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How to Improve the Software QA Process

#1 Guide for QA Managers

Relying on the experience in software testing since 1989 and QA consulting since 2002, ScienceSoft helps companies improve their QA processes to build top-quality software.

How to Improve the Software QA Process - ScienceSoft
How to Improve the Software QA Process - ScienceSoft

QA Process Improvement in a Nutshell

QA process improvement involves analyzing software requirements and the established QA process, detecting bottlenecks in the QA process and identifying ways of improving the existing QA process and, as a result, the overall software development process.

  • Timing: 2-4 weeks.
  • Possible team members: QA consultant, QA manager, test engineer, test automation engineer.

ScienceSoft leverages 22-year long experience in QA consulting and an extensive pool of QA experts to help businesses make their QA processes smooth and cost-effective.

How to Improve QA process in 4 Steps 

The number and scale of changes required to enhance a software quality assurance process vary from case to case and depend on the software complexity and the current QA maturity level. Below, we present common steps that ScienceSoft’s QA specialists take to improve customers’ QA processes.

1. Analyze software requirements

A QA consultant analyzes functional and non-functional requirements of software under development, spots and eliminates unclear and contradicting requirements. As a result, future testing activities and the whole development process become more consistent.

2. Analyze existing QA process

The QA consultant examines the existing QA process to reveal its main flaws (e.g., insufficient or poor-quality project documentation, inadequate automation share, poor communication between testing and development teams, etc.) and determines its maturity level.

Best practice: ScienceSoft employs globally recognized or custom QA maturity models to assess the existing QA maturity level.

3. Prepare a QA process improvement plan

ScienceSoft’s QA team considers all the flaws in the QA process revealed during the analysis to plan improvements. Planning activities include:

  • Developing a comprehensive QA strategy with measures to improve the QA process.

Best practice: In ScienceSoft’s projects, we usually plan the following measures and activities to enhance a QA process:

  • Shift-left approach. ScienceSoft shifts testing activities closer to the beginning of a sprint or iteration. The development team also becomes involved in the QA process by conducting regular code reviews and unit tests. This allows early validation and improvement of the code quality.
  • Pragmatic test automation. ScienceSoft automates repetitive and less complex test cases, since automated testing is feasible when the efforts spent on the design and support of automated test scripts and a corresponding environment are lower than the efforts spent on manual test execution.
  • Early planning of regression testingScienceSoft plans potential regression at the start of a sprint/iteration. For that, QA specialists identify software functionality that is likely to be affected in the sprint. After, the QA team prepares and updates test design documentation on such functionality. This way, QA engineers shorten a release cycle, as they do not have to conduct a full regression test suite to ensure sufficient test coverage.
  • Test data management improvement. The QA team pinpoints sensitive information and ensures its security (e.g., by generating synthetic test data). Also, the team regularly updates test data and identifies data that is relevant for multiple test cycles, since generating new data may require extra costs and time.
  • Identifying risks related to changes in the QA process (e.g., insufficient regression time, unrecognized metrics) and creating a risk mitigation plan.
  • Deciding on the optimal team size.
  • Defining timelines for improvements implementation.
  • Preparing test environments, test cases, and test data, configuring test automation tools, etc.
  • Reviewing existing QA metrics and introducing additional metrics.

Best practice: At ScienceSoft, we usually compare the following metrics before and after introducing improvements:

  • Test and requirements coverage.
  • Reopened and rejected defects rate.
  • Defects leakage.
  • Test effort metrics (e.g., test design, test review efficiency).
  • Budget and time variance metrics.
  • Sprint velocity, etc.

4. Implement and monitor QA process improvements

ScienceSoft’s QA team incrementally introduces necessary improvements to the QA process according to the defined roadmap, continuously tracks relevant QA metrics and assesses the QA maturity level, and outlines a path for new changes, if necessary.

Consider Professional Services for QA Process Improvement

QA Consulting

Get your QA processes going like clockwork! We analyze your software requirements, assess your QA maturity level, and provide a detailed action plan to achieve and maintain a game-changing QA process.

I need this

QA Outsourcing

Keep calm – your software quality will be in good hands. We take care of the entire QA process, from software requirements and risk analysis to the QA process setup, implementation, and control. We also continuously analyze and improve the QA and testing processes.

I need this

Why Choose ScienceSoft for QA Process Improvement

  • 35 years in software testing and 22 years in QA consulting.
  • 730+ testing projects since 2010.
  • ISTQB-certified QA specialists.
  • In-house QA managers to control project- and enterprise-wide QA and testing.
  • Experience in 30+ industries, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale, logistics, professional services, healthcare, financial services, oil & gas, telecommunications.
  • ISO 27001-certified company to ensure customers’ information security.

QA Process Improvement: Success Stories by ScienceSoft

QA Consulting and Testing of Web Applications for Insurance Claim Estimation

QA Consulting and Testing of Web Applications for Insurance Claim Estimation

ScienceSoft helped increase the Customer’s QA maturity level and improve the efficiency and flexibility of the testing process. As a result, the Customer managed to release fully functional application builds every 2-4 weeks.

QA Process Improvement and Automated Testing for a Multinational Automotive Software Company

QA Process Improvement and Automated Testing for a Multinational Automotive Software Company

ScienceSoft established a QA process strategy from scratch to ensure relevant control over the development and testing processes of the Customer’s CRM product. Also, ScienceSoft’s QA team provided automated performance and functional CRM testing.

QA Process Improvement for a Global Provider of Security Audit and Compliance Services

QA Process Improvement for a Global Provider of Security Audit and Compliance Services

ScienceSoft’s team assisted the Customer in designing a profound QA strategy to test their updated product. Consequently, the Customer managed to test multiple aspects of the solution within a tight project deadline and make sure that updated software complied with the new environment.

Roles on ScienceSoft’s QA Teams

The QA team composition depends on the scale of improvements needed and if testing activities will be outsourced to the team. ScienceSoft’s QA teams generally include the following roles.

QA Consultant

  • Analyzes software requirements and the existing QA process.
  • Considers possible risks related to changes in the QA process and creates a risk mitigation plan.
  • Works out a strategy with improvements ideas for the QA process to reach the required maturity level.

QA Manager

  • Draws up a test plan according to the required changes in the QA process.
  • Controls the testing team and the test design process.
  • Provides regular reports to the customer and ensures that planned goals are reached.

QA Test Engineer

  • Prepares test data, writes test cases, and executes tests.
  • Reports found bugs.

QA Automation Test Engineer

  • Writes and executes automated test scripts when improvements in the QA process require automation.
  • Reports found bugs.

Sourcing Models for QA Process Improvement

Tools We Use to Improve and Run a QA process

ScienceSoft usually employs the following tools that enable an effective QA process.

How Much Does It Cost to Improve Your QA Process?

ScienceSoft will calculate the costs of your QA process improvement considering the following factors:

  • Complexity and quantity of functional and non-functional requirements of software under testing.
  • Current QA maturity level and the level you need.
  • Number and complexity of the required changes in the QA process.
  • Required share of automated testing.
  • (for the in-house QA process improvement project) Costs of tools and frameworks for automated testing.
  • Timelines for QA process improvement.
About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting, software development and QA company headquartered in McKinney, TX with a corporate presence in Europe and the Gulf Cooperation Council. In software testing since 1989, we offer comprehensive QA consulting and QA outsourcing services. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified we make sure to meet our customers' quality, time, and budget expectations and keep customer information secure. Contact us to talk over your needs for QA process improvement.