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10 Ways Quality Assurance Can Increase Software Productivity
A lot of research has gone into finding the cause behind failure of software start-up companies. One of the root causes for such failures appears to be poor quality assurance practices followed during a software development life cycle. The main purpose of executing rigorous software quality assurance testing on software products is to thwart the release of poor-quality products to the clients or end customers. Efficient quality assurance leads to product efficiency, which is not all about managing interactions, including integrations, or gathering user feedback, but also about opening up avenues for increased visibility, augmented marketing efforts, and capturing a wider user base.
Managing software quality has become crucial in every stage of project management. Excellent software quality would enable superior performance and cost-efficiency to deliver the projects. Finding methods to apply effective QA software testing methods in the early stages of the SDLC would help detect glitches and solve them accordingly. Eliminating glitches in the early stages of project management invariably delivers superior quality software and cost optimization. On the other hand, poor software quality generates poor user experiences, which can be time-consuming and expensive to set right later.
Therefore, instead of spending quality time and resources into containing/eliminating the bugs later, it is better to take the right approach and deliver a quality end product. Traditional quality assurance often includes large-scale coding and extensive work before any kind of testing is done. This method leads to finding more issues in the software closer to the final delivery date. Whereas test automation combined with continuous integration from the beginning unravels the majority of bugs at the beginning of the SDLC and fixes them as the cycle progresses. The result is fewer problems to resolve at the end of the project, which in turn offers easy delivery and seamless integration.
Therefore, here are the 10 ways as to how quality assurance can enhance productivity, reduce errors, and increase ROI.
#1. Conducting sanity testing on production
Performing post-release sanity testing is vital to validate every aspect of a software application including all third-party systems. In this type of software quality assurance services, teams need to conduct tests using existing production account, then generate a new account to validate the process. The QA teams must conduct sanity testing for half a day, where some of the team members can test the old account while the rest can scrutinize the newly-created account. The final stage of sanity testing must include third-party components such as the transaction system to ensure version compatibility.
#2. Following a two-tier perspective to test automation along with continuous integration
Automation is important for software quality assurance for it offers a faster feedback and facilitates continuous integration. Automation is a key component of enhancing efficiency while reducing costs. However, implementing a two-tier automation approach is more feasible to derive faster and effective results. If a developer makes a commit to the main trunk, it is important to take into account the scenario as quickly as possible. For software quality assurance services, teams cannot perform exhaustive system tests for each commit. This process would take too long to identify the issue, by when the respective developer may have moved on to some other process. So, adopting a two-tier approach is more ideal to test automation.
#3. Employing a shift-left method
Generally, testing begins once the coding phase is finished. However, for optimal results in the agile method, one needs to shift the focus and start monitoring since the inception of the project. This approach ensures the glitches are identified sooner, which not only saves cost and time but also expands the test coverage area and expedites delivery of the final product.
#4. Simulating user accounts during production
The customer data in the existing database must remain compatible and intact with the newly-released versions. The software testing team needs to perform data migration testing and develop test accounts to manage the production system. These accounts are continuously used to populate the databases. After the release of new versions, running updates to review the data with the help of automation is crucial to avoid unanticipated glitches.
#5. Conducting a regression cycle
Performing a regression cycle in the final phase of product stabilization is helpful to validate the entire product. Conceptually, modeling a product as a tree hierarchy with a module component helps to comprehend the product from client's perspective. When any branch gets modified, the hierarchy displays the affected branches that require additional QA testing.
#6. Developing a dedicated security team
As customers consume Software as a Service (SaaS) and data gets stored on the servers, the QA teams need to perform security testing before every release. Security vulnerabilities on SaaS platforms generally get identified by users and can quickly become a turn off for the customers. To prevent that scenario, forming a dedicated QA security team would be ideal.
#7. Developing a performance team
The dedicated performance team must perform tests to assess whether the product is stable or not. The performance and security teams must be updated with pertinent information to identify a significant bottleneck in third-party SaaS environment arising due to any new configuration in the provider's database. The team needs to check the environment of a software application also, otherwise, a crash would result and malign the software performance.
#8. Smart testing approach
A comprehensive software testing process can sometimes offer a challenge, as many teams may not have the stipulated resources and time to go through every possible combination of test cases. Therefore, communicating with the developer to discover small test cases would solve the greatest number of challenges while reducing the time consumed.
#9. Careful selection of release criteria
Before a new release cycle begins, it is important to identify the part to be tested in the new updated code. One needs to focus on the information to prioritize the testing efforts. So, prioritizing the release criteria on new code that is being included would reduce the efforts and time of testing.
#10. Staying relevant to the environment:
It is important to perform software testing under the same production conditions as the application moves through in the SDLC. It builds a staging environment to simulate production environments.
As the software development landscape advances further, the approach shifts towards continuous integration. Here, automation and best practices mentioned earlier would help any software quality assurance company to surpass quality while meeting client satisfaction upon delivery.
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