There is more to software development than just developing programes to carry out specific tasks and testing them to find potential bugs, and there’s where software QA processes come in.
For businesses, a new software product is a method to alter the current state of operations or take a big step toward process optimization to secure improved business outcomes. It necessitates the creation of high-calibre code and the provision of a dependable, faultless solution.
“Finding bugs is only one aspect of software testing and the entire QA process”. The goal of the QA and testing team is to assist web developers in producing the best possible product within the anticipated time frame by identifying any problems that might obstruct the software’s successful operation or negatively impact the user experience.
We can’t deny that customer satisfaction and retention depend on the quality of the software, and a well-tested software programme won’t give consumers a bad experience because of an undiscovered bug or flaw.
Any issues that might make it into production on a website or app will become more noticeable as more users use it. It will increase the likelihood of end consumers giving the product a poor rating, so having a well-established QA process is necessary.
Software Quality Assurance Process: Definition, Function, Setup, and Stages
Hence, in this article, let’s dive deep to discuss how to set up a software QA process in a development company.
What Is Quality Assurance?
Before we go ahead to discuss how to set up the QA process, let’s first have a clear idea about what quality assurance is.
“Fit for use” is the simplest way to describe quality, which is incredibly difficult to quantify. It all comes down to fulfilling the consumer’s requirements and expectations in terms of the product’s usefulness, design, dependability, durability, and price.
Assurance is nothing more than a confident statement made about a good or service. It is the assurance of a good outcome for a good or service. It guarantees that the product will perform faultlessly as per expectations or needs.
“A technique to ensure the quality of software goods or services provided to clients by a business is known as quality assurance in software testing.”
Quality assurance aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the software development process in accordance with the quality standards established for software products. Testing for quality assurance is also referred to as QA.
Functions Of Quality Assurance
Here are the five main aspects of quality assurance:
- Technology transfer: This process entails obtaining a product design document, trial-and-error data, and evaluating that data. The paperwork is distributed, reviewed, and approved.
- Validation: A master plan for system-wide validation is created here. Test criteria are approved to validate products and processes.
- Documentation: This process manages how documents are shared and stored. Any modification to a document must follow the correct change control process. Approving all forms of documentation.
- Assurance of product quality: The QA team’s planned course of action guarantees product quality and success.
- Plans for improving the product quality: The team performs activities like audits, testing, process monitoring, and product evaluation to improve productivity.
Why Should The Software QA Process Be Setup & Used?
“The goal of quality assurance for software testing is to guarantee that the product is created correctly and with the fewest possible iterations.”
A successful QA process gives testers a clear definition of the requirements, a complete understanding of the features, and a roadmap for moving forward.
Be aware that testing ought to assist development rather than come after it. As opposed to waiting for the completion of the website or app, testing should take place concurrently with development. This means testing code each time it is committed to the repository. In other words, Agile methods must be used to carry out the QA process.
Before executing a QA process, one must comprehend the steps that make up a comprehensive, all-inclusive Quality Assurance pipeline.
How To Setup QA Process From Scratch?
If you are willing to set up QA processes for your company from scratch, then below are the steps you need to follow, which we will discuss one after the other.
Steps to set up QA processes from scratch:
- Create a software quality assurance team
- Align your business goals with the QA process
- Learn and follow the stages to build the QA process
- Handle the various activities like figuring out the best practices, tools, and softwares for your team to follow along the process without any significant issues.
Let’s now start by discussing all of these pointers in detail.
1. Create A Software Quality Assurance process Team
You can hire a skilled and experienced quality assurance specialist to analyse your current QA situation and develop the company’s quality assurance process vision at the outset.
The next stage would be to employ a qualified QA Team Lead to help you select the ideal candidates for a future QA team. Your software product’s features and business objectives significantly impact the precise roles and responsibilities of QA.
For your project, you may generally need the following experts: A QA Engineer, an engineer for test automation, a test manager, a test analyst, a test architect, and QC Engineer.
With all these people on your team, you will not face any issues while developing and setting up the QA process.
2. Align Your Business Goals With The QA Process
The present stage of your product’s development significantly impacts your QA strategy.
After the product concept has been verified, you may begin the first steps in the quality assurance process on the software development stage and lay the foundation for your quality assurance strategy by developing a long-term perspective concept of the product quality for one to two years.
