Today, software engineering is defined by speed. As companies strive to achieve weekly, or even daily, releases, QA and development teams must combine their efforts to deliver a high-quality product on schedule. This is not always easy, as both teams contribute differently to the project. Developers are concerned with developing and delivering the product on time, and QA engineers are tasked with testing and ensuring its quality. Oftentimes, these teams are completely separate units. With proper coaching and guidance, you can unite both teams in pursuit of a common goal: a solid product release that meets customer requirements.
Integrate QA and development teams using these seven methods:
- Advocate consistent communication to ensure that both teams have a clear idea about project details and overall progress. With an outsourced QA partner, 24/7 communication (phone conversations, video chats, and email correspondence) is vital in integrating QA and development processes. Learn about how we achieve seamless communication using our onsite offshore model.
- Encourage regular meetings between QA and development to help define priorities for both teams. Daily standup meetings allow for discussion of status and blockers, review meetings encourage discussion of stories and clarifications, and plannings meetings help teams prioritize, plan, and finalize stories that go into a release. Retrospection meetings help teams discover successes and areas of improvement based on the last release.
- Schedule weekly meetings between QA and development leads to help assess any challenges the teams are facing and to track success. These weekly meetings unify the two teams and improve coordination on a broad scale. Integrating outsourced QA and development requires structured communication as an alternative to proximity. Find out more about us and our unique approach.
- Use the same project management tools for planning, estimation, defect tracking, and status reporting to obtain a clear picture of each team’s contribution to the project.
- Distribute knowledge between teams with sharing sessions. In these exchanges the QA team will share their functional knowledge with the development team, and development will share technical and implementation information with QA.
- Resolve conflicts as they occur and maintain focus on the issue at hand. Encourage teams to define and follow a conflict resolution process instead of assigning fault to other members. A culture of mutual respect goes a long way in improving confidence and motivation, both essential as you integrate QA and development.
- Appreciate your teams and recognize the good work performed by each. This builds on the culture of collaborations and respect as opposed to division.
We believe that successful team integration occurs when skilled QA engineers and developers unify to create a high quality product that serves its purpose and satisfies the customer. As you coordinate your outsourced QA team and developers, keep this bigger picture in mind.
What does good team integration look like to you? Leave a comment below and let us know.