September 27, 2023

Within the software program growth life cycle, high quality assurance (QA) is commonly the final step earlier than code is launched—it’s nearly an afterthought. Due to this, it’s also often under-resourced, with insufficient individuals, processes, instruments, and time devoted to it. That is evidenced by a 2022 report from Katalon, which surveyed greater than 3,000 software program professionals and located that solely round half of respondents had been happy with their crew’s QA efforts. It’s no shock, then, that 67% of respondents stated their major software program high quality aim was to enhance QA processes and practices.

High quality assurance is just not usually the remit of product managers, however I argue that it needs to be. There isn’t any one on a product crew higher outfitted to make sure that the product imaginative and prescient is delivered with out points that might value you prospects—or worse, trigger your organization to lose market value.

Fifty-three percent of software professionals surveyed said they were satisfied with their team’s QA practices; 67% said their primary software quality goal was to improve QA processes and practices.
The outcomes of a current survey of software program professionals point out the clear want for enchancment round QA.

Ideally, QA needs to be ongoing all through your entire product life cycle, and product managers ought to lead the cost. Throughout my 25 years within the area, I’ve discovered that the next QA finest practices and suggestions—which may be applied whatever the course of getting used—yield higher-quality code and happier prospects.

What Defines High quality Software program?

There are 4 important areas that outline high quality software program:




The software program does what it was supposed to do. For instance, in case you’re designing expense administration software program, it ought to correctly calculate issues like taxes and totals. QA take a look at plans ought to cowl all useful exams, ideally in an automatic trend, in order that any newly launched code doesn’t trigger present features to interrupt.


The person expertise needs to be simple, intuitive, and environment friendly. The software program also needs to carry out effectively constantly. Expense administration programs, that are usually used on Fridays or Mondays when individuals are submitting expense stories, ought to carry out effectively even throughout these high-use durations. Efficiency testing needs to be included as a part of a whole QA plan.


The software program needs to be operational as supposed and error-free. An essential side of QA testing is masking as many potential error and edge circumstances as potential, in order that the software program can cope in any circumstances. For example, it ought to know how you can deal with an expense that’s entered as a destructive versus a optimistic quantity.


The software program have to be safe and defend person knowledge. That is key for each consumer-based and enterprise enterprise software program. Investing in good penetration testing and different safety testing is significant.

QA Greatest Practices for Product Managers

Product managers ought to facilitate a mindset and perspective shift throughout the crew so as to construct and keep a tradition that allows the creation of high-quality software program. The next QA finest practices embrace each overarching ideas and extra particular concepts that supply fast wins to achieve buy-in and momentum in your journey to sturdy QA.

Make QA a Prime-down Effort

Promote high-quality software program and make the investments in assets to make sure good QA. Once I was head of product at a startup, I used to be given the price range to rent a small QA crew and acquire the required take a look at automation software program. I made it some extent to develop a superb relationship with the engineering crew in order that we had been capable of alter the design, growth, and launch processes to include QA gates. With this funding in QA, we had been capable of produce software program sooner and with fewer points.

Instill a QA Mindset Throughout the Staff

QA is just not one thing that solely the QA crew ought to take into consideration—it begins with a product supervisor defining the product via an in depth set of necessities and complete acceptance standards. I realized early on in my product administration profession to decelerate and take into account all of the potential methods a person might make a mistake or misread a operate. It’s simple to jot down a product necessities doc (PRD) that focuses on the very best path or default state of affairs, however a superb PRD ought to embrace error and edge circumstances too, as a way to construct probably the most intuitive expertise potential. Instilling this sort of QA mindset in your crew ranging from the early phases of growth results in higher-quality software program.

Moreover, implementing test-driven growth (TDD) methodologies may be very efficient in selling a QA mindset. Whereas a non-TDD crew would write the code first after which the take a look at circumstances afterwards, which regularly ends in remodeling code, TDD means take a look at circumstances are written upfront as a part of the necessities and used repeatedly all through the event course of to make sure that the code passes all exams earlier than being launched.

