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Checklist To Set Up QA Processes In An Agile Environment

15-Feb-2022

Checklist To Set Up QA Processes In An Agile Environment

Over the years, the concepts and methodologies adopted by the IT industry have significantly changed. Especially, the introduction of terms like Agile, DevOPs, DevSecOps, and QAOPs have immensely changed the way development lifecycle was pursued.  

The introduction of modern methodologies and tactics have not only redefined the IT landscape but have even made the developers, testers, and business analysts switch from conventional practices like Waterfall or improper test management tactics.  

As long as software, application, or website development is concerned under the agile environment, Quality Assurance solutions make a significant aspect of the development lifecycle. Since an agile environment involves more rapidity in the operations, any bug escaping the test environment could be a reason for negative reviews and a ruined end-user experience.  

This is why it becomes necessary for business executives, developers, and testers to come together and work on creating a reliable QA setup that can help meet the expectations surrounding Agile & DevOps testing services involved in the operational process. In this blog, we will aim at highlighting the challenges in QA process while defining the need for QA process as well as the process for establishing a productive QA process in an agile environment.  

Let’s begin! 

Recurrent Challenges In QA Process 

When working on a QA process, the path to define the steps involved often turns out to be overwhelming. Some of the most frequent challenges that testers and developers have to bear on their way to creating a solid software testing strategy include: 

To Deal With Test Documentation 

QA engineers usually need to take up multiple projects at a time and the process thus involves a large quantity of data and documents. However, it is extremely important that all the business data must be categorized and stored properly in the form of documentation. Though sticking to excel sheets, office suite, or google drive might appear like a good option, having a professional test management tool is something that can simplify the transferring.  

Training The QA Team 

Even if you have the best talent with you when it comes to your quality assurance solutions, it is not easy for newly hired test teams to immediately align with a certain process. Though you may consider sharing the existing knowledge base with the QA team, you cannot expect them to align right away with your company use cases, tool choices, operational bottlenecks, and business best practices. Nevertheless, the test managers should try to ensure all the necessary information should be readily available when you hire QA testers.  

To Pursue Comprehensive Testing 

At times, test leads or managers are likely to miss out some features or functionalities when defining their priorities for the test process. Skipping such details may cause some bugs to dive into the production environment and deprive the entire team of a comprehensive test strategy. However, to avoid such scenarios, testers must collaborate with the business analysts as well as developers to have a detailed checklist of all the features that must be tested, verified, and validated. 

To Account Personnel Changes 

In certain circumstances, it is not possible for the QA engineers to be always available for a particular project. Such a situation demands transferring the project to other QA engineers who may have limited briefing on the context of the project.   

To counter such odds, the QA engineers must create a detailed structure of the project workflow. The structure could then be easily transferred to someone new entering the project allowing immediate productivity and zero downtime due to varying test methods or approach followed by different engineers.  

Significance Of QA Process 

Quality assurance services are meant to enhance the overall process of software development through compliance and testing. Therefore, a well-defined QA process could help any organization or developer to foster precise builds that do not demand many iterations. Also, a QA process can even aid testers to develop a better understanding of features and the overall path to development lifecycle.  

Besides, a good QA strategy helps the organization to implement quality throughout the development lifecycle and not when the development part is already completed. In other words, adding a QA process to software development lifecycle could help test code within the repository and not when the entire development is done.  

All in all, a well-defined QA process could help testers and developers to execute the QA practices while sticking to the DevOps and Agile tactics, along with every detail that makes the quality assurance, development, and deployment pipeline.  

Wondering why Agile and DevOps are essential for digital transformation? 

Read here: Agile, DevOps, & Digital Transformation: The Essentials To The Success Of IT 

Different Stages Of QA Process 

Measure Requirements 

The only objective behind integrated software testing services early in the development lifecycle is to identify bugs early in the process rather than identifying them post deployment. Therefore, the primary stage of creating a QA process involves defining the functional requirements and non-functional requirements. In order to be productive with the outputs, it is vital that testers must have access to consistent and comprehensive requirements. Also, to have a clear set of expectations makes it easy for the test teams to create completely customized test cases for the software products.  

Test Planning 

The information gained during the requirements analysis phase is used as the basis for planning necessary tests. The test plan should comprise the software testing strategy, the scope of testing, the project budget, and establish deadlines. It should also outline the types and levels of testing required, methods, and tools for tracking bugs and allocate resources and responsibilities to individual testers. 

