Modern software development cycles have transformed operations for not only developers but QA testers as well. QA teams must adapt and change their software testing strategies and processes to keep pace with the market and ensure quality for clients. By now, we could say there is a scientific consensus that without professional quality assurance rendered for software, it is almost guaranteed that the released product will be full of bugs that result in performance issues and crashes. Such a release will lead to customer dissatisfaction and loss of reputation.
So, what can companies without a QA team do? And what can QA teams do to adapt to these rapidly changing trends?
Keep reading and discover optimal ways to make your team perform better and continue delivering high-quality test results.
A Two-Pronged Approach
When it comes to improving QA services in general, two main objectives must be accomplished:
- Scale the team
- Enact a sound QA strategy
For the first objective, it might sound obvious just to start hiring professionals until you have a decent-sized team that can test on as many devices as possible and looks after all the necessary tasks. However, many companies don’t have the means and/or resources to hire new people, especially if a QA team has to be built up from scratch. And while budget constraints are one major obstacle, the other is the amount of time it requires to hire and then onboard those people. When you need your software to be tested by fast-approaching deadlines, you won’t have time for that.
Regarding strategy, if a company designs a functional framework to streamline testing processes, the results will speak for themselves. But more about that in the second half of this blog post. First, let’s talk about scaling!
Scaling a Great QA Team
Even if you already have a reliable QA team whose members work splendidly, scaling will still be somewhat problematic.
If your software development company doesn’t have access to a QA team yet, as you are working on delivering your digital product, it becomes daunting to run testing parallel to development. What can you do in such cases?
Just keep calm and be assured in the idea that you can get yourself a professional QA team to test your software quickly, without even having to hire a single person.
The concept is quite simple: seek out partners that offer professional QA services and build relationships with them. They can provide you with the testing capacity to carry out proper QA on your product. This will ultimately save you time, energy, and money.
With more testers at your disposal, the testing capacity will also increase. This obviously will result in more bugs found and eliminated during development, well before you even have to show the product in beta, for example.
The general sentiment is that the best QA services can be rendered only with a large enough QA team with near-unlimited testing capacity. However, instead of hiring as many people to reach that level, you can take a look at outsourced solutions or crowdsourced testing and see how it can help accelerate the rate of testing and delivering test results fast.
Overall, the idea is to hunt down as many bugs that can impact your users as possible and ensure that critical fixes are made during development and not after in the form of hot fixes. You need good testers to achieve that, and if you don’t have the time or money to hire an in-house team, outsourced solutions are just as viable.
If you have slight reservations about the outsourcing, consider this:
Seeking an external solution in QA is technically not the same as ‘outsourcing’ the job. Your company will share knowledge with the testers, and your developers will be working in tandem with an expert team who can share and implement QA best practices. Ultimately, it yields a treasure trove of testing advice, tips, and feedback, too.
It’s also beneficial to consider the power and value of crowd testing, especially in field testing and localization. First of all, it’s essential to understand that field testing is the ultimate tool to ensure whether an app functions just as effectively in a different language or country as it did back home. A group of local testers will field test your software without hiring a QA team abroad by involving a crowdsourced entity in any foreign target market. Local testers provide unique feedback and insights, ensuring your product works on multiple devices, providers, and locations.
In summary, a scaled QA team can become a genuinely valuable addition for your company, as you can increase testing capacity. Establish support that works around the clock, and manage to deliver high-quality digital products without spending time creating a full, in-house team.
Developing a Sound QA Strategy
Today, you cannot deliver high-quality software that is aesthetically pleasing, performs well, and provides excellent UX without professional QA. And to implement QA services at the highest level and following the highest of industry standards, you will need a comprehensive QA strategy that places quality at the forefront of development while integrating effortlessly into your DevOps workflow.
If you treat QA as an afterthought, left to the last minute, the chances are that the app will underperform, crash, and inconvenience users through the multitude of bugs that remained undetected during development. However, suppose you involved QA from the beginning, and together you rooted out as many bugs and issues as possible, perfecting user experience in the process. In that case, you will most likely deliver a high-quality app—one that paves the way to customer satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, increased company growth.
We have collected these four steps below to help getting started with your own QA strategy. We use a similar methodology ourselves and can vouch for its efficiency. With it, you can ensure that your QA processes will be of the highest quality, guaranteeing long-term growth.
