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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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