Achieving and maintaining consistent product quality within budget requires a high level of commitment, focus, and, at times, courage. This ability to consistently deliver quality work distinguishes professionals from amateurs. Nonetheless, as QA teams are tasked with guaranteeing that the product meets quality standards, they are also faced with tight deadlines and high expectations from stakeholders. One aspect of QA that is particularly tough and challenging is cross browser testing. With the multitude of browsers and devices available, guaranteeing consistent functionality and user experience across all platforms can be a daunting task.
Quality assurance is a pivotal step in the product development process. The process can lead to a rabbit hole of unknown complexities. Unplanned QA processes can often end up needing reconsideration. It leads to bug-filled software releases, time-killing, and customer complaints. To ensure a successful product launch for which your customers come back, it is crucial to incorporate QA into the product development schedule right from the start. Every team involved in the project needs to understand the importance of QA, including project managers and developers.
Whether you are building a QA strategy for the first time or looking for improvements, here are a few tips to get you started. But, before that, let us have a brief knowledge of the quality assurance process.
What is the Quality Assurance Process?
Quality assurance is a set of practices and procedures designed to guarantee that a product or service fulfills predefined quality criteria and customer expectations. It is a pivotal component of the quality management system. The quality assurance process is carried out throughout the product or service life cycle. The process entails a methodical sequence of steps with the goal of pinpointing and rectifying any defects, errors, or issues that may arise throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC).
Quality Assurance Planning Considerations
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for creating a QA process that will suit every testing scenario. So, before establishing your system for quality assurance, consider the complete landscape by taking the below-stated points into account:
- The goals of your business
- The testing policies at your organization
- Current development practices
- The intricacy of the projects you are working on
- The technology stack and tools utilized by your team
- Release procedures
- The end users of your product
- The structure of your team
- Available resources
A comprehensive understanding of these factors significantly influences the manner in which you develop or enhance your quality assurance process.
Quality Assurance Principles
Two fundamental principles underpin quality assurance. The first one is “fit for purpose.” This implies that the product or service fulfills its intended purpose. The second one is “right first time.” In this, any mistakes are addressed immediately.
With the above principles in play, the objective is to make the software product or service work accurately all the time through project constraints management. For this, quality assurance implicates the management of raw materials quality, assemblies, components, and products. This includes the monitoring and control of services directly related to production, as well as the management, production, and inspection processes themselves.
Quality Assurance Methods
Quality assurance is particularly significant in the software product development process. The process should be followed by all the organizations that produce goods or services. Different quality assurance procedures have been created over time. A few are listed below for you to choose the best for your organization:
- Failure Testing: Failure testing is an easy and uncomplicated quality assurance process that tests software products by pushing their limitations through extreme stress conditions. This process uncovers product flaws. Additionally, data is collected throughout the process so that QA measures can be taken to enhance product quality.
- Total Quality Management (TQM): TQM is a quality assurance method that consists of developing an organization-wide quality management perspective. This implies that all departments and people involved with activities that impact quality management, like inventory or supply chain are trained to maintain quality benchmarks and strive for continuous progress.
- Capability Maturity Model Integration(CMMI): CMMI is a popular software development method. The method first evaluates the maturity level of your organization for quality assurance. Then it trains the teams to push through the CMMI stages until they develop a robust quality assurance procedure.
- Process and Product Quality Assurance(PPQA): PPQA focuses on setting quality standards and practices at the executive level to measure, assess, and solve quality management problems. This approach relies on a detailed gap analysis of the various business procedures related to quality assurance.
How Can You Handle Quality Assurance Deadlines And Expectations?
As the IT products and services market is rapidly expanding, quality analysts are dealing with a lot of challenges in understanding the work domain, maintaining quality, adapting to frequent modifications, and prioritizing self-development. As agile methodologies continue to gain traction in the industry, organizations are facing challenges in achieving continuous delivery and surpassing expectations. Traditional quality assurance practices are proving to be insufficient in meeting these demands.
Here are a few steps to handle quality assurance deadlines and expectations:
Set up the Right Environments for Quality Assurance
Setting up a suitable test environment for quality assurance ensures successful software testing. Any defects in this procedure may lead to monetary and time loss. The testing environment should be on the basis of client application specifications. Also, it should be identical at the server and client ends. If the test is not executed on a staging environment, there are chances of inaccurate testing outcomes. It is always advised to pre-configure the testing environments and other testing-related components.
