Though it can seem to be a daunting task, there are many reasons to switch QA providers or integrate QA into your project. QA ensures that your project is released with as few flaws as possible.
Understanding key management skills required to achieve an efficient, productive QA team is essential to the success of projects. In today’s world, we are changing our approach towards Agile & Scrum processes, which focus on not just executing test cases at the end of a test cycle, but communicating risks throughout the software development lifecycle. This requires QA testers to be involved with various parts of the team including business analysts and developers at each level. Being able to manage the QA teams is crucial for an organization’s success. Here are some key skills needed to manage your QA team effectively.
Without high-quality defect tracking tools, monitoring software bugs is impossible. No engineer can track each and every defect in his or her head, nor with a single spreadsheet. Bug tracking allows teams to focus on priority issues that directly affect the quality of the software, and communicate about them more effectively.
A quality product is essential to the continued growth of a company, and the CEO and executive team take both quality and growth very seriously. Ensuring a quality product is the primary role of the engineering organization. The CEO depends on concise reporting from this team to inform the important decisions they will have to make regarding test resources and release schedules. The main goal of QA reporting is to educate the CEO’s business decisions and enable risk management on a broader scale.
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.
Over the years we have been asked, and have answered, nearly every possible question about QA. The one recurring question that no one can answer clearly is, “What is the right mix of QA engineers to development engineers?” We admit it: we don’t have a firm answer, either. The ideal ratio of QA to dev depends on several key factors, each of which may change on a project-to-project basis. For this reason, we recommend starting with a small team and scaling up or down as needed.
A recent news story reported on an allegation that Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies were conspiring to avoid hiring each other’s top talent. Apparently some companies may be willing to risk anti-trust lawsuits from the Department of Justice in an attempt to retain key employees. The need to retain your best people is as important in QA as with any other tech function, and can greatly impact the quality, effectiveness and speed of software quality assurance efforts.