Author: Julia Pottinger, Senior QA Consultant

How can a QA team ensure an efficient process that will  safeguard the quality of products being released and reduce time to market?

Countless projects with great potential have tanked as a result of the  inability to achieve intended product goals within the specified time frame.  While this  can happen for a myriad of reasons, in the world of software development, QA engineers bear a great responsibility as gatekeepers of quality to ensure the products are ready for release. 

Here is a summary of 7 software testing tips and considerations to help you prevent product release disasters based on an article from one of our senior QA consultants, Julia Pottinger, TechBeacon on common testing pitfalls. Check out the full article here or download our infographic that captures the top 5 pitfalls for future reference. 

pitfalls that could ruin your testing cycle- QualityWorks

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AIM TO HAVE A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF REQUIREMENTS BEFORE TESTING

Not having proper requirements or testing without understanding requirements may result in false-positives and false-negatives where features are marked incorrectly as passed or failed when based on requirement specifications they should not have been. As you can imagine, this creates problems that could’ve easily been prevented such as missing features and functionalities and buggy software.

ALWAYS TIMEBOX EXPLORATORY TESTING

Not timeboxing exploratory testing can cause a tester to lose track of time and go down the proverbial rabbit hole, spending more time than necessary  in one area and neglecting others that could be critical. Exploratory testing should be done by a tester with appropriate knowledge or experience following a test charter that defines the scope and goal for testing in a time-box.

TEST CASE PRIORITISATION IS CRUCIAL

Why is this so important? Let’s say the product being tested is an ATM machine and the tests you ran covered everything except the option to withdraw money and upon delivery, there was a huge bug and no one could withdraw money. What a mess! It is very important that the test manager and other project stakeholders such as the client, business analyst, product owner, project manager, and the development team participate in prioritization of features so that the most important or high-risk features are developed and tested first. We want the highest priority, most safety critical or important features to be developed and tested first. Read more

TEST EARLY, TEST OFTEN

In the agile lifecycle, requirements and features are constantly evolving, it is recommended that testing starts as early as possible.  You can test requirement documents to ensure that there are no gaps in requirements, that requirements are clear and that the quality of the requirements is adequate for your project. This helps as the right product will be built and reduces the cost associated with requirement defects making it all the way to production. 

REPORTING A BUG CORRECTLY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS FINDING THE BUG.

If the defect report is vague or incomplete then the developer will have to spend time trying to understand what the defect is. A good bug report reduces the time from when the bug is found to getting the bug resolved. Think of the defect report as a form of communication between you the tester, the developer and other project stakeholders. You can use tools like Jira with links to Testrail that contains detailed test cases.

ENSURE THERE IS TRACEABILITY ACROSS YOUR TEST CYCLE

Traceability provides project stakeholders such as project managers, the client and the development team with the visibility and ability to make decisions. This is one of the most important software testing tips to remember as it can help the test manager or project manager determine if all requirements for project completion has been met. Traceability metrics such as test coverage, the number of bugs found for specific requirements, number of defects outstanding, the severity of these defects are all important and are used to make decisions about releases and the product. 

ASK WHY; PERFORM ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is the process of finding the origin of a problem or the underlying cause of a defect. It offers a permanent solution to the defect that has been reported and reduces the chances of the defect reoccurring. Read more

 

Don’t stop here! Check out more software testing tips and resources on our blog.