Is Your Project Ready for QA? A Checklist

Check boxes on white paper

This is probably the #1 question all companies face towards the middle-to-end of a new development cycle. When do we call in QA? In a perfect world, QA would be a part of the process from the beginning, but alas, most projects, especially start-ups, are on a tight budget, so we must use our dollars wisely. If you find yourself facing this question, here are some common ways to determine if your project is QA-ready.

Expected Outcomes

This may come as a surprise, but we software QA engineers actually can’t read the design team’s or DEV teams minds. When you give QA the green light on a new feature or functionality, we only have an idea on how something is supposed to work. We need clear and defined ‘expected outcomes’ documentation. Yes, we realize it’s a major pain in the ass to document the expected outcomes, but trust us, it will pay off in the end.

Monkey looking in mirror
Photo by Andre Mouton on Unsplash

Appearance

This goes along with the above statement. We need a guideline for how things are supposed to look, including, but not limited to exact RGB codes for colors and font types.

Process and Methodology

Prior to executing the first test or writing the first test cases, you must decide on your process and methodology such as Agile or Waterfall? This will decide how frequently you deploy new code and sets clear expectations with all team members.

Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash

Bug Reporting

How should QA report bugs? Will you be using a test management tool like JIRA or go old-school and use Google Sheets? Either one is perfectly acceptable. It’s just important that everyone understands the where’s and the how’s.

Test Cases

Similar to above, you will need to decide if QA should be writing test cases and if so, where. JIRA has several integrations that work nicely, but then again, Google Sheets works just as well. Unfortunately, you can’t link GS and JIRA together but it gets the job done. There is also another nice tool called Clubhouse and it integrates with Test Rail.

Testable Features

In order for your project to be QA ready, your DEV team must be deploying fully functional features or stubbing out partially developed features into test harnesses so that QA can use them as they are intended to be used.

For example, if you are creating a new user signup dialog and only half the fields on the dialog are functional, and you cannot submit the form, that dialog is not ready for QA.

However, if all the fields were completed but you couldn’t submit the form, you could send it to QA for overall appearance and requirements sign off.

The concept of rapid/sprint product development. Diagram of life cycle of product development.
The concept of rapid/sprint product development. Diagram of life cycle of product development.

Regular Sprint Cycle

Once you’ve selected your desired process and methodology you should’ve selected how frequently you wanted your sprint cycle to be. Most companies choose either weekly or bi-weekly sprint cycles. This is important because it lets the QA team know when work will be completed by the DEV team and when a new test cycle will need to begin.

Database Access

If QA needs to test anything related to the databases you’ll need to ensure they have access. It will be up to you as to whether you want your QA team verifying backend data. It will also depend on your QA’s level of comfort working with backend tools. Personally, I think the role of the software tester should verify that backend data is being saved, edited, and deleted correctly. I’ve run into many cases where things looked fine on the front-end but they were a hot mess on the backend.

Tools and Assets

Along those same lines, if QA needs access to specific tools such as GitHub, you’ll need to make sure they have proper access and permissions. This also includes any integrations your app or website might have/need.

Person holding an iPhone with an MacBook computer on the desk
It isn’t always possible to use an actual device. That’s where tools like BrowserStack come in handy.

Devices/Browsers

You should already have a list of browsers and mobile devices you are required to support with your product. That list should have been created way back in the beginning when you were designing the product. Your DEV team should have been given this list so that they know the minimum requirements.

Now, you will want to hand that list over to the QA team so that they can verify the product does indeed work on each device and browser. Chances are, you will probably run into situations where a team member cannot access either a browser or a specific device and they will need to use an emulator like BrowserStack. While it’s always best to test the actual device or browser sometimes you just have to use a pinch hitter.

Define Test Cycle Expectations

In the beginning, QA will mostly be running integration and functionality tests, but as things progress, you’ll want to decide whether they should continue to focus on these types of tests or switch to regression testing. This is especially vital when you are on a tight budget and every minute counts.

Computer monitor with computer code displayed
Automating your tests in advance saves both time and money

Automation

In a perfect world, QA would have started automating tests for your new project or feature as it was being built by DEV. This is only possible when there are clear and defined requirements. See now why requirements are so important?

If QA can automate the majority of your tests, then they can focus on executing other types of tests manually. Additionally, any bugs in the new release will instantly become clear which will allow your DEV team to resolve any issues immediately.


Hopefully, you are a little more confident as to whether your project is “QA ready”, but if you are still unsure, we can help! If you are ready but don’t know where or how to hire a QA professional, check out our blog post on this very subject then let VLG Ventures take this off your hands.

We provide staffing solutions that don’t suck. Budget (and start-up) friendly, top-rated QA professionals ready to hit the ground running on Day 1. Why spend weeks hunting for the perfect QA freelancer, taking the risk of hiring the wrong person, when we can find the right person in a day

Contact us for more info, get your FREE 15-Minute Consultation, send us an email and include your name, company name, phone number, and tells us a little about the role you need to be filled, or call us at 866-366-5980 to discuss your staffing needs.

If you are interested in joining our team, we’d love to meet you! Send us an email and include your name, phone number, a recent copy of your resume, and tell us the role you are interested in. Or visit our Join Our Team page and upload your resume here!


About VLG Ventures

VLG Ventures is a full-service Software QA staffing agency specializing in meeting the QA staffing needs of companies in the tech industry. We diligently recruit, screen, and hire top-rated QA freelancers for local and national companies, providing temporary, temp-to-hire, and permanent contracts based on customer needs.

We help our clients focus on their business by providing a turnkey staffing service. We handle all of the work associated with finding and screening candidates for your openings and even handle payroll for temp and temp-to-hire employees. VLG Ventures’s clients know that their positions will be filled with the industries brightest minds and elite professionals giving them peace of mind to focus on operations. 

Come join our team! We believe in rewarding loyalty and excellent service! Our freelancers become eligible for performance bonuses after 90 days of continuous service with our clients. Because exemplary service should be recognized and rewarded.

Veronica Glynn

Veronica has spent over 15 years as a Software QA Engineer with over 6 years as an Upwork freelancer. She has both manual and automated testing experience but her true passion lies in helping others. She is passionate about helping start-ups achieve their dreams and goals and believes that their success is her success. Her claim to fame is being able to spot other highly skilled and passionate QA professionals and connecting them with the right client. When she is not working, you may find her in the middle of a home improvement DIY project, a quilting project, woodworking, gardening, interior design project, yoga, working out, yard work, volunteering, or one of her other many projects.

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