3 Best Practices to Improve QA Operations

One of the main causes of software startup failure is poor quality assurance during the software development cycle. This is due to the lack of efficient strategies in implementing QA operations to scale.

Apart from having to test big and small features in every new release, QA engineers also have to deal with bug fixes and stability issues. That’s a tall order to manage!

Here are some of the top QA practices that your team can adopt in order to make the workload manageable while also assuring the highest quality of standards:

Plan tests during the Requirements and planning phase

Traditionally, the QA team begins test planning after all the requirements have been established. The new convention, however, recommends a different approach.

A lot of QA professionals believe that QA testing should be conducted from the very beginning, even when all the requirements haven’t been finalized. Plus, the Quality Assurance team should begin writing test cases before the code is developed. Discovering bugs during the initial stages of the development cycle costs significantly less than doing so towards the final stages of the lifecycle. This practice is an indication of an efficient and smart QA process.

Choose the release criteria carefully

A practice that can significantly transform your QA process is prioritizing your testing efforts. Realistically, you can’t test every feature of your software for every release, and you don’t have to, either. You can be confident of your product’s functionality if you focus the tests on the areas of code that were changed.

Before the beginning of a new release cycle, the QA team lead should conduct a meeting with all team members—including the stakeholders and developers—to get an idea of the functionalities that the updated code will impact, and focus majority of the QA testing efforts on those parts—let automation tests handle the rest.

Basing the release criteria on the added or updated code is bound to improve the productivity of your QA cycles.

Prioritize bug fixes based on usage

Fixing bugs and errors is a part of every new release, but how do you prioritize these fixes? Two words: data usage.

Efficient web analytics tools—like Google Analytics—can give you a lot of vital information regarding user interactions with your software. For instance, if your team gets an insight of the application areas that are rarely used, they can assign lower priority to bugs in that part of the application.

However, remember that bugs reported through customer feedback should be marked as high priority in the next release.

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