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Amidst the omnipresent digitalization and the rising demand for high-quality software, efficient Quality Assurance processes are essential to retaining competitive advantage. A comprehensive approach to software QA practices creates a broad spectrum of benefits, including top-quality software, increased customer satisfaction, reduced costs, and the opportunity to anticipate further development issues. However, enterprises struggle to establish effective QA operations, which results in substantial financial losses. Only in the US, the  , according to the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ).
In this article, we will have a closer look at the major challenges and the respective approaches to establishing advanced software QA processes.
Challenges of Establishing Effective QA Practices
Enterprises often neglect hiring qualified QA specialists and choose to delegate quality-related responsibilities to software engineers. However, such an approach is inefficient, as the combined code and architecture complexities can deteriorate software quality. At the same time, a disorganized collaboration between project participants can generate even more errors, which can only aggravate the situation.
Another major challenge is the optimized budget. To resolve this issue, business owners may cut down QA costs, but this approach is actually cost-prohibitive in the long-term. As the software moves further through its lifecycle, it’s significantly harder to trace and fix errors. It takes lots of effort to find critical software errors at the final stages of the project, which can result in substantial financial losses.
QA efficiency is also often hampered by lack of QA strategy, non-compliance with QA standards and best practices, siloed software tools, lack of automation, and ineffective test environments. These issues slow down the quality assurance processes and increase time-to-market, which is a strong disadvantage, as the demand for fast-paced delivery of high-quality software is surging.
To sum up, the major challenges preventing organizations from establishing seamless QA practices would be a lack of QA expertise, hindered testing processes, ineffective testing environments, and budget concerns. The graph below indicates that these are the core issues encountered in application development:
To address these challenges, enterprises must implement innovative methods that enable highly automated and integrated testing environments and allow optimizing the existing software QA processes to form strong QA expertise.
Top 4 Methods of Improving QA Operations
1. Conduct a Comprehensive QA Assessment
QA assessment is an expert external review of existing QA processes designed to identify the key bottlenecks in your practices and refine the current software testing approaches and methods to ensure better efficiency, performance, security, and full conformity with relevant standards and technical requirements. The scope of the QA assessment depends on the vendor, and may range from light QA audits that provide a general understanding of current gaps and challenges, to a holistic QA assessment that features Root Cause Analysis (RCA), and provides a deep insight into all issues of the existing QA practices.
By conducting a QA assessment, organizations can benefit from:
- Full transparency over existing QA practices;
- A profound understanding of QA maturity levels;
- Full list of current QA gaps and growth areas;
- Detailed improvements roadmap.
After the QA audit, businesses gain a holistic view of their QA operations, which allows detecting and eliminating the key issues that restrain the efficiency of the software QA processes and use the improvements roadmap to improve the cost-efficiency, speed, and quality of software delivery.
2. Leverage Automation to Increase Productivity & Time-to-Market
Automation can significantly enhance QA processes, as it is much faster than manual testing and increases the number of tests that organizations can run to ensure high-quality software. The utilization of automated testing is an integral part of an efficient QA strategy since it can improve the QA team’s productivity by reducing the workload required for repeated tests, like smoke or regression testing. Moreover, automated testing enables faster bug discovery and substantially reduces human error rates during the testing processes. Another prominent advantage of automated testing is that it covers a wide range of application elements; besides, it can be executed at various stages of the software development lifecycle.
Leveraging automation into software QA processes is a profitable investment, allowing to create a broad spectrum of tangible business benefits, specifically reduced costs, better testing accuracy, improved software quality, and faster time-to-market. However, manual testing cannot be fully rejected, as it has its own benefits in terms of testing flexibility and UX improvement. Thus, it is essential to strike the right balance between manual and automated testing to achieve maximum business value.
3. Adopt TestOps to Facilitate Communication & Software Delivery
The overwhelming majority of organizations are familiar with DevOps – a set of practices intended to improve communication between software engineers and IT operations to streamline software development.
TestOps is a corresponding approach to testing that promotes collaboration between Development, Operations, and QA teams in order to ensure the continuous delivery of high-quality software. After leveraging test automation, organizations can adopt TestOps to improve the existing software QA processes, as the automation frameworks utilized in TesOps enable continuous testing and product validation, ensuring that all stakeholders get a complete view of the testing results.
Other benefits of the TestOps methodology include:
- Integrated frameworks and tools that enable better team collaboration;
- Improved decision-making with faster feedback and critical data available on-demand;
- Increased cost-efficiency and accelerated delivery via SDLC automation and optimized QA processes;
- Enhanced security from the initial development stages;
- Higher rates of customer satisfaction due to the agile delivery of high-quality software.
As an innovative and integrated approach to QA practices, TestOps can drive business-value by reducing costs, enhancing team collaboration, and ensuring swift and error-free software delivery.
4. Consider Outsourcing Quality Assurance
Conducting a full-scale transformation of QA practices is time-consuming and may not fit into the budget plans of some organizations. In such a case, outsourcing software Quality Assurance is an optimal choice that has a wide range of advantages. Choosing an expert offshore QA vendor is cost-effective and allows receiving robust and bug-free software in shorter terms. Moreover, outsourcing companies with a strong QA competence center may either offer packaged solutions that will perfectly fit your business requirements or offer tailored QA services. In addition to assembling a dedicated QA team for a specific project, outsourcing companies may also offer expert QA assessment, consulting, and QA specialist training services that will allow enhancing your current QA operations.
The adoption of innovative QA methodologies, utilization of automated testing, or expert QA audit and consulting from an offshore QA vendor are the most effective methods of enhancing the performance of current QA operations. By implementing these approaches, enterprises can drive business value and meet the growing customer demands for high-quality software solutions.
How Infopulse can help
Infopulse has a strong QA competence center with 300+ testing specialists and 80+ automation experts with hands-on experience in solving complex QA challenges for SMEs and Fortune 500 companies. We combine strong technical competence, business domain knowledge, and expertise in innovative QA methodologies, technologies, and frameworks. Our QA service offerings range from professional software testing to packaged QA assessment services, QA consulting and conducting training and workshops for your team.