A QA Analyst can develop a testing strategy, write documentation, and design test cases following the current functionality under your company’s goal. After that, you can hire QA engineers for manual and automated testing.
Test cases must be continuously revised and updated as your software’s features and complexity increase. You might also use a DevOps expert to hasten the testing procedure.
Stages To Build And Setup The QA Process
- Analyze The Needs And Requirements
Compared to just preventing bugs at the requirements design stage, fixing bugs found during testing is more expensive. Analysis and definition of functional and non-functional software requirements should engage QA experts.
Consistent, thorough, verifiable, and prominently noted requirements must be provided to QAs. This aids the QA team in creating tests that are especially suited to the software under test.
- Plan The Tests
Test planning takes advantage of the knowledge obtained during the requirements analysis process. The scope of the testing, the testing approach, the project budget, and the deadlines should all be included in the test plan.
Assigning resources and duties to specific testers should also specify the necessary types and degrees of testing. It should also have procedures and tools for tracking defects.
- Create The Tests
At this point, QA teams must create test cases and checklists that cover the software requirements.
Conditions, information, and the procedures required to verify each functionality must be included in each test case. For testers to know what to compare real findings to, each test must also define the expected test result.
It is advised that QAs begin with a small amount of exploratory testing to become acquainted with the programme. This would facilitate the creation of suitable test cases.
This is also the stage for developing automation testing QA scenarios if an automation strategy has been specified in the test scope.
This stage also involves getting the staging environment ready for use. This environment should closely resemble the production environment regarding the precise hardware, software, and network configurations. Databases and system settings, for example, should also be closely modelled.
- Conduct Tests And File Defect Reports
Developers conduct unit tests as the first stage of testing. Then tests are done at the API and UI layers by the quality assurance testing team. The execution of manual tests follows previously created test cases.
For efficient defect management, every discovered bug is entered into a defect tracking system. Additionally, test automation engineers can run test scripts and provide test summary reports using an automated test framework like Selenium, Cypress, or Appium.
- Run Regression Tests And Retests
QAs retest the functions once defects have been identified, reported, and corrected to make sure they didn’t miss any oddities. Regression tests are also performed to ensure that the fixes do not affect the already-in-place functionalities.
- Launch Release Testing
The QA team must determine which functionalities are impacted by these changes after developers deliver a release notification containing a list of already implemented features, fixed bugs, reoccurring issues, and limitations. The team must then create modified test suites that account for the new build’s features.
The QA team must also run smoke tests to confirm that each build is stable. If the test is successful, modified test suites are run, and a final report is produced.
Set up the QA process for Agile environments
To match the QA process with Agile development concepts, use a few straightforward techniques:
- Make QA results-focused
Agile development methodologies focus on achieving smaller objectives in order to move more quickly and in fewer steps. QA procedures must adopt similar strategies to this approach, making them faster, more dynamic, and laser-focused on specific goals.
- Make transparency a priority
Any developing strategy benefits from transparency, but Agile success demands it above all. The expectations for the programme, the features to be tested during each sprint, and the definition of “excellent results” must all be extremely apparent to the testers. Because of this clarity, teams can work together, test more quickly, and produce results on time.
- Make quality control testing a continuing process.
Tests should be put off at the end of the development process. As was previously stated, tests must be run following each code commit. It must take place at every sprint in a way that enables teams to spot problems early on.
- Introduce DevOps
DevOps streamlines the build, validation, deployment, and software development processes by bringing Agile concepts to QA and Ops teams.
Along with many other benefits, it eliminates disagreements between the development and QA teams.
- gives developers more control over the production environment
- increases deployment frequency
- reduces the failure rate of newly released software
- increases the average time to recovery
- increases the pace and quality of software deployed and reduces time to market
Recommended Tools for Quality Assurance Testing
To guarantee that the testers are thoroughly testing software and are not overlooking bugs that users may discover in production, every QA team requires the appropriate tools. Let’s start by discussing testing on actual devices.
QA teams need access to real devices to test on, regardless of the test type. A website or app cannot be made available to the public without first passing rigorous user testing. Real device testing must be done, whether it is done manually or automatically.
A cloud-based solution provides the essential infrastructure without an internal lab and with the most recent gadgets. The technology should also assist the actions and efforts of teams of any size without affecting the efficiency or precision of outcomes.
