How to incorporate QA into software development process?
Have you ever had to hit “save” every couple of seconds because the software could glitch and erase all of your work? How about your customers? If the same happens, they will likely defect to your competitor and avoid your product altogether.
On top of that, if your app takes too long to load or crashes when there’s an influx of traffic, you can say goodbye to your customers’ money and trust. Having this in mind, you can clearly see how essential it is to ensure that your digital product works as advertised, all the time.
That’s where Software Quality Assurance (QA) comes in. Basically, QA is a process that aims to identify the requirements for creating reliable, secure, and stable software and verify that the end product meets those requirements.
So, if you’re wondering why Software Quality Assurance is essential for your business and how to incorporate it the best way, this article should give you a good idea.
What is the role of QA in software development?
The software quality assurance process is a systematic activity conducted by software testing specialists to determine whether a product or service meets specified quality requirements and criteria.
QA engineers test the software for various aspects such as functionality, usability, performance, security, and compatibility. They use both manual and automated testing methods to identify any issues found in the software. QA also ensures that a product meets customer requirements and is easy to use.
QA helps reduce the cost of software development by identifying bugs and issues early on and preventing them from becoming major issues later on. QA is essential for any successful software development project and helps to ensure the product is of the highest quality when released to customers.
What are the benefits of software QA?
Neglecting the necessary Software Quality Assurance process can have serious consequences on product quality, including, but not limited to, the following risks:
- user dissatisfaction due to software defects and a decrease in customer loyalty;
- an abundance of negative reviews and a potential loss of reputation;
- trust issues with investors;
- the discouragement of new customers due to an inability to meet their needs;
- old features no longer working with new changes;
- a shift in the team’s focus to fixing bugs rather than implementing new features and improvements;
- lack of involvement from QA professionals;
- and, delays in deployment due to product defects.
An aligned and structured QA process can bring numerous benefits to your business. Software quality assurance will lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as improved product quality.
Additionally, your team will be able to focus on creating new features and improving the product, while customer support will experience less pressure from complaints.
Furthermore, the possibility of product failure will decrease, resulting in project cost reduction since preventing defects is more cost‑efficient than fixing them post‑release.
Increased customer satisfaction
Incorporating QA into the software development process helps create a more reliable and trustworthy product. Users are more likely to trust a product that is bug‑free, doesn’t crash, and is meticulous about privacy and data security.
Customer satisfaction is the key. When the end user is satisfied, he is likely to share his feelings with others, thus bringing you more users.
Improved software quality
Software QA helps identify any issues or bugs that may exist in the software, which can be addressed before releasing the product to the public. This ensures that the software works as intended and is free of any potential errors or issues.
Incorporating QA into the software development process also helps identify any areas that may need improvement. This allows the development team to focus their efforts on those areas, resulting in a more efficient process and a higher quality product.
Reduced costs (of software failure)
Bugs in software development can have serious consequences and end up costing a lot of money. It’s important to catch them early before they cause major problems that can affect the quality of your product and customer satisfaction.
According to the Consortium for Information and Software Quality (CISQ), the cost of poor software quality in the US has grown to at least $2.41 trillion. The 2020 report estimates that poor software quality cost the United States economy over $2 trillion in 2020 due to operational software failures, poor quality legacy systems, and unsuccessful projects.
Investing in thorough testing during the development stage can save you time and money in the long run, rather than trying to fix problems after the fact. Prevention is better than a cure.
How to incorporate QA into the software development process?
1. Establish a QA team
1.1. In-house team
Implementing an in‑house QA process involves creating a dedicated department within a company to handle quality assurance tasks and responsibilities.
One of the main advantages of having an in‑house QA process is that it allows for better communication and collaboration between the QA team and other departments within the company.
There are also potential drawbacks to having an in‑house QA process. One of the main disadvantages is that it can be costly to establish and maintain an in-house QA team.
Additionally, it may be difficult to find and hire qualified QA specialists, and the team may not have the same level of expertise as an outsourced QA team. With the right IT outsourcing provider, the value of an offshore QA team can be greater than an inhouse one.
1.2. Outsourced QA Specialists
One of the main advantages of outsourcing software QA is that it can save time and resources.
Outsourcing providers have already established QA processes and procedures in place, which can save time and resources. They also have specialized expertise and experience in a variety of testing methods, which lead to improved efficiency.
Additionally, outsourcing QA can be more cost‑effective than establishing and maintaining an in‑house QA team, especially in the times of slow economy when cutting back on investments.
However, there are also potential drawbacks to outsourcing QA. One of the main disadvantages is that it can be difficult to maintain good communication and collaboration between the outsourced QA team and other departments within the company. Outsourcing QA can lead to a loss of control over the quality assurance process, as well as a lack of visibility into the testing process. By choosing a reliable vendor and managing the risks in advance, you can prevent those potential problems.
2. Develop QA processes and procedures
An effective QA process runs along all stages of the software development lifecycle, from requirements gathering to maintenance. These processes and procedures can include the 4 general steps:
2.1. Analysis of software requirements and existing QA process
The first step in developing a QA process is to analyze the software requirements and any existing QA processes that are currently in place. This includes reviewing the functional and non‑functional requirements, as well as any industry standards or regulations that must be met. The analysis will also consider the existing QA processes and identify any gaps or areas for improvement.
2.2. QA process (re)design
Based on the analysis, the next step is to (re)design the QA process to ensure that it meets the requirements of the software and any industry standards or regulations. This includes determining the appropriate testing methods, tools, and techniques to be used, as well as establishing the roles and responsibilities of the QA team members.
2.3. Software testing
Once the QA process is designed, the next step is to execute the testing phase. This includes functional testing, performance testing, security testing, and other types of testing that are relevant to the software.
2.4. QA process monitoring and improvement
After the testing phase is complete, the QA process should be continuously monitored and improved. This includes tracking the progress, identifying any issues or areas for further improvement, and implementing any necessary changes to the QA process. This step ensures that the QA process remains effective and efficient over time.
3. Define points of interaction among QA, developers, and other stakeholders
Establishing good collaboration channels is an important step in incorporating QA into software development. This ensures that all parties involved have a clear understanding of the software requirements and are working towards the common goal of delivering a high‑quality product.
Although outsourcing QA teams can be challenging due to distance and different work hours, clear communication channels and regular updates can help mitigate these issues.
4. Implement testing and reporting
This step involves executing the testing phase and documenting the results of the testing. These tests are executed according to the QA process and procedures that were established earlier in the development process.
Once the testing phase is complete, it is crucial to document and report the results of the testing. This documentation serves as a record of the progress of the product or service and ensures that it meets all specified requirements before release to the market.
Considering incorporating QA to your software development process but unsure where to start?
Incorporating QA into the software development process is a crucial step for any company that wants to ensure the quality of its product, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. By taking the necessary steps, your company can ensure that the software products are of the highest quality and that they meet or exceed customer expectations.
To incorporate QA into the software development process, it is essential to establish a dedicated QA team, develop QA processes and procedures, establish collaboration among QA, developers, and other stakeholders, and implement testing and reporting. By following these steps, you can make sure that your software products meet the highest standards and exceed customer expectations.
There are numerous reasons why companies outsource IT services. If your company does not have the resources or expertise to handle QA in‑house, consider hiring a software QA outsourcing company. At Alas, we already have established processes and procedures in place, specialized expertise, and experience that can be leveraged to improve the overall quality of your product or service.