5 Vital Steps in Successfully Setting Up Your Startup QA Process
How should you test your product before launch? What are the best tools and techniques for startup QA? This article answers those questions and more.
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Quality assurance (QA) is the act or process of certifying that a company’s quality criteria are met. Planning, completing, and monitoring tasks are all part of managing quality in production. The monitoring aspect is the essence of what quality assurance is.
The techniques and procedures that systematically monitor multiple aspects of a service or facility make up the quality assurance process. Quality assurance activities uncover and fix faults or deviations from defined standards or requirements through audits and other forms of assessment.
In other words, quality assurance ensures high standards during the development of products or services. Any startup — from packaged food manufacturers to software development firms — and almost every company uses some type of quality assurance in their production. Some businesses even have a quality assurance department with people entirely dedicated to the task.
How QA Works
Rather than going through an unmonitored production process and trying to “inspect the quality” of a finished product, quality assurance test methodologies focus on developing good procedures to generate quality goods.
Today, there are different ways to carry out quality assurance, depending on the industry. Because product development for a healthcare company is unique to a SaaS company that is creating a customer onboarding template, their methods to ensure quality will differ. A healthcare company's practices could be guided by active pharmaceutical ingredient criteria, but a SaaS firm’s processes will be guided by different standards.
In this article, we’ll focus on QA for software companies. Here are five vital steps in setting up your startup’s QA process.
1. Define Your Testing Goals
Quality assurance is frequently carried out before the software has been created. The documentation and requirements for the final product are checked by QA professionals to ensure that they are clear, consistent, and testable.
Repairing problems during the testing stage is up to 15 times more expensive than fixing faults during the design and development stages; therefore, these preventative practices can help businesses save money.
At this point, you should decide which areas and functionalities will be the focus of your testing. You could be looking at the present performance of your connector, or the features users are looking for based on the reviews they left on PCMag or Capterra. Both will offer good insights into what area you can start testing. Whichever that may be, QA specialists usually go over the program documentation and write a plan that specifies the scope of the testing, whether it should be automated testing, and which aspects will be examined.
Software is generally tested for the following:
- Performance accuracy
Your specific testing requirements will be determined by your product, how it will be distributed, your target audience, and your post-launch software support strategy.
2. Identify the Best Startup QA Testing Approach for You
To begin, select a software testing technique that will help your QA team to complete your software development QA process as efficiently as possible. Employing a software testing technique that elevates your project management style can help you overcome difficulties that arise during testing cycles.
Which software testing approach is best for your in-house team and startup QA outsourcing? Take into consideration the following methodologies for your quality assurance process:
QA teams can manage a project using exploratory testing in an agile approach by dividing it down into sprints. When preparing each sprint stage — including planning, requirements analysis, and testing — the QA team may consider using an Agile QA process to expedite the process.
Each sprint concludes with a review meeting in which the team discusses their success and plans for future testing sprints. The QA team uses their previous knowledge to reduce risks and improve efficiency with each new iteration.
This software development quality assurance process is based on QA teams’ step-by-step testing progress. Before developing sequential steps for QA testers to follow, a QA team documents and plans the entire project. The team must follow the steps in sequence with no deviations.
Many testing teams like the waterfall methodology — including QA outsourcing for startups — because it is simple and straightforward to execute within the development cycle. But, because of the strict structure, teams are unable to make quick changes to the testing process.
Verification and Validation Methodology
Like the waterfall methodology, this method takes a step-by-step approach to software testing. However, the development process runs concurrently with the testing phase, which makes it unique.
When a development stage is completed, startup QA testing for that product element begins immediately. This approach to QA for startups allows teams to implement product improvements sooner, which frees up time and resources for other projects.
This software testing process comprises various iterations, each of which has several stages. Each iteration tries to improve the product’s value by adding new features or improving quality. The incremental methodology involves the following three stages:
Design and development
This approach to QA testing is adaptable, allowing QA teams to modify the testing process in real-time.
Regardless of Your Chosen Methodology...
These four parameters should be the foundation of your tests:
Component tests: to assist your development team and their processes.
Business scenarios: to test the end-to-end business systemization and processes, starting with the customer’s perspective and ending with the end user’s perspective.
User tests: to test the product from the user’s point of view. These are largely manual tests, which demand a full-time QA engineer or the use of QA outsourcing for startups.
Technical tests: to assess the product’s performance, load, and security. Connectivity, performance, and recovery testing are all of these tests, which focus on the product’s infrastructure and platform.
3. Acquire QA at the Best Time
Regarding acquiring QA for startups, it all comes down to how much risk you can tolerate. Getting your first paying client, having your first serious complaint, or noticing a lot of churn with your product are all good reasons to start developing your QA staff right now. When resources are limited, many startups benefit from outsourcing QA. So, how can you know when it’s time to recruit a quality assurance partner?
When you are going through one (or all) of these problems:
Your time to market is down
You’re trying to integrate new tools and technologies
Your team is constantly missing deadlines and pushing back launch dates to fix product flaws that may have been detected earlier by QA testers
You’re implementing an agile methodology
You’re receiving poor customer reviews
4. Analyze the Results
After testing results have been obtained and any defects have been rectified, QA specialists rerun the identical test cases to ensure that the issues have been resolved effectively.
The QA process is regressive, which means that the bulk of tests is repeated. Always incorporate regression testing into your QA process to ensure that one fix does not affect the normal operation of other features. It’s also crucial to retest your application using the integration testing approach because bug fixes might occasionally affect the behavior of several capabilities rather than merely breaking them.
When you reach the deployment stage, the QA team creates and executes tests in line with the development team’s release documentation. For instance, the Azure data lake documentation contains all established functionalities, all conducted repairs, and software constraints that took place. This stage is referred to as smoke testing. During smoke testing, test case sets are used to confirm that the final build is functional, stable, and ready to deploy.
5. Make Adjustments and Tell Your Team
Adjustments should be made when needed after listening to feedback and reviewing initial aims. While many people recommend doing a plan audit every two to three months, it can be done sooner if necessary. If a mistake is discovered or issues arise, implementing changes as quickly as possible is beneficial in reaching the company’s aim — particularly if it is an SMB — and saving or growing sales by introducing a better product or service.
Also, employees want to know if what they’re doing is effective. Let them know if the QA approach has helped the company. Positive or constructive feedback helps to build a stronger team and shows employees that they are contributing to the company’s success.
The fact that you are empowering employees to make a difference motivates them to keep doing a good job and provides valuable input into the QA process. As a result, have employees stick to the plan, provide both positive and negative feedback, and listen so that changes may be implemented.
As they say, preparation is key, like how reviewing the qualities of your standard operating procedure can make a difference to your business. The same goes for planning for quality assurance, as it saves your firm both time and money. Quality assurance is vital to maintaining high product quality standards and continued business success. Software is a rapidly evolving industry, and there are always efficiencies to be made and processes to be optimized.
Follow these steps, and don’t forget to customize them for your business.
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