Doc Check Outcomes Clearly

Check outcomes needs to be effectively documented, significantly when a take a look at fails. A transparent course of—together with instruments that allow fast and seamless recording of take a look at outcomes, that are mechanically routed to the developer—will assist the product crew be extra environment friendly.

Set Up Common Milestones

At every stage of growth, put QA milestones in place. The sooner a problem is caught, the much less disruption and energy it takes to deal with it. Organising mid-development QA integration exams, for instance, means code may be introduced collectively and examined so as to uncover points or failures earlier than the ultimate launch candidate is constructed.

Leverage Automation and AI Instruments

Automated testing and bug reporting instruments are important in producing high-quality software program shortly, significantly in steady integration and steady supply environments—they usually save a whole lot of time. I’ve usually utilized Jira plugins, similar to Xray or Zephyr Scale, to assist handle QA take a look at circumstances.

There are additionally AI instruments, which have just lately grow to be out there, that may assist with some areas of QA, similar to making the upkeep of automated exams simpler. Many automated exams depend on a single technique of figuring out a display screen component, similar to its identify or location. At present, if a developer strikes or renames a display screen component, the automated take a look at will fail, regardless of the performance staying the identical. With AI, the display screen component may be recognized utilizing many extra attributes, enabling modifications with out the take a look at failing. Then, over time, the AI learns which attributes to depend on so as to precisely establish the display screen component.

One other space wherein AI can help QA efforts is autonomous testing. You possibly can practice AI by exhibiting it how customers navigate your utility in manufacturing. The AI then creates automated take a look at scripts that mimic widespread person flows. This, mixed with the upkeep of automated exams, means you possibly can obtain increased protection with extra sturdy exams that require much less upkeep. Take a look at AI-based testing instruments like Appvance, SauceLabs, and Testim.

Implement a Peer Assessment Course of

Pair programming—a standard follow in coding whereby one developer writes code and the opposite critiques it—will help catch bugs earlier than they’re ever launched. Whilst a product supervisor, I’ve usually discovered it useful to have a colleague look over my necessities doc, for instance. Implementing peer critiques at each stage, even in the course of the discovery and design phases, will help create a stronger product. It could be a good suggestion to have somebody from the QA crew evaluate the acceptance standards of your person tales to make sure they’re clear and full.

Check Throughout A number of Units and at Peak Masses

For software program that runs on a number of platforms, similar to internet, iOS, and Android, testing needs to be accomplished on all of the platforms and even on totally different variations of working programs and browsers. Particular load testing is essential in figuring out if there’s vital efficiency degradation at peak masses. With new browser, iOS, and Android releases popping out at totally different instances, it’s essential to run exams frequently and never simply throughout your personal utility launch cycle. I just lately realized this lesson the exhausting manner when a brand new model of Android got here out and prompted our Android utility to be unavailable for obtain as a result of we hadn’t upgraded it.

Constantly Enhance Your QA Course of

After placing a QA course of in place, make sure you consider it usually, noting what elements are working or not working, and the way they are often improved. After a dash, a growth crew will usually maintain a retrospective, reflecting on what occurred within the iteration and figuring out actions for enchancment going ahead. Maintain an identical assembly to your total QA processes and procedures, or incorporate QA evaluation into your present retrospective.

Strong QA Means Larger Effectivity, High quality, and Innovation

It’s vital to spend money on QA so as to produce high-quality software program. As a product supervisor, you possibly can put some instant steps in place to information this effort:

  • Take the lead on implementing QA methods and advocating for enough QA assets and instruments to your crew.
  • Deliver a QA perspective to necessities gathering and work with the event crew to shift to a test-driven strategy.
  • Leverage automation instruments to make your crew’s QA processes simpler and extra environment friendly.

By making QA a precedence and constructing these methods into your product processes early on, your merchandise will undoubtedly be increased high quality. Finally, this is not going to solely allow your crew to work on new improvements, reasonably than fixing bugs, it can additionally allow you because the product supervisor to understand your product imaginative and prescient sooner.