There is a lot of research done to determine the root-causes which fail in software implementations. The most common reason turned to be the answer is Poor Quality Testing & Quality Assurance during software development.
The fundamental purpose of running strict quality tests is to prevent poor, low-performing software products from releasing into the market. Because small bugs and glitches that slip through due to inefficient quality testing may bring about huge financial losses.
There is only one way to prevent a business from significant monetary and non-monetary losses that may result from ineffective quality management; and it is to implement a stringent Software Quality Management System, which provides advanced tools & technologies for producing bug-free software products.
Software Quality Management System is an umbrella term that covers three different aspects i.e. Quality Assurance, Quality Testing & Quality Control.
So, before jumping directly into learning about the ‘ways to improve software testing for business’, let’s have a brief overview about Software Quality Assurance (SQA), Software Quality Control (SQC) & Software Quality Testing (SQT).
- Software Quality Assurance (SQA) – SQA includes a strategic set of organizational tools and actions. SQA aims at improving the software development process, by implementing best practices and quality standards to prevent the final software products from bugs and errors.
- Software Quality Control (SQC) – SQC includes a set of actions focused on meeting the quality requirement. Quality Control deals with product-oriented activities that validate desired quality of the product before its market release. SQC is governed and administered by SQA.
- Software Quality Testing (SQT) – Software Quality Testing aims at identifying and resolving technical glitches within the source code of the software, and it also assesses the overall performance, usability, compatibility, and security of the product. It is not only an important part of Software Quality Management but of the entire Software Development Process.
Now, let’s discuss the top 10 proven ways and the best practices that can help businesses.
- Planning Quality Testing & Assurance Processes In Detail
To prevent software products from bugs and errors, thorough planning of testing processes is a must. Quality testing procedures must be well-defined, thoughtfully planned, and documented. Detailed planning and documentation is the key tool for building effective communication within the software development team, throughout the development process. Effective planning necessitates a foundation of quality and test project plans.
Effective planning involves setting up Test Policy, Quality Management Plan, Test Strategy, Test Plan, and Test Cases.
- Implementing Test-Oriented Approach to Software Management
Test-Oriented Management Approaches are proven to be effective in improving the quality of the software. A great way to achieve this is by using extreme programming (XP) – which is a software development approach that intends to produce higher software quality with quickly adapt modifications and changing requirements. Best practices/techniques of XP to be focused on that are closely associated with Software Quality Testing are Pair Programming and Test-Driven Development.
- Using the ‘Shift-Left’ Testing Approach
We have already discussed the Test-Oriented Approach and Extreme Programming Technique. Next is the Shift-Left Testing Approach which sets up the idea and practice of conducting software quality testing from the very beginning of the development process, instead of considering it as the last step, as typically suggested by conventional development methodologies. The ‘Shift-Left’ testing strategy induces the idea of planning testing process and strategy at the early stage, reviewing all the requirements in detail, testing often & periodically, using automated testing tools, embracing ‘prevention than reaction’ approach, and ensuring effective team collaboration.
- Conducting Formal Technical Reviews
FTR (Formal Technique Review) is referred to an activity undertaken by software engineers to reveal logical and functional errors at early stages. FTR is a group meeting that is attended by people with certain roles within the development process, to ensure that the software meets all the pre-defined requirements and standards. The best time to execute FTR is when you are having a mature product in your hand, however, it is significantly dependent on the type of review. FTR usually requires reviewers, investors, and a team of software engineers. After FTR, a detailed report is prepared. Conducting FTR helps in preventing errors and reducing risks of implementation and logical error beforehand.
- Ensuring Suitable Work Environment For Quality Management Team
It is very important to maintain a healthy and encouraging work environment, because it directly impacts the productivity of employees, and also their attitude and willingness towards work. To make employees comfortable and motivated at work, it is advised to make their work roles (QA roles in quality management) clear and well-defined, and they should be provided the proper training required. Respect for ideas and differences should be served and open communication should be highly encouraged.
- Implementing User Acceptance Testing
If we talk about software product development, we have pre-defined personas that help identify a typical user or perfect customer profiles for a software product. This user personal or perfect customer profile is fictional and determined on grounds of goals and behavioral patterns of your target audience. SQA team uses these personas to figure out how and where to seek a bug. However, following these fictional personas do not define the entire spectrum for users’ behavior pattern. Therefore, to make sure that your software product is meeting the needs and demands of your users, consider engaging your end-users in the quality testing process. User-Acceptance Testing or End-User Testing is usually performed during the last stages of software development. By engaging your end-users to test your software product, you can discover bugs and errors that do not appear in normal testing procedures.
- Optimized Usage of Automated Testing
Automated testing or using automated testing tools is a great thing to do if you want to improve the quality of your software. The adoption of automated testing tools has become the latest trend when it comes to Agile Development Methodologies. Automated quality testing saves time, reduces chances of human error, enhances test capabilities and test coverage and it is available for both parallel execution and batch testing. Cases, where automated testing can enhance the development process, include smoke and regression testing, performance testing, load testing, cross-browser and cross-device testing.
- Implementing Ad-Hoc & Exploratory Testing
With all the above-mentioned automated testing, there are still certain limits to it. When you need to review a product from the user’s perspective, automation is not always a great option, and hence you need other testing methods. The preliminary idea of ad-hoc and exploratory testing is human creativity. Both these testing techniques do not require documentation, both are random, and require little or no planning. Ad-hoc and exploratory techniques are great at discovering unusual errors that are typically not covered within the scope of structured tests.
- Employing Measurement to Assess Code’s Quality
Another great technique is ensuring the fact that all your quality objectives are documented, measurable, reviewable, and trackable. Because there is no single way to measure the quality of the code. Hence, the best advice is to choose the metrics which is effective and simple according to your workflow. Five major aspects to measure software quality are reliability, security, maintainability, performance efficiency, and rate of delivery.
- Ensure Timely & Effective Reporting on Bugs
Preparing a good bug report is crucial as it can help in making the software testing process more clear and efficient by identifying the problems and navigating the software engineer’s attention towards resolving them. It serves as a cornerstone and a critical form of communication between software developers and QA specialists. A bug report written poorly can lead to many serious misunderstandings, hence it must be prepared very carefully.
if you want your business to be competitive and attain a leading position within the industry, you must release high-quality software products in the market. Improved quality of your software product through efficient quality testing can bring about a bigger impact on your overall financial performance. If you are looking for a professional and leading software development company that delivers bug-free, high-quality software solutions, then Code Creators Inc. is truly matchless. Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Codecreators.ca