There are many components that make up quality assurance testing. Here we look at the advantages this process can offer your business.
What is quality assurance testing?
Quality assurance testing is to make sure that final product of a software development process meets a company’s needs. QA will use standardised procedures that ensure specific results and targets are met during the process. This confirms the software meets the standards required before it’s released.
QA doesn’t specifically involve testing the products and instead works with the procedures. As services develop, quality assurance will work to adapt to the changing environment, but at the same time, quality must not be forfeited for quantity.
Quality assurance testing is often confused with quality control, but the two offer different uses to developers. Quality control is used alongside quality assurance throughout the process but generally involves looking at quality earlier on in the project.
On the other hand, QA is used throughout every step of the process and provides measurements, a feedback loop, and comparisons as the project continues. Testing is the final part of QA, which is then used to ensure the software is ready for the end-user.
Writing a test plan
Many companies end up skipping this step, as they believe it’s too time-consuming and costly. However, a test plan helps with communication and allows you to come to clear agreements with your stakeholders. You’ll identify the objectives of the project and the approach for testing it. You don’t need to create an extensive test plan, and this can be adjusted to a project working at a quicker pace.
There are some disadvantages of this process, especially when developers are involved. This can result in the code and process being adjusted just to pass a test while forfeiting other aspects of the project. However, dedicated QA engineers can create test plans which can be customised to test different environments. Each test needs to have a measurable result and should have clear steps to assist you on your way. This will help you save time in the long run, and there will be no communication breakdown during testing.
The testing process
Within quality assurance, testing is the part of the process which works to detect issues with your service or product. It goes without saying that this is a crucial part of QA and will ensure there are no issues for your customers or stakeholders before the release. Testing in quality assurance involves various components.
To begin with, the testing expectations must be defined. A user flow should be established to help streamline the process and reduce the repetition involved with QA. While many people believe this is a lengthy process, quality and quicker turnaround times can be achieved with a test plan.
While quality assurance is focused on the activities that ensure the project meets the stakeholder’s needs, testing is used to find bugs and issues within the software. Quality assurance looks to assure quality, whereas testing aims to control quality. By following the best practices listed below, you can find a way that works for your company when it comes to QA testing.
In an Agile environment, QA testing focuses on understanding the consumer instead of placing emphasis on performing the tests. However, in a waterfall environment, this is often left until very late in the process, where the QA team will offer feedback for the developers to fix before its release.
Best practices for QA testing
When it comes to QA testing, there are certain best practices we always recommend following. Each test should have obvious objectives and should only focus on one feature or item at a time. Before even starting the testing, you’ll want to consider the testing options available to you. There are many different options, such as user acceptance testing and load testing, which can all be used as part of QA testing.
Understanding their differences is critical to help you pick the best option for your current project. Regression testing is essential throughout any longer development process, as it will help your company identify any issues down the line with new and old features working together.
Tracking your tests is crucial for an effective and productive QA testing process. Before beginning the process, determine how you will report any issues within the software and whether you need to build a tracking solution for your project. The environment in which tests are conducted is also important to consider.
Make sure any testing you undertake can be replicated for different scenarios, operating systems, users, and devices. Analytics are key for tracking all of your tests, but you’ll need to decide beforehand which statistics you are most concerned about. By tracking your data over the months and years, you’ll begin to develop new testing methods to identify common problem areas.
Benefits of quality assurance testing
Quality assurance testing offers many benefits to everyone involved in a software development project. While it may cost you more upfront, it will save you time in the long run. The longer bugs are ignored, the more challenging and costly they are to fix. Using QA testing throughout your software development process will help avoid issues by the time of deployment.
Both your clients and users will feel more confident after a solid QA testing process. There will be no frustration with the overall user experience, which is the primary aim of QA testing. Therefore, your product will be more successful in the market place, as happy users will continue to recommend it.
There are many benefits of quality assurance testing. When a solid test plan is developed, you’ll find it’s an efficient tool for any software development project. While QA testing is deployed in slightly different ways, depending on the methodology you use for your work, it’s an effective solution that saves companies from finding larger issues further on in the process.