What Makes a Good Quality Assurance Team and Why It is So Important
March 14, 2017 - Quality Assurance and Testing
Today, when development sphere has gone way beyond the traditional software, everyone at least slightly connected with IT knows what is quality assurance team. Just a couple of years ago, the situation was quite different, when only a few companies were actually going through a software quality assurance process. Instances when developers were asking “Why we need a QA team?” were not so rare. Even today, when QA positions are in abundance, they seem underestimated compared to developers’ ones.
People who think that the answer to the question, ‘What does a quality assurance team do’ is just “Testing software”, probably fail to realize the true goal and responsibility of quality assurance. So, let’s see why it matters and how to make the most out of your QA team.
Importance of a QA team
According to Wikipedia quality assurance definition, it is ‘a way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers’. But there’s in fact more than that about quality assurance. There are numerous benefits of having a QA team in place, like:
- It helps meet clients’ demands and expectations most fully
- It works to build trust with customers and beat the competition in the long run.
- It is effective for saving costs by detecting and fixing issues and flaws at early stages.
- It assists in setting and maintaining high quality standardsIt shifts focus from detecting issues to their prevention.
Apparently, investing into quality assurance is not only worthwhile, but indispensable taken today’s fierce competition in IT. It is certainly important to know and use QA team best practices for the desired results. So, let’s discuss how to create a good quality assurance team and run it effectively.
Creating a QA team
Building a QA team, it is crucial to keep in mind its key goals and choose the candidates based not only on their current skills, but also on their potential for growth. Also, before you set off, make sure you have clearly defined QA team roles and responsibilities, in order to choose the team members who are most suitable for this or that role.
Since quality assurance engineers often handle diverse tasks with different complexity levels, the best approach to compile a team would be not to look only for the brightest. The team will benefit from members able to diligently handle routine repetitive tasks, those who are perfection driven, people who tend to look deep into the root of an issue, team members with leader qualities, techies and even freshmen, open to new knowledge.
Managing to discover everyone’s small talents allows distributing tasks and responsibilities to achieve the highest efficiency.
Managing a QA team
Just like any other team, a QA team is strong and successful when it is well organized, features healthy atmosphere, motivation and is united by a common goal. All of this is the result of good management. Typically, quality assurance team lead is the person with superior technical skills and expertise, but not necessarily with knowledge of how to run a QA team. Aside from the general guidelines on teambuilding, there are some industry specific recommendations that are worth considering and implementing:
- Make sure the requirements for each test case are specified clearly and understood by team members for better performance.
- Establish rules and processes for everyone to follow (you can involve all team members in their creation)
- Track progress on all projects regularly
- Encourage ongoing learning and improvement, support initiatives
- Provide each team member with the tools necessary for their effective work
- Nurture friendly atmosphere within the team.
Everything said above can be successfully applied both to teams gathered “under one roof” and remote ones.
Hopefully, you already know the answer to the questions like, ‘Does Google have a QA team?’ or ‘Does Facebook have a QA team?’. It is clear that behind each successful and high quality product there is a team of professionals who incessantly work on maintaining and improving its quality standard and serving a kind of guard against bugs and defects to stop them from getting to users. It is quality assurance engineers who help developers work on improving software, by dealing with finding and fixing all kinds of flaws.