Why is Quality Assurance important?
Today, when the development sphere has expanded far beyond traditional software, most IT professionals understand the value that a quality assurance (QA) team can bring to their product.
This was not the case just a few years ago when fewer companies practiced quality assurance. Developers frequently asked, “Why is quality control important?” or “Why do we need a QA team?” While these perspectives are less prevalent today, quality assurance as a practice is still vastly undervalued in many organizations.
Leaders who define QA teams as “just testing software” miss the true goals and responsibilities of quality assurance as a practice. In this article, we’ll look at why quality assurance is important for achieving successful business outcomes.
Can You Ensure Product Quality Without Quality Assurance?
From a financial standpoint, requesting that your software developers test their own code may appear reasonable. Why bother with a dedicated QA team when you can save money and get the product to market faster? Facebook and Yahoo are successful examples of teams operating without quality assurance. However, such a practice is best suited for enterprises with highly evolved team cultures and a high level of test automation.
You may miss out on opportunities to improve your application if you limit testing activities or move them lower on your priority list. Furthermore, bugs may not only degrade the user experience but also jeopardize the reputation and stability of your product. The technology mentioned above behemoths is not immune to these pitfalls. The following are a few well-known incidents caused by simple oversight of those in charge of quality control:
- Starting with one you may have heard of in 2016: In the case of Yahoo, hackers leaked 500 million credentials due to a software security breach.
- A miscalculation in the software of a radiotherapy device caused the radiation dosage to be 100x higher than intended, earning it the moniker “history’s worst software bug.” The outcome was disastrous.
- In 2015, a commercial flight crashed due to another error involving a lack of quality control. Airbus confirmed that a serious assembly control issue caused the tragedy.
- Let us conclude with a financial example from 1996 when a First National Bank of Chicago system error at a major U.S. bank credited $920 million to the accounts of 823 clients. The bank quickly recovered the entire amount, but will every financial institution be so fortunate the next time?
In this section, we will go over the purpose of quality assurance and the main advantages of incorporating QA into the product development process.
Read more: 9 Steps to Becoming an Outstanding QA Lead
The Value Of A Qa Team
According to Wikipedia, quality assurance is “a way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers.” After all, there’s more to QA than this.
Quality Assurance Benefits A Skilled Qa Team Can Bring
1. Qa Teams Assist In Fully Meeting Customers’ Demands And Expectations
Whether your product is B2B or B2C, user experience can make or break it. In the case of enterprise software, businesses seek solutions to address business inefficiencies and accelerate processes. Slow, inefficient, and buggy software will not add value to the organization. Quality assurance ensures that end users are satisfied and that the application fills all functionality gaps as expected.
2. Qa Teams Assist In Building Customer Trust And Outperforming The Competition In The Long Run By Producing A Better Product.
Having a high-quality product makes it much easier to establish long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships. This is especially true for business-to-business (B2B) products. Prioritizing quality will assist your customer in generating value and, eventually, greater profits. Clients will become returning customers if your services and products are stable and sustainable in the long run.
3. Qa Processes Assist In Cost Saving By Detecting And Fixing Issues And Flaws Early In Development.
Bugs are an unavoidable part of the software development process. The chaos of discovering them too late in the development process is what you want to avoid. Late-stage functionality issues invariably result in delays and hurried fixes, clogging developers’ schedules and eating away at the resources you’ve set aside for other activities. Organized testing processes and a clear test implementation strategy will allow you to allocate your resources strategically and catch bugs before they cost you more work hours than you have available.
4. Qa Analysts Help In Establishing And Maintaining High-Quality Standards, And They Change Their Focus From Detecting Issues To Their Prevention.
A consistent quality assurance strategy, combined with agile methodology best practices, will bear fruit gradually and over time, resulting in more time for exploratory testing and searching for improvement opportunities.
Investing in quality assurance is worthwhile and necessary, especially given the fierce competition in IT today. It is beneficial to understand and apply the QA team’s best practices to achieve the best results. So, let’s talk about how to build and manage a good quality assurance team.
Creating A Qa Team
When assembling a QA team, it’s critical to consider your key objectives and select candidates based on their current skills and potential for advancement. Before you begin, ensure that you have clearly defined QA team roles and responsibilities to select the team members who are best suited for the role.
Because quality assurance engineers typically handle various tasks with varying levels of complexity, the best approach to assembling a team is not to look only for the best and brightest. A strong team comprises players with varying skill levels, not just all-stars. Members who can handle routine, repetitive tasks diligently will benefit the team. Perfectionists, people who dig deep into the root of a problem, team members with leadership qualities, techies, and even freshmen will make good additions to the team if they are open to learning new things.
Managing A Qa Team
A QA team is strong and successful when it is well organized, has a positive atmosphere, is motivated, and has a common goal. All of this is due to sound management. A quality assurance team lead typically possesses superior technical skills and expertise but does not necessarily understand how to run a QA team. Aside from general team-building guidelines, here are some industry-specific recommendations worth considering and implementing:
- For improved performance, ensure that team members specify and understand each test case’s requirements.
- Create ground rules and procedures for everyone to follow (you can involve all team members in their creation)
- Track the progress of all projects regularly.
- Encourage ongoing learning, improvement, and initiative support.
- Give each team member the software quality assurance tools they need to do their job effectively.
- Create a welcoming environment within the team.
The recommendations above can be successfully applied to both “under one roof” and remote and hybrid teams.
Final Thought On The Role Of Quality Assurance
QA analysts are frequently asked, “Does Google have a QA team?” Yes, the answer is yes! And you should, too. Behind every successful and high-quality product is a team of professionals dedicated to maintaining and improving its quality standards and acting as a sentry against bugs and defects to prevent them from reaching users. A QA engineer questions the developers’ efforts to improve the software by detecting and correcting various flaws.