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QA maturity: What is it and How Do You Achieve it?

QA maturity: What is it and How Do You Achieve it?

In the book "Outliers" there is a chapter titled "The Theory of Plane Crashes" where author Malcolm Gladwell says, "airplane crashes do not happen suddenly like the way you see them in movies but happen more because as a result of accumulated warnings and errors that pilots ignore." He provides evidence for the same from the NTSB's investigation of many airplane crashes.  

Software application crashes are not very different. They are a result of warnings, errors, and other anomalies that happen repeatedly but without a deep investigation make their way into the production environment.  

Have you wondered how companies like Netflix and Amazon deploy quality products very frequently with minimal to zero production defects?   

The answer: Mature QA practices. 

Why is QA maturity important? 

Firstly, a mature QA process helps companies overcome common SDLC issues. Mature QA practices can make the following possible  

  •  Will set teams up for an easy transition to agile and DevOps culture  
  • Eliminate silos between teams and establish a clear communication across SDLC  
  • Establish standards and metrics for each stage of STLC right from the requirement phase  
  • Easy traceability of defects to test cases  
  • Amplify release speed   
  • Eliminate last-minute hotfixes, patches  
  • Deliver a high-quality product  

More and more organizations are striving to outgrow the old perception of quality assurance as just a gatekeeper and to reach maturity in their QA practices—a state that allows them to create Netflix-like user experiences.   

Remember: Low touch, super-fast and flawless experiences are outcomes of a mature QA practice. 

How to achieve QA maturity? 

It's rare for every team member to jump on board with quality assurance changes overnight. But with a few simple steps, you can get your team working toward maturity and a better QA process. 

Train your developers/testers to be SDETs 

With the workforce model going remote and staying relevant in the face of changing business climate, your developers and testers must go beyond their assigned roles.   

You need to have testers and developers perform coding work on setting up infrastructure, monitoring it, testing micro services, running them locally in the Docker environment, and so on. 

For this reason, you'll want to put SDETs in a position where they can plan Test+Ops and deliver high-quality products with deadlines to meet. 

Clear, consistent QA plan 

As a tester, it's crucial to understand the product requirements. Be sure to focus on understanding the product itself and not just what's needed for the project. Start by spending time with stakeholders in requirements gathering and determine the right testing approach before development starts and stick to that in order to avoid errors and rework later on. 

A sample illustration of QA in the requirement phase 

Investing in test automation 

Investing in test automation is a sign that you are taking the next step in becoming a mature QA. Your QA plan should include the right mix of manual and automated tests. Automate regression suites to identify breakages and arrest bugs early in the development process.  

Test automation saves a lot of time while saving money by avoiding paying someone to do repetitive tasks like running regression tests over and over again.  

If you have the right expertise, you can also extend your test automation capabilities to some of the non-functional tests. This approach saves time, and lets testers focus on exploratory testing, where a human eye can be more effective.

Shift-left 

You cannot shift left without incorporating automation into your testing strategy. Shift-left testing can be a precursor to Agile and DevOps - which are aspects of mature QA teams.  

what is shift-left testing and why is it the next big thing?

Talk to QA consultant 

Remember that tools alone cannot solve all your quality issues. You'll also want a quality advocate on your side. Someone with experience who can help you make sense of all the information you're receiving from your users, identify gaps in your testing practices, set up test automation framework, and troubleshoot any issues you might run into. 

How do you know which end of the QA maturity spectrum you belong to? 

Taking the QA Maturity Assessment can help you pinpoint the quality issues that need attention in your organization and find where you're in terms of QA maturity.  

Final thoughts: 

No matter where your company is on its QA maturity journey, Zuci can help you get to the next level of quality.   

By assessing your QA maturity score and working on recommendations, you can be rest assured that your QA processes are effective and that the software products you deliver are of a high standard.

Keerthika

Keerthi Veerappan

An INFJ personality wielding brevity in speech and writing. Marketer @ Zucisystems.