How to Avoid High-Impact Risks in QA Delivery

Without robust QA, your whole product can fail, damaging your brand and costing you customers. Discovering problems after a release is risky. But so is being slow to market with your launch or latest release. 

Quality vs speed is a fine balancing act. But so is having the right resources on tap. How can you make sure you have the right people and tools to hand without overspending on resources that you don’t know you’ll be making use of every day?

Avoid bugs being detected out in the wild

You don’t want to hear about a bug from your customers, especially if those customers include your CEO’s nephew.

Aside from the obvious embarrassment, if one person has found it, others will too. Consumers are savvy and they have so many communications channels at their fingertips.

If it’s not a colleague who brings the problem to you, you might hear about it first on Twitter, or a review in an app store. Out in public for all to see. The risk escalates. If the bug is harmful enough to user experience, not only do you lose existing app users, now you’re potentially losing new acquisitions. Churn goes up, acquisition goes down. It’s the perfect storm.

Bug-hunting isn’t easy. It takes time, skill and tools. If you can’t justify always-on QA resources, you need a way to prioritise test cases and hope you catch the high-impact bugs early.

How to deal with QA demand spikes

QA demand comes from multiple directions; your customers, your engineering lead, your dev team. In today’s race-to-release battleground, demand is often unpredictable.

While some organisations do have dedicated QA resources in-house, those resources can get stretched thin. In turn, QA resources get borrowed from other areas, developers who should be working on your next release get hauled in to cover unexpected spikes. It fixes the immediate problem but creates a vicious cycle.

Those developers jump in to help but now have to rush to complete their primary job -development. Now you have a potentially strained dev team who and you’re even more exposed to more pressure, errors and a future QA demand spike.

Tools and automation can help minimise costs and risks but it’s not always enough on its own. And you still need humans who know how to set up the right tests and communicate the results to the right people.

Reduced capacity (or time) to complete testing

According to GitLab’s 2020 DevOps survey, 47% of companies say testing is the number one reason for delays. While that’s a little lower than last year, it’s still significant. 

With so many organisations seeing testing as a threat to their speed to market, it’s understandable that some of those organisations are willing to sacrifice quality assurance to get their features and updates out fast.

This leads to other problems and risks. You might decide to forgo quality testing and accept that bugs will get caught in the market, or you rush and push to QA too early. Neither scenario is ideal.

Pushing an app to the testing phase in a rush to meet a deadline carries its own risks. With too much focus on pushing to release on time, it’s easy to gloss over the scope.

Organisations often leave scoping out testing requirements too late. Things get missed, communication breaks down and either the testing phase fails to cover important factors or the release goes live late anyway.

If you have reduced time or capacity, flag it early. Consider working with a partner who will extract the correct scope, manage the relationship between Dev teams and QA testers and keep your testing on track. By outsourcing, you don’t need to fight for headcount or wrestle key developers away from their main role to handle every part of the QA process.

How GAT can help 

Get off the hamster wheel of last-minutes hotfixes raising your heart rate and bottlenecks slowing you down. We’ll help you de-risk QA delivery across all devices and 105 counties. 

One-off tests are just that. They’re a great way to find and mitigate issues with a single release, but they don’t give you the knowledge your team needs to deliver incredibly seamless experiences long term.

We work with you in the DevOps and CI/CD tools you already use. No need to change or add costs to your existing tech stack or headcount. We’ll start by helping you choose the right plan to fit your release cadences and align with your in-house resources. 

 No more, no less. 

If you would like to find out more about reducing risk in QA delivery, speak to one of your growth experts today.

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