They say quality is everyone’s responsibility.
But what if everyone fulfills this responsibility in their own way, without following any pre-determined guidelines, industry best practices, or protocols?
Due to such an individualized approach, the outcomes of the Quality Assurance process will not be aligned to the overall organization’s objectives and goals.
As each team or unit would use their choice of tools, platforms, and reporting mechanisms, there will be a lack of a standard way in which the QA outcomes can be measured and evaluated. And, a non-standard approach toward QA across an organization becomes an expensive affair.
If we look at the common software development methodologies, from Waterfall to Agile to DevOps, there is still little importance given to the QA function. Especially with waterfall and Agile SDLCs, QA would come at the end of the development process.
Having QA at the end, that too in a non-standardized way, results in two things –
- One, code will have to be moved back and forth between the QA and dev teams for bug detection and fixing at the very last moment. Not only will it cause the production deadline to be pushed but will increase the cost of QA.
- Two, as there will be no standard manner in which QA metrics will be evaluated, the real ROI of the process cannot be justified. This results in increased apprehension toward dedicating time to proper QA process, and more inclination toward skipping it altogether.
The main purpose and the reason why every organization should standardize its QA process is to ensure uniformity across the SDLC, eliminate the possibility of confusion, prevent chaos, and yield the desired outcomes.
QA standardization vs. flexibility
The debate between bringing flexibility into the QA function and standardizing it is a very important one, and needs to be addressed before we move any further.
Both flexibility and standardization are essential for any function to be effective, whether it’s Dev, Ops, or QA.
The right approach is to achieve the optimal balance between flexibility and standardization in a QA process. However, this may be quite tricky to do.
One practice that organizations can follow is to standardize the processes around testing such as reporting and tool selection, while allowing flexibility in the actual testing process.
Flexibility is necessary for QA practitioners to take a creative approach and uncover vulnerabilities & find bugs for which a standardized approach may or may not suffice.
Therefore, it is all about finding the right balance.
Best practices for Software Quality Assurance
Having best practices laid out in an organization for software quality assurance guides the testers as well as all the stakeholders involved to the ideal path for maximum QA efficiency.
Some of the best practices that should be followed for quality assurance and testing are:
- Have a clear understanding of the business goals
- Determine unambiguous acceptance criteria for testing
- Establish a CI/CD lifecycle and have QA run in parallel
- Follow proper documentation for supported platforms, test plan, test cases and checklists, and release notes
- Always conduct exploratory testing for improving the overall outcomes
- Establish a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) for achieving QA maturity
TCoE for QA maturity
Any business or organization needs a TCoE to:
- Align their QA activity to not only the project goal, but the overall organization’s goals
- Have access to the resources with the desired technical and domain skills while keeping the training costs under control
- Bring transparency across the QA function
- Reduce the testing time without compromising on quality
- Eliminate issues such as defect leakage and missed deadlines
- Be at the top of all the new testing trends
- Standardize your QA function throughout the organization
A testing center of excellence centralizes the software testing and QA practice across an enterprise, enabling them to focus on innovation.
How can we help
Testing Center of Excellence creates a centralized testing function, helps improve efficiency, optimizes people/tool utilization, and reduces testing costs. Our TCoE services combine the deep understanding of industry best practices and decade-long expertise in software testing services delivery.
Ability to set up cross-functional TCoE in business organizations removes redundancies, streamlines testing processes and hence accelerates the entire software testing life cycle. Our TCoE Services are unique as we not only take up the end-to-end QA ownership but also provide complimentary testing R&D expertise in the form of IP and test accelerators. To handle sporadic service demand, we also offer a ‘Shared Pool’ model of engagement.
We have established Software Testing Centers of Excellence around Mobile, Performance, and Security Testing. We have set up dedicated labs within the organization, which our clients leverage for gaining maximum benefit from their QA investment. Our TCoEs are powered by the strong strategic partnerships with leading test tool vendors and our test professionals have profound expertise in handling various commercial and open-source testing tools.