Upgrade Your QA Without Breaking the Bank
In today’s economic climate, upgrading your QA may seem like a pipe dream.
When budgets are strapped and engineering teams are working to their full capacity, the idea of making a change could seem extremely daunting. But every tech team knows that as your product changes your QA strategy needs to update and change too. Just like your SDLCs, QA isn’t a static thing - it’s fluid and needs to have the scope to adapt.
With a fuller QA strategy, you can ensure your testing scales as your product does. A well-oiled QA machine leads to more critical bugs being found and better all-round user experience. This means your product quality won’t get left behind, even as your company scales exponentially.
But upgrading your QA doesn’t need to be a complicated process, and, importantly, it doesn’t need to cost the earth.
In fact, there are a number of actionable changes you can make to boost your current QA capabilities and make your testing go that little bit further.
1. Take a look at your metrics
Test metrics are hugely important. They keep your team in check and ensure you are meeting your targets. But are you measuring the right metrics?
Measuring quality isn’t as simple as tracking the number of test cases written. That may appear to calculate how hard your team is working, but it does not necessarily indicate that your product is of high quality.
Consider tracking these metrics instead:
- Number of System Outages and Length of Downtime Due to Product Errors: Measuring outages and tracking downtime periods due to software bugs provides insight into the quality of the application, as well as customer experience. If your customer is experiencing app crashes, it’s likely they aren’t having a great user experience.
- Number of Customer Complaints Directly from Product Errors; (via support channels): If your support channels are flooded with negative complaints, that’s a key indicator that something has gone wrong. So make sure you track this metric to see how the volume of customer complaints changes with each new release.
- Mean Time to Detect (MTTD): This refers to the time taken to detect a bug in your app. If a bug has existed in the app for months, that’s definitely not good news, and it could have led to customer churn. However, if your MTTD is extremely quick, that means you are finding critical bugs at rapid speed. This gives you more time to fix them before your customers suffer the consequences.
- Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR): This is all about how quickly you fix the bugs after you find them. If you have a huge backlog of bugs to solve, your MTTR could be very slow. That’s not good news, especially as the bugs pile up. A low MMTR suggests that your feedback loops are working effectively, and your team are working well together to fix critical issues.
By tracking the right type of metrics, you can take stock of the current state of your QA. Let’s say your MTTD is extremely fast, but your MTTR is slow. That could mean that the way your team is approaching fixing bugs simply isn’t working. The bugs might be discovered quickly, but they are staying put in your app, wreaking havoc with your customers.
That’s why what your team tracks is nearly as important as what your team does. The way your team is tracking metrics could need shaking up for you to discover what’s holding you back, and what needs to change.
2. Strategise your fixes
This is all about how you fix the bugs you find.
Let’s imagine your QA team is taking an ad-hoc approach to fixing bugs. Every time a bug is reported or discovered, the bug is tracked and your engineering team works through fixing them. One… by… one.
What if a high impact bug makes its way onto the list? But due to the ad-hoc approach, the bug slips through the cracks, existing in your app for an entire week. That’s a week’s worth of potential impact to your customers. Now imagine if that bug was on an e-commerce platform and impacting your customer’s ability to pay for their items. That’s a direct commercial impact no team wants.
This is a somewhat extreme example, but it shows how a lack of QA strategy can lead to product quality decreasing. As your user base grows, so does the number of customers who can be affected by a high-impact bug that isn’t fixed soon enough. As your product scales, the way you may have approached fixing bugs in the past just isn’t going to work.
An easy fix for this issue is defect triage. This process is all about prioritising bugs based on a number of factors including:
The goal of defect triage is to assess, prioritise and assign bugs to the QA team. This means that each bug is analysed for its criticality, classified, and then assigned to team members who can go about fixing it.
This is a much more structured approach, and, although it requires some project management, will optimise the process of fixing bugs, reducing the potential for critical bugs to exist in your app unsolved.
3. Automate (if it’s cost-effective)
There’s no denying that automation tools are expensive. But, if you have 3 manual testers running the same repetitive tests day in, day out, that’s a lot of valuable time and money that is being spent on testing that could be conducted in minutes.
If your test is data-heavy, time-consuming, and focused on pass or fail, it’s extremely likely that it can be automated. What’s more, automated test cases can be reused time and time again, meaning you don’t have to waste any more of your time and money on repetitive, manual tests.
Take a look at our most recent blog, ‘Do you need automated QA testing?’ to learn more about whether automation is right for you.
4. Partner with a crowdtesting solution
If your team feels they have optimised their internal processes to the point of superspeed, but they simply lack the resources to conduct wider scale testing, a different solution may be needed.
Crowdtesting solutions, like Global App Testing, support your current QA team and processes, working to scale your testing capacity. Our crowd of 40,000+ testers in 105 countries are on hand to execute a range of functional tests 24/7 on a huge combination of devices. This means you can ensure your app is high quality in global markets and networks, as our testers find critical bugs through localization and exploratory testing. Your QA can scale globally, without the associated recruitment headache.
Our platform uses a blend of automated testing augmented with humans, so you can access both lightning-quick test case execution and manual testers across the globe. Quick turnarounds on our bug reports mean that developers and engineers can work on fixes on the same day as testing. That’s going to help streamline your SDLC and increase your product release velocity.
What’s more, our solution means you can find the critical bugs impacting your users fast. Our professional testers provide detailed bug reports moderated by our in-house team, so that you can find the bugs impacting your customers before they do.
Crowdtesting is all about delivering quality at speed.
Book a meeting with one of our growth specialists today to discover how crowdtesting can help supercharge your QA.