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Thursday, 2 April 2015

How to Make Software Quality Assurance More Realistic

A constant increase is noted in the number of enterprises integrating software QA as part of the development cycles. Also, many companies are adopting test driven development approach (TDD) to enhance quality, efficiency and productivity.

But a number of reports have highlighted how the software QA strategies of many organizations fail despite putting time, resources and funds. Several experts have thought the software testing industry needs a reality check in order to thrive in upcoming years. According to these experts, software QA industry, just like manufacturing industry, must explore innovative ways to meet the constant changes in test automation tools, testing methodologies and application architecture. At the same time, each organization also needs to understand how to make its QA strategy more realistic and effective.

1. Identify Key Elements of Software Testing: While making the testing strategy, you must identify the key elements of software QA like test strategy, test plan, test cases, test environment and test data. Each of these elements contributes towards optimizing your software QA. These elements can also be considered by your manual as well as automated testing strategy. Each aspects of a QA must concentrate on these elements to emulate the real user behavior and environment. Further, these elements will help you in deciding the test automation tools required to create the perfect environment for software QA.

2. Eliminate the Unnecessary Processes: While planning software QA, many people forget that many quality control techniques have evolved from the manufacturing industry. These techniques and practices often make software testing both process-driven and procedural-driven. There are always chances that some of these process-driven or procedural-driven techniques may not complement the latest trends in software testing. That is why; it becomes essential to evaluate each of these processes based on what you need to check. You must identify and eliminate these process-driven and procedural-driven methods to effectuate your QA strategy.

3. Avoid the Over-Hyped Tools: When you decide to automate your software QA, it becomes essential to invest in test automation tools and programs. You have options to choose from loads of testing tools available in the market. Most enterprises prefer the latest test automation tools to get better results. But you must remember that often companies launch marketing campaigns to hype their software testing tools. There are also chances that the latest tools available in the market may not complement your specific needs. So you must evaluate the pros and cons of each tool to ensure that it is managing both quality and coverage, while articulating the risk properly.

4. Decide the Test Cases to be Automated: You have option to automate all or selected test cases. Many experts advise QA engineers to automate the test cases that need to be tested repeatedly and frequently. At the same time, many experts even recommend enterprises to automate most of the test cases to get high quality and ROI. An organization has to invest more funds to automate its software QA completely. But one must not ignore the test cases that can be evaluated only manually. The testing strategy of an organization must seamlessly integrate both automated and manual test cases to deliver quality test data.

5. Prevent Context Leakage: Many companies outsource software QA to save both efforts and funds. However, the outsourcing of software testing projects can have a negative effect due to context leakage. Similar to software development, context is of great importance to both testing and QA reporting. Also, the QA engineers deployed by the outsourced company do not have access to the primary source of information that results in more context leakages. So you must explore option to prevent context leakage while outsourcing software QA. It is always important to coordinate with the QA team constantly to make the testing more contextual and realistic.

The software QA strategy of an enterprise must consider the latest trends in software application testing. It must emphasize on some of the best practices and industry standards to make the process more productive and efficient.

Author: Ken Miller

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