- Define quality
- Localize testing processes
- Remain adaptive & creative
- Combine automated and manual testing
To succeed as a QA team, there needs to be a unified, team-wide understanding of quality, vision, and responsibility. Whether it’s about testing protocols, an automated script to help test, or the value an individual team member’s progressive ideas can bring to the company, the underlying concept of quality should be the same. Suppose that concept is accepted as the universal metric for measuring quality progress. In that case, the QA strategy will benefit from it significantly, yielding better results across all work areas. Additionally, an aligned view on quality leads to a shared vision, crucial in rallying everyone behind the same goals.
We chose two areas to illustrate how a common concept of quality can benefit those.
When beginning to brainstorm about quality in testing processes, use the following – and similar – questions to establish the basis for shared concepts:
- What are the right ways to test?
- To what extent do we follow those ways?
- What are the best tools for testing?
- How many of those tools do we use?
It is crucial to realize that professional QA testing does not rely on a single type of testing or tool. As it is a problem-solving task, each challenge, each situation demands a different testing solution. It becomes crucial for any QA tester to be as informed about testing processes and tools about the software or device they are trying on. This will lead to making all the right choices about the testing method that is implemented.
Furthermore, it’s also healthier if the team doesn’t develop a one-size-fits-all mentality, committing to just a single type of testing process. Each primary phase of testing where it is optimal to involve QA – planning, development, release, follow up – requires a unique toolkit composed of several testing processes.
It is quite beneficial to add value to the formula that describes quality. Discussions around revenue potential and ROI can lead to improvements in QA as well. By investing in solutions that make QA deliver better results, those indicators will ultimately increase.
It’s a great way to show the potential that is present within a QA team. As a sound, well-rounded QA strategy translates to improvements in customer experience, faster time to market, and higher app and customer retention rates, higher-ups can be persuaded to commit to the investment.
Localize Testing Processes
Today, localizing software is the best way to reach more customers, increase revenue, and lengthen the product life cycle. And although it adds an extra burden on the QA team as it requires even more rigorous localization testing, it pays off immensely in the end.
As such, including localization in the QA strategy is just as vital. There has to be a framework for QA when it comes to testing the product in foreign environments. Without localization, the software cannot be adjusted appropriately to foreign markets.
It is best if localization is already thought of during the early development of the software. When planning to roll out an app in an entire continent, QA must plan with crowdsourced testers for each language and country that the product will be localized. Also, keep in mind that each region will provide its own set of challenges due to differences in network, providers, devices, or even cultural characteristics.
However, testing in these unique environments and further improving your app with those insights in mind will translate to a more personal customer experience for thousands of users.
Remain Adaptive & Creative
It is vital to adhere to what is designed within a QA strategy, but only if it doesn’t impede the team’s ability to remain creative and adaptive. Creativity is needed in almost all aspects of testing, while adaptation must embrace changes in the market, technology, and organization to come out ahead. As such, a great QA strategy can always be molded to reflect current trends and future improvements.
For instance, the strategy you had when testing a small software that never had more than 5,000 users at a time is vastly different from the plan you need to create and implement for a complex app that can be simultaneously used by millions of people worldwide in over 50 countries. Be ready to upscale your plan and remain flexible to adapt to arising challenges.
Combine Manual and Automated Testing
In our eBook, we have touched upon automation and whether QA teams should apply it during testing. We believe that automation can be a double-edged sword; it’s great in some cases and purely disadvantageous in others.
However, too much manual testing can be suboptimal. If a strategy relies too heavily on either of these two to the other’s detriment, it’s probably high time to re-strategize.
Automation can be beneficial in specific cases and situations. For example, a test case composed of easy but repetitive processes should be automated most likely. If cost analysis is involved, and it shows that with automation, the costs will be lower than with manual testing, choose automation.
On the other hand, human creativity and ingenuity cannot be sidelined. In the case of exploratory testing, where testers are left to their own devices to figure out an app and push its functions to its very limits, human intelligence will be superior to artificial – for the time being, at least.
All in all, a sound QA strategy uses an amalgam of automated and manual testing for the best possible outcome.
We hope that these objectives and steps can help you scale and improve your QA services, whether it’s in-house or outsourced.
Over the last ten years, we have helped world-renowned companies perfect their streaming service app by rendering them our professional QA services. We would love to help you ensure defect-free and reliable product launches, too!