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QA Finest Practices for Product Managers

Within the software program growth life cycle, high quality assurance (QA) is commonly the final step earlier than code is launched—it’s virtually an afterthought. Due to this, it’s also often under-resourced, with insufficient individuals, processes, instruments, and time devoted to it. That is evidenced by a 2022 report from Katalon, which surveyed greater than 3,000 software program professionals and located that solely round half of respondents have been glad with their staff’s QA efforts. It’s no shock, then, that 67% of respondents stated their main software program high quality objective was to enhance QA processes and practices.

High quality assurance isn’t sometimes the remit of product managers, however I argue that it ought to be. There isn’t any one on a product staff higher outfitted to make sure that the product imaginative and prescient is delivered with out points that might value you prospects—or worse, trigger your organization to lose market worth.

Fifty-three percent of software professionals surveyed said they were satisfied with their team’s QA practices; 67% said their primary software quality goal was to improve QA processes and practices.
The outcomes of a latest survey of software program professionals point out the clear need for enchancment round QA.

Ideally, QA ought to be ongoing all through the whole product life cycle, and product managers ought to lead the cost. Throughout my 25 years within the area, I’ve discovered that the next QA greatest practices and suggestions—which may be carried out whatever the course of getting used—yield higher-quality code and happier prospects.

What Defines High quality Software program?

There are 4 most important areas that outline high quality software program:




The software program does what it was supposed to do. For instance, should you’re designing expense administration software program, it ought to correctly calculate issues like taxes and totals. QA check plans ought to cowl all useful exams, ideally in an automatic vogue, in order that any newly launched code doesn’t trigger present features to interrupt.


The person expertise ought to be straightforward, intuitive, and environment friendly. The software program must also carry out properly persistently. Expense administration techniques, that are sometimes used on Fridays or Mondays when individuals are submitting expense experiences, ought to carry out properly even throughout these high-use durations. Efficiency testing ought to be included as a part of a whole QA plan.


The software program ought to be operational as supposed and error-free. An necessary facet of QA testing is protecting as many potential error and edge instances as doable, in order that the software program can cope in any circumstances. As an example, it ought to know deal with an expense that’s entered as a destructive versus a constructive quantity.


The software program should be safe and shield person information. That is key for each consumer-based and enterprise enterprise software program. Investing in good penetration testing and different safety testing is significant.

QA Finest Practices for Product Managers

Product managers ought to facilitate a mindset and perspective shift throughout the staff to be able to construct and keep a tradition that permits the creation of high-quality software program. The next QA greatest practices embody each overarching rules and extra particular concepts that supply fast wins to realize buy-in and momentum in your journey to sturdy QA.

Make QA a Prime-down Effort

Promote high-quality software program and make the investments in sources to make sure good QA. After I was head of product at a startup, I used to be given the finances to rent a small QA staff and procure the required check automation software program. I made it some extent to develop a very good relationship with the engineering staff in order that we have been capable of alter the design, growth, and launch processes to include QA gates. With this funding in QA, we have been capable of produce software program sooner and with fewer points.

Instill a QA Mindset Throughout the Crew

QA isn’t one thing that solely the QA staff ought to take into consideration—it begins with a product supervisor defining the product via an in depth set of necessities and complete acceptance standards. I realized early on in my product administration profession to decelerate and think about all of the potential methods a person might make a mistake or misread a operate. It’s straightforward to jot down a product necessities doc (PRD) that focuses on the most effective path or default situation, however a very good PRD ought to embody error and edge instances too, in an effort to construct probably the most intuitive expertise doable. Instilling this type of QA mindset in your staff ranging from the early levels of growth results in higher-quality software program.

Moreover, implementing test-driven growth (TDD) methodologies may be very efficient in selling a QA mindset. Whereas a non-TDD staff would write the code first after which the check instances afterwards, which regularly leads to remodeling code, TDD means check instances are written upfront as a part of the necessities and used constantly all through the event course of to make sure that the code passes all exams earlier than being launched.

