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The top 5 challenges of Quality Assurance and easy ways how to overcome them

As an IT company continues to grow, new challenges will arise. I could say that they are proof that the company is developing properly. The bigger and better-known a company wants to be, the more it should pay attention to the quality of its products. How do you do it? What are the biggest quality problems that companies face? In this article, I would like to show you the most common challenges your company has to face (and explain how to overcome them easily 😉).

#1 No testers/quality assurance team

In the beginning, the most important thing is to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that you can show to potential customers/investors. In other words, a company makes a simple product to show what it wants to do and to get the first customers. There is probably not enough money to hire a professional tester, so everyone tests newly created features. This may be fine when the product is simple and has few features. But as the product grows, it becomes more and more complicated. And it's hard to manage testing new features, retesting bugs, regression testing, etc. without someone whose main responsibility is to test our product. 

The solution is simple - hire a software tester who also cares about the quality of the product.

PRO TIP: If you feel you need more specialised testing (e.g. in the area of security), you can hire a dedicated company to test only specific areas of the software.

2# No traceability

It seems not necessary to do it, but if you start - you will thank me later. You can think that you will waste your (and your team's) time if you have to trace relations between developer tasks, testers tasks, bugs, software requirements, documentation etc. But it can save more time and money than you imagine. Let me describe two examples:

  1. A new person in your team/company

When a new person joins your team, he/she must familiarise himself/herself with the project. He/she probably starts with some kind of exploratory testing with reading documentation at the same time. Maybe this person would also see how your project is organized in the tool you use. And what then? Will it be easy to find a connection between tasks and documentation?

  1. Break during the project

For some reason, you have to suspend the project for a couple of months. After this time your team come back to the project, but e.g. in the documentation was made a lot of changes. Will it be easy to find the places where changes were made and update tasks in the tool?

PRO TIP: start to trace from the very beginning 😉

3# Tight deadlines

It is fully understandable that a company wants to deliver the product as fast as possible to the customer. As people say ‘time is money’. So what are the reasons that a tight deadline is not good for you? The most important are two of them, closely connected to each other: your product quality and your image as a product provider. If you try to save time/money by cutting time for testing and testing scope, it can cause worse quality of your product (or some unexpected behaviour, because not everything was tested before the release). Bad product quality makes your company image worse too.

What you can do? Engage your QA team from the beginning, especially in estimations.

4# Evaluation of the tester’s job based on the number of reported bugs

The easiest way to evaluate the job that your tester does. And - at the same time - the worst and the least accurate method. Why? Let me show you. We have got two testers with similar technical backgrounds and job experience. We want to check how many bugs were reported by Tester X and Tester Y. Tester X reported 3 bugs in last week. Tester Y reported last week 15 bugs. Which one is a better software tester? You could say, Tester Y because he/she reported more bugs than Tester X. OK, it can make sense. But what if I tell you that Tester X found 3 critical bugs and Tester Y found 15 typos and reported each of them as a different issue? Or Tester X tested new, complex functionality and Tester Y did regression testing?

The easiest way to overcome this challenge is to evaluate your tester’s job by the quality of the bugs they reporting, creating test cases and how their work helps the rest of the team.

PRO TIP: Don’t even try to evaluate your tester based on the number of reported bugs. I saw this solution in a certain company and it ends that tester REALLY reported every typo as a different issue to not receive bad feedback from his/her supervisor.

5# No test automation (or trying to automate everything)

This approach can cause a manager headache because some of them (managers, not headaches 😉) go to extremes. They can think - don’t automate anything, it costs more time and we have to pay more money for an automation tester or - let’s automate everything, we can reduce our QA team and save some money. The best solution is to try to balance both approaches. We have to remember that it is not possible to automate everything in our project, but automated regression testing can help us maintain product quality.

PRO TIP: Maybe someone in your team wants to learn how to automate testing. You can ask your team and give them to try it. They will learn something new, you will not have to hire a new person 😃 

As you can see, there are some challenges that you have to face. But there are also easy solutions how to manage them to achieve the goals you chose for your company. I hope this article gives you some pieces of advice and proves that it is not rocket science to solve these ‘problems’. 

Do you want to know more about quality in many different contexts while running a business? Read our previous articles to know, e.g. how you can improve cooperation between developers and testers, which benefits pair programming can give your development team or how to optimize your code for better performance.

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