Test Management 101: We talkin ‘bout quality?
  September 28, 2020

Quality: We all hear about it, but do we know what it is, and why we need it?

Quality:(noun)The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something. "an improvement in product quality"

Software quality: the totality of functionality and features of a software product that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.  

In other words, ensuring an app works after it’s deployed. For us to deliver quality, we need to create products that meet specific requirements of its users. Defining your test management process will help ensure that you’re meeting these expectations of your customers.  

1. Plan

Test processes should be defined and documented. You don’t build a house before the foundation. Often the prep work is tedious, but clear and thoughtful documentation creates visibility across the software team, allowing for easy execution.

2. Define roles

Testing can be different at every company, so the first thing you should do is to define the QA roles. Traditionally you’ll see QA leads, Automation QA Engineers, and Manual QA Engineers. Testing consists of many activities and are performed by different functions, each with their own set of skills and responsibilities.

3. Review

The purpose of formal technical reviews (FTR) is to verify that the software meets specified requirements. Conducting FTR allows engineers to identify errors at early stages. Ensure that you’re building a quality product before you get any further into the development cycle. You should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What was reviewed?
  • Who reviewed it?
  • What were the findings?

4. User acceptance

We have user personas to identify the typical user for our products, based off patterns and goals of the target audience. To make sure that your product is meeting customers’ needs, user-acceptance testing lets you engage with real-life users to help test your product, get feedback, and identify bugs.

5. Measure

What’s the point of testing if you aren’t sure what you’re measuring? Make sure your testing objectives are measurable, documented, reviewed, and tracked. Quality is subjective, so you need to decide what metrics you’re looking to test.

6. Automate!

Automated testing can launch the quality of your software to the next level. As Agile is increasingly adopted by development teams, it’s prudent to deploy automated testing in the QA process. It also allows your teams to work towards adopting Continuous Integration (CI).

7. Report

Bug reports that clearly identify the problem will help engineers go back and solve it quickly. This reduces time spent going back and forth to understand the problem, and help prevent any misunderstandings of the error.

Check back in with us for our next installment of the Test Management 101 blog series, where we’ll cover behavior-driven development (BDD) in test management tooling. If you missed previous entries, you can find them here and here.

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