QA support based on the examples of real companies, we can say that only a well-developed testing strategy solves the problem. Simply increasing the resources will not suppress the problem.
Remember that the following simple and clear algorithm will save your company from serious problems and losses due to an unworkable QA system:
- Appoint a supervisor.
- Do not be afraid of integration.
- Make QA a priority.
- Integrate QA in advance.
- Automate the workflow as much as possible.
- Extend the working audience.
- Use QAOps framework.
Although inflating QA staff is not a solution, sometimes it’s necessary to invite testing experts to key positions.