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QA Greatest Practices for Product Managers

Within the software program growth life cycle, high quality assurance (QA) is usually the final step earlier than code is launched—it’s nearly an afterthought. Due to this, additionally it is normally 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 happy with their workforce’s QA efforts. It’s no shock, then, that 67% of respondents mentioned their major 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 must be. There isn’t a one on a product workforce higher outfitted to make sure that the product imaginative and prescient is delivered with out points that might value you clients—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 current survey of software program professionals point out the clear want for enchancment round QA.

Ideally, QA must be ongoing all through your complete product life cycle, and product managers ought to lead the cost. Throughout my 25 years within the subject, I’ve discovered that the next QA greatest practices and ideas—which may be applied whatever the course of getting used—yield higher-quality code and happier clients.

What Defines High quality Software program?

There are 4 fundamental 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 take a look at plans ought to cowl all purposeful checks, ideally in an automatic vogue, in order that any newly launched code doesn’t trigger present capabilities to interrupt.


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


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


The software program have to be safe and defend person knowledge. That is key for each consumer-based and enterprise enterprise software program. Investing in good penetration testing and different safety testing is important.

QA Greatest Practices for Product Managers

Product managers ought to facilitate a mindset and perspective shift throughout the workforce as a way to construct and preserve a tradition that allows the creation of high-quality software program. The next QA greatest practices embrace each overarching ideas and extra particular concepts that provide fast wins to realize buy-in and momentum in your journey to strong 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 workforce and acquire the mandatory take a look at automation software program. I made it a degree to develop an excellent relationship with the engineering workforce in order that we have been in a position to modify the design, growth, and launch processes to include QA gates. With this funding in QA, we have been in a position to produce software program quicker and with fewer points.

Instill a QA Mindset Throughout the Workforce

QA isn’t one thing that solely the QA workforce ought to take into consideration—it begins with a product supervisor defining the product by way of an in depth set of necessities and complete acceptance standards. I discovered early on in my product administration profession to decelerate and take into account all of the potential methods a person might make a mistake or misread a operate. It’s simple to write down a product necessities doc (PRD) that focuses on the most effective path or default state of affairs, however an excellent PRD ought to embrace error and edge instances too, so to construct probably the most intuitive expertise potential. Instilling this sort of QA mindset in your workforce ranging from the early phases 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 workforce would write the code first after which the take a look at instances afterwards, which regularly ends in remodeling code, TDD means take a look at 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 checks earlier than being launched.

Doc Take a look at Outcomes Clearly

Take a look at outcomes must be nicely documented, notably when a take a look at fails. A transparent course of—together with instruments that allow fast and seamless recording of take a look at outcomes, that are routinely routed to the developer—will assist the product workforce be extra environment friendly.

Set Up Common Milestones

At every stage of growth, put QA milestones in place. The sooner a difficulty is caught, the much less disruption and energy it takes to handle it. Establishing mid-development QA integration checks, for instance, means code may be introduced collectively and examined as a way 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, notably in steady integration and steady supply environments—and so they save plenty of time. I’ve usually utilized Jira plugins, comparable to Xray or Zephyr Scale, to assist handle QA take a look at instances.

There are additionally AI instruments, which have just lately turn into out there, that may assist with some areas of QA, comparable to making the upkeep of automated checks simpler. Many automated checks depend on a single methodology of figuring out a display factor, comparable to its title or location. Presently, if a developer strikes or renames a display factor, the automated take a look at 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 take a look at failing. Then, over time, the AI learns which attributes to depend on as a way to precisely establish the display factor.

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

Implement a Peer Assessment Course of

Pair programming—a typical observe in coding whereby one developer writes code and the opposite evaluations it—can assist 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 evaluations at each stage, even through the discovery and design phases, can assist create a stronger product. It could be a good suggestion to have somebody from the QA workforce evaluate the acceptance standards of your person tales to make sure they’re clear and full.

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

For software program that runs on a number of platforms, comparable to net, iOS, and Android, testing must be carried out on all of the platforms and even on completely different variations of working methods and browsers. Particular load testing is essential in figuring out if there may be vital efficiency degradation at peak masses. With new browser, iOS, and Android releases popping out at completely different occasions, it’s essential to run checks frequently and never simply throughout your individual utility launch cycle. I just lately discovered this lesson the exhausting means when a brand new model of Android got here out and brought on our Android utility to be unavailable for obtain as a result of we hadn’t upgraded it.

Repeatedly Enhance Your QA Course of

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

Sturdy QA Means Larger Effectivity, High quality, and Innovation

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

  • Take the lead on implementing QA methods and advocating for enough QA sources and instruments on your workforce.
  • Convey a QA perspective to necessities gathering and work with the event workforce to shift to a test-driven strategy.
  • Leverage automation instruments to make your workforce’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 increased high quality. Finally, this won’t solely allow your workforce to work on new improvements, moderately than fixing bugs, it can additionally allow you because the product supervisor to appreciate your product imaginative and prescient quicker.



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