An optimal approach would implicate the establishment of both a testing and staging environment to guarantee that your product functions according to your expectations in real-world conditions. The testing environment ensures that each component of the application is working as expected. On the other hand, the staging environment ensures that all components function as expected when integrated.
Ensuring a well-designed and up-to-date test environment is of utmost importance, as it facilitates the provision of precise feedback regarding the quality and performance of the application under scrutiny. It further helps by furnishing a dedicated environment to isolate code and verify the application behavior.
With their years of experience, quality assurance professionals always state the fact that most of the major issues in a software application are always discovered when the delivery date is approaching. These issues are related to inadequate necessities and incorrect beliefs. This may lead to a delay in the final release of the product.
Ensuring stakeholder engagement and obtaining their formal approval of requirements is a critical aspect during the initial planning phase of any product. The organization must have a process for developing and conveying acceptance standards as part of the development procedure.
Ensure Quality Code Production
It is not feasible for the quality assurance team to pick up every bug before the software launch. Nonetheless, if the developers possess adequate coding skills and practices and follow the suited procedures for software testing and checking, there are chances of fewer bugs in the first place. During the coding process, review all the new code and code modifications by at least two colleagues of the same team before proceeding to the next phase of development.
It is of utmost importance to incorporate developer testing as part of the process whenever you fix a bug or add a new feature. When the development team has its own quality assurance procedure to examine work and check for completion, more issues will be spotted and resolved during the development cycle rather than before or after launch. Also, incorporate a checklist into your build processes.
Set Realistic Deadlines for Testing
An effective method for managing quality assurance deadlines and expectations in cross-browser testing is to specify practical timelines for the testing phase. It is paramount to understand the scope of the project and the time required to comprehensively test the application across different browsers and devices. By setting realistic deadlines, QA teams can sidestep rushing through the testing process, which can lead to overlooked bugs and a compromised user experience.
To set realistic deadlines, QA teams should assess factors such as the complexity of the application, the number of browsers and devices to be tested, and the resources available. It is essential to ration sufficient time for each testing phase, including test planning, test execution, bug resolution, and retesting. By breaking down the testing process into smaller, manageable tasks, QA teams can guarantee that each step is given appropriate attention and time.
Use Automated Testing Tools
It is crucial to implement agile development practices in the software development process like Scrum or Kanban. This emphasizes regular testing and continuous improvement. These tools can significantly facilitate the testing process by automating repetitive tasks and diminishing the time and endeavor required for manual testing. Additionally, it keeps the process flexible and strives for project development. This will help in receiving feedback and making alterations swiftly.
Furthermore, implementing automation testing tools prevents delays in project completion. Tools such as Jira, Aqua Cloud, and TestRail can enormously enhance deadline management efforts. The AI-driven insight of Aqua Cloud empowers the team to optimize testing methods and resource allocation. This ensures real-time improvement tracking and timely adjustments. While TestRail provides thorough result analysis and test case management. On the other hand, Jira streamlines task creation and improvement monitoring. LambdaTest is yet another tool that can be used to scale up your automation testing.
LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform to run manual and automated tests at scale. The platform allows you to perform both real-time and automation testing across 3000+ environments and real mobile devices.
Prioritize Critical Browsers First
One strategy that can greatly assist QA teams in handling quality assurance deadlines and expectations is prioritizing critical browsers first. This requires identifying the browsers that are most commonly used by the target audience and focusing on testing those extensively before moving on to less critical ones. By prioritizing critical browsers, QA teams can guarantee that the majority of users will have a seamless experience, minimizing the chance of crucial issues being discovered after the product is launched.
Furthermore, testing critical browsers first authorizes for early detection of any compatibility issues, giving the development team ample time to address them before the deadline. This approach not only helps in meeting deadlines but also demonstrates a proactive approach to quality assurance. Further, it instills confidence in stakeholders that the product is thoroughly tested and ready for release.
Managing quality assurance deadlines and expectations can be a challenging and daunting task. However, following the above-stated steps will help you maintain high levels of quality, meet deadlines, and exceed expectations. With a proactive mindset and an emphasis on continuous improvement, quality assurance teams can overcome any challenges and attain success in their cross-browser testing endeavors.