Making mistakes is natural to humans, however, mistakes and errors in a software world bring along huge costs. Building a high-performance testing process is now perennial for businesses now – to deliver high-quality products and experiences within the set budget.

There have been numerous instances in history where software flaws have led to wastage of billions of dollars.Since the cost of addressing flaws rises 10X with each succeeding development stage, it has been demonstrated that early and continuous software testing saves money.

The idea of software quality was introduced to ensure that the deployed program is secure and performs as intended. As a result, software quality management was created as an umbrella term comprising three key components that are testing, quality assurance, and quality control. The fundamental task of testing is to identify and address technical problems in the software source code as well as to evaluate the usability, performance, security, and compatibility of the end product. Not only is it a key component of quality assurance, but it is also a crucial step in the creation of software.

How to Use Testing Optimally to Improve Software Quality

Test planning is essential because the QA procedures directly impact the quality of your deliverables. Creating a test plan allows you to grasp the scope of the testing, critical activities, team responsibilities, and required efforts.

Test procedures should be properly planned out, established, and recorded. The key to effective communication within the software team is good documentation. Therefore, developing quality and test plans for a project is necessary for effective planning.

Quality management plan

A quality management plan is a document that outlines how the project will achieve an acceptable level of product quality. Supporting project managers is the key objective of this plan. As a result, it needs to outline the software quality requirements and how they should be evaluated.

Test strategy

The Business Requirements Specification document is the source of a high-level document called a test strategy. A test strategy is typically developed by a project manager or a business analyst to specify the software testing techniques utilized to meet testing goals. The test strategy is a part of the test plan in a small project. However, for a more large-scale project, the PM has to create a test strategy as a separate, static document from which each test plan can be further developed.

Test plan

The timeline for all required testing tasks should be included in a proper test plan in order to manage your team’s testing time. It should also outline each team member’s responsibilities so that everyone is aware of what is expected of them. There is no universal method for developing a test plan because it is dependent on the company’s processes, standards, and test management tools.

Test case

The creation of effective test cases is a crucial component of improving software testing because test cases are one of the key tools used by testers in the process of planning. 

Some Evidence-Based Practices to Boost Testing Efficiency

Test at the right time: Early testing is critically essential to maximize software quality. In order to identify the flaws and mistakes committed throughout the development phases, testing is indeed necessary. Additionally, it aids in preventing any flaws from growing into more significant problems. The cost to fix any problems increases with the size of the defect. It is best to incorporate your testers as soon as possible.

Engaging testers during the requirements and design phases will enable the team to create a test framework that is more efficient. Poor requirements are to blame for more than 70% of software problems in a live environment.

Perform formal technical review: Software developers can identify logical and functional flaws early on by performing a formal technical review (FTR). An FTR, which is a group meeting where attendees with specific roles confirm that generated software complies with predetermined standards and requirements, aids in error prevention and lowers the likelihood of logical and implementation problems in the future. Additionally, it helps the production team in laying down the track of all the features of the finished product, improving the development.

When a product is mature, that is the optimal time for running an FTR. But it varies according to the kind of review. A team of engineers with specialized roles as producers, speakers, or reviewers is needed for a typical FTR. 

Introduce user acceptance testing: User personas are used in product development to pinpoint the ideal client or typical user for your product. A user persona is a fictional figure that represents the behavior and objectives of the target market for your product. Personas are used by QA teams to choose where and how to look for bugs. Consider including end users in your application’s testing to make sure it satisfies user needs.

User acceptance testing, also known as end-user testing, is often done toward the end of the software development process. Testing your application with end users can help you find flaws that you might otherwise overlook. It also demonstrates that your software is production-ready and provides user input to your developers during and after the production stage.

Enhance the use of automated tests: Automated testing is unquestionably something one should think about if one truly wants to raise the caliber of their software. Increased test automation and the widespread use of Agile techniques are two of the three major trends. The use of automated testing throughout the QA process is definitely suggested.

Using automation tools to execute the tests is known as automated testing. You rapidly discover that the primary distinction between manual and automated testing is how each method is carried out. Automated testing depends on the specialized software tools being used, whereas manual testing is carried out by hand. Test automation tools are used to run tests, record the outcomes, and contrast them with previous test runs. A number of test reruns are possible at any moment using such a method because it requires minimal human involvement.

Implement code quality measurements: Make sure your quality targets are measurable, documented, evaluated, and tracked, to improve the software testing process. There is no one ideal method to evaluate the quality of code. The chief recommendation is to select KPIs for your workflow that are simple and efficient.

One could think about using the Software Quality Model as an option. Security, reliability, performance efficiency, and maintainability comprise the four primary components of this approach. For example, performance efficiency denotes flaws that affect hardware use and response time.

Ensure effective communication within the QA team: Misunderstandings can be avoided by communicating face-to-face. Good team communication helps people to compare results and offer effective solutions to problems that arise during testing. Also, you need a strong team leader who can communicate ideas and feedback to testers. QA managers should encourage team members to discuss ongoing issues and other problems that may affect productivity and efficiency within the team.

Combine Exploratory And Ad Hoc Testing: These forms of testing are based on utmost creativity and an outstanding vision of the product. They appear to be relatively similar to the UAT testing, but it’s still a different strategy. 

The Key Testing Goals to Look at

  • Minimum documentation required;
  • Random actions with little to no planning;
  • Maximum creativity.

Exploratory testing is more similar to formal approaches. It is beneficial in projects with minimal documentation requirements. The test scripts are not written beforehand. The QA managers only focus on pre-established goals. They act spontaneously and try to think outside the box.

Even more casual and inventive is ad hoc testing. It lacks objectives and guidelines. No documentation is necessary. Software is randomly examined by testers that simply depend on their instincts and experience.

Summing Up

Quality Assurance is not just a pivotal process now. It has gone on to become an important pillar for the ways of working – for successful organizations. The processes associated with QA influence and enhance the workflow, culture and overall well-being. In doing that, QA can help in saving time and money, while taking quality to the next level.

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Written by Infiwave Solutions