Test Designs 

The test design stage requires QA teams to work on test cases and checklists pertaining to the given software requirements. Testers working on test designs usually aim at conditions and steps for validating the functionalities to deliver expected results. Furthermore, the data found from the test cases and checklists is then used to compare actual and expected results.  

Besides, working on establishing a great QA process should be initiated with exploratory testing in order to improve the test case designs. If the QA team is aiming at test automation services to cut the hassle, then there must be clear provision of automation testing scenarios in the process.  

The test design stage is also the beginning of the execution process and therefore it needs to have a thorough understanding of the production environment I.e. configurations related to database, hardware, software, and network.  

Test Execution & Reporting 

The test execution begins with unit testing before the tests are made for checking API and UI levels. At this stage, all the data from manual tests are sent to a defect tracking system. Besides, the automation testers use automated frameworks like selenium to execute test scripts and generate reports.  

Re-tests & Regression 

When bugs are found and fixed, the quality analysts could then work on retesting the system to locate any anomalies with the product under the test. Also, regression tests at this stage help to locate any changes that may have disturbed the functionality. 

Release Tests 

The last stage of QA process works on creating the perfect release notification that accommodates all the features, bugs fixed, system limitations, and any other information that is vital for meeting the scope of the build. Also, to check the stability of the system testers perform smoke tests and if the test passes, the modified test suites are then run to process end reports.  

Check out our case study on Agile -

Fostering Test Process Consultation for a Bidding Software Based on Agile Methodology

Setting Up The QA Process For Agile Environment 

Since sticking with all the steps defined for the QA process above is not an easy task to pursue within a highly iterative environment, defining the QA process for Agile ecosystem needs some extra attention. Some of the few important steps that testers need to follow when planning QA process for Agile include: 

Result-oriented QA 

An agile environment involves speed and therefore contains small and targeted goals which can be achieved rapidly. Therefore, it is necessary that the QA process should be developed on the same benchmarks. It means a more focused approach must be pursued when working through requirements while pertaining to speedy and dynamic accomplishments.  

Acknowledge Transparency 

When you allow transparency to flow into the software development lifecycle, the primary benefit it could yield is procuring the success of agile. From transparency in software testing services, we refer to creating clear requirements that can help testers work on expected features and results. Moreover, transparency with the end objectives of the product and the overall QA process could even aid in improving collaborations between testers and developers.  

QA As An Ongoing Process 

QA should never go last in the development lifecycle. Rather QAs must focus on aggressive testing after code is written for every new functionality. In other words, testing must be worked as an ongoing process that must be carried through sprints for identifying any issues involved.  

DevOps Implementation 

DevOps is an extremely significant component of the agile process that allows QA and operational teams to sync into the development process. Also, DevOps allows improved collaborations between business analysts, developers, and testers preventing any situation of conflict and offering greater control of the production environment. Moreover, DevOps implementation in Agile allows deployment at higher frequency with lower failure rate on releases.  

All in all, DevOps implementation can be a great deal improving the speed and quality of the software releases in order to allow improved time to market.  

QA Process & Tools 

Even when you are done working on the QA process, a comprehensive approach to software testing seems incomplete without the right tools. Also, executing a reliable QA strategy needs immediate access to devices that can be used for testing in real conditions. And in case the in-house labs are missing, having access to cloud-based test infrastructure makes it easy to meet speed and accuracy goals.  

On the other hand, it is equally important that the development process should be worked through all the right set of tools that can aid the management of tests. These may include any third-party tools like Jira, Cypress, Selenium or a proprietary QA test automation framework.  

The Crux 

To have a perfect QA team is more of a process that demands your continuous input. However, when you have a well-defined structure and the vision to take on QA operations based on advanced Agile methodology, it becomes essential to assess every detail before an executable process is created.  

And if you are having trouble working on your existing QA strategy or need help assessing the present approach to software testing services, feel free to reach our experts through info@bugraptors.com  

Good luck! 

 

 

author

Sharad Yadav

Sharad works as a Consultant QA at Bugraptors. He is having multidimensional skills with respect to Manual testing, Mobile application testing, Game testing, Compatibility testing, Smoke testing, Responsive Testing, Sanity testing and Regression testing. He is also having expertise in preparation, development and execution of Test cases, Test procedure specifications and Test summary reports etc.

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