QA teams can add as many individuals as necessary to a plan using TestGrid’s software testing features. Teams can include infinite persons on their planks. Each tester has access to the most recent models of popular browsers and gadgets and more than 100 real browsers.
This will ensure no delays or interruptions and easy team management with built-in tools for forming sub-teams, distributing licences, and enforcing access control among teams.
Other software and tools that support efficient QA operations include the following:
- Google Docs: It allows for the easy sharing of project documentation among teams and individuals, including test plans, checklists, and test data.
- Jira: It helps track bugs, create task tickets, and allocate tasks to specific people.
- Zeplin: It is a helpful platform for sending and receiving design documentation from designers.
- Selenium: It is one of the best tools for testing websites on automation.
- Cypress: It is excellent software for evaluating websites.
- Appium: It is again the obvious best tool for automated app testing.
Best Practices For Setting Up QA Process
- Choose a team member to be the quality owner. Choose a person or group to be in charge of creating a QA plan and establishing testing priorities.
- Make testing chores a priority. It will aid in preventing bottlenecks in the lifespan of software development.
- Apply quality assurance in line with your development model. The QA process should begin in Agile at the same time as development.
- Develop your procedure based on a plan.
- Use manual testing first, and only then should automation be used.
- Use bug-tracking tools to report each and every error.
- Embrace emerging technology. Always look for innovative products and tools that can improve the QA process.
Common QA Process Issues
Several problems could arise when setting up the quality assurance testing process:
- Where and how should test documentation be kept?
Each quality assurance testing expert typically manages several projects at once. In that situation, it’s critical to categorise and keep test data and documentation securely.
Google Drive initially works, but as the number of projects and team members increases, management would be better served to move the data to a more expert test management service.
- How to train the new QAs every time?
Newly hired staff must be trained and educated about the procedures, existing projects, and other information pertinent to the team as a QA department expands.
Create a knowledge base that contains information on how the specific quality assurance testing team operates, its tools, typical bottlenecks, best practices, and the QA flow used on projects.
When a new QA engineer joins, they have easy access to all the information in one place. However, keep in mind that if QA procedures change, you should continue to submit new information.
- How to ensure thorough testing using the QA process?
When juggling several projects, testers may need more time to test specific features or functionalities, causing defects to enter the production environment.
Make a useful software testing checklist that specifies exactly what has to be tested, looked for, and verified to avoid such omissions.
- How should the QA changes be handled?
Imagine a QA is working on a significant project and needs to take a leave of absence in the middle of it. The project must now be handed off to another QA engineer who may need to become more familiar with the project’s or the software’s organisational structure.
It is simpler just to make a map outlining the structure and flow of each project rather than having to walk through it each time a new team member joins. To comprehend the product and the procedures needed for evaluating it, a new project participant only has to consult this map.
This issue can be effectively managed through user management, access controls, and document version controls.
Quality assurance aims to determine whether the generated product is usable. For such, the organisation should have procedures to follow and standards that must be updated regularly. It focuses mainly on the product/service quality we offer to consumers when implementing software or thereafter.
It might be difficult to set up a QA team, especially for new organisations, and without some sort of preconceived structure, the endeavour is unnecessarily made more difficult.
And throughout this article, we hope that you got a fair understanding and clarity on how setting up the QA process can help to build required workflows and let the teams work as efficiently as possible, finish projects quickly, and achieve evident success.
Hence, access to reliable subject expertise is necessary for setting up the QA process to increase your development budget expenditures and ensure your software’s quality is maintained.
To learn more about the topics related to software testing and quality assurance, you can” head over to our blog section here.“
What is Quality Assurance?
“In layman’s language, any systematic procedure used to assess whether a good or service complies with specifications is known as QA or Quality Assurance.” To learn more, head over to the specific topic in this article.
Common Problems in QA Processes?
You might encounter many questions and problems while building and setting up the QA process, like the storage of documentation, training new QAs after they join, handing the change in the QA team between the projects, etc.
We have already answered such questions in the article so that you can quickly read and solve such problems.
Why should QA Processes be implemented?
As we have already discussed, a successful QA process provides testers with a clear definition of the requirements, a complete understanding of the features, and a roadmap for moving forward, using which they can navigate throughout the project and do the testing with the best possible efficiency and effectiveness without missing on any potential bugs in the software.