Doc Take a look at Outcomes Clearly

Take a look at outcomes ought to be properly documented, significantly when a check fails. A transparent course of—together with instruments that allow fast and seamless recording of check outcomes, that are robotically routed to the developer—will assist the product staff be extra environment friendly.

Set Up Common Milestones

At every stage of growth, put QA milestones in place. The sooner a problem is caught, the much less disruption and energy it takes to deal with it. Establishing mid-development QA integration exams, for instance, means code may be introduced collectively and examined to be able to uncover points or failures earlier than the ultimate launch candidate is constructed.

Leverage Automation and AI Instruments

Automated testing and bug reporting instruments are important in producing high-quality software program shortly, significantly in steady integration and steady supply environments—they usually save numerous time. I’ve usually utilized Jira plugins, reminiscent of Xray or Zephyr Scale, to assist handle QA check instances.

There are additionally AI instruments, which have lately turn out to be out there, that may assist with some areas of QA, reminiscent of making the upkeep of automated exams simpler. Many automated exams depend on a single technique of figuring out a display factor, reminiscent of its title or location. Presently, if a developer strikes or renames a display factor, the automated check will fail, regardless of the performance staying the identical. With AI, the display factor may be recognized utilizing many extra attributes, enabling adjustments with out the check failing. Then, over time, the AI learns which attributes to depend on to be able to precisely establish the display factor.

One other space by which AI can help QA efforts is autonomous testing. You’ll be able to practice AI by exhibiting it how customers navigate your utility in manufacturing. The AI then creates automated check scripts that mimic widespread person flows. This, mixed with the upkeep of automated exams, means you’ll be able to obtain greater protection with extra sturdy exams that require much less upkeep. Take a look at AI-based testing instruments like Appvance, SauceLabs, and Testim.

Implement a Peer Overview Course of

Pair programming—a typical observe in coding whereby one developer writes code and the opposite critiques it—will help catch bugs earlier than they’re ever launched. At the same time as a product supervisor, I’ve usually discovered it useful to have a colleague look over my necessities doc, for instance. Implementing peer critiques at each stage, even throughout the discovery and design phases, will help create a stronger product. It could be a good suggestion to have somebody from the QA staff assessment the acceptance standards of your person tales to make sure they’re clear and full.

Take a look at Throughout A number of Gadgets and at Peak Hundreds

For software program that runs on a number of platforms, reminiscent of net, iOS, and Android, testing ought to be performed on all of the platforms and even on completely different variations of working techniques and browsers. Particular load testing is necessary in figuring out if there’s important efficiency degradation at peak masses. With new browser, iOS, and Android releases popping out at completely different occasions, it’s necessary to run exams frequently and never simply throughout your personal utility launch cycle. I lately realized this lesson the laborious method when a brand new model of Android got here out and prompted our Android utility to be unavailable for obtain as a result of we hadn’t upgraded it.

Constantly Enhance Your QA Course of

After placing a QA course of in place, make sure you consider it commonly, noting what features are working or not working, and the way they are often improved. After a dash, a growth staff will sometimes maintain a retrospective, reflecting on what occurred within the iteration and figuring out actions for enchancment going ahead. Maintain the same assembly to your general QA processes and procedures, or incorporate QA evaluation into your present retrospective.

Sturdy QA Means Higher Effectivity, High quality, and Innovation

It’s important to put money into QA to be able to produce high-quality software program. As a product supervisor, you’ll be able to put some quick steps in place to information this effort:

  • Take the lead on implementing QA methods and advocating for enough QA sources and instruments to your staff.
  • Carry a QA perspective to necessities gathering and work with the event staff to shift to a test-driven strategy.
  • Leverage automation instruments to make your staff’s QA processes simpler and extra environment friendly.

By making QA a precedence and constructing these methods into your product processes early on, your merchandise will undoubtedly be greater high quality. In the end, this won’t solely allow your staff to work on new improvements, moderately than fixing bugs, it should additionally allow you because the product supervisor to understand your product imaginative and prescient sooner.



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