In addition to knowledge of proper testing techniques and processes, there are several factors that greatly contribute to the success of a software quality assurance (SQA) team.
One of the most telling characteristics of successful SQA teams is their independence from project and delivery teams. Such independence ensures objectivity in their assessment of the software and allows them to avoid the pressure to release that often leads to inadequate testing. While this objectivity is crucial to producing good quality software, the best SQA teams are also sensitive to their role in the “big picture”. Release schedules are often dictated by set-in-stone events such as tradeshows or the Christmas holiday, and the SQA team needs to be seen as helping, not hindering, the overall process if they want to maintain a good working relationship with the project teams.
Another common trait shared by companies that have highly effective QA teams is a culture of support from senior management. There is a marked difference in how members of an SQA team approach their duties when they know they’ve got an involved and supportive management structure at their backs instead of one that is aloof and distant, or even worse, adversarial. Even the most enthusiastic test team will eventually get worn down if everyone else views them as the “bad guys”, or a “necessary evil” and treats them with commensurate distaste or contempt.
It is also important for an SQA team to have knowledge of software engineering and the software development process and how testing fits into that process. This provides common ground between the test and development teams that helps to ensure proper and effective communication.
Overall, an effective SQA team, properly utilized, will help increase the quality of the software delivered, reduce the cost of delivery and maintenance, and help establish (and continually improve) consistent processes.
Beta Breakers has been fielding successful SQA teams for over 20 years. Call us at 415-878-2990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to see how professional software quality assurance services can save you time and money.