Transforming Quality Assurance into Quality Assistance – 5 Essential Strategies
For a long time, quality assurance (or QA) has played a crucial role in ensuring the overall quality of any software product. As it stands, we increasingly find software companies moving from Quality Assurance to Quality Assistance (or Quality Engineering). The question remains - how do they go about making this switch?
What Is Quality Assistance?
Coined as a term by Cem Kaner, quality assistance (or quality engineering) is a testing activity performed by QA teams to facilitate high-quality products. Quality assistance enables application developers to build high quality into the application right from the start of the project.
Notably, in the quality assistance mode, quality is no longer an individual tester's responsibility. Software developers are also responsible for testing their written code or functionality. So, how does this model differ from the traditional QA mode? For that, let's first look at the basic steps of the traditional QA testing process:
- Project kickoff involving the development, QA, and project managers
- Application coding by the product development team
- Product walkthrough involving the development, QA, and project managers
- Software testing by the QA team
- Product release
On the other hand, after the project kick-off and QA test analysis, here are the basic steps involved in the quality assistance mode:
- Application coding and testing by the product development teams
- Product walkthrough and review testing involving the development, QA, and project managers
- Additional testing (if required) by the product development team
- Product release
To that end, let's look at 5 essential strategies to transform quality assurance into quality assistance in any organization.
5 Strategies to Transform Quality Assurance into Quality Assistance
Here are 5 essential strategies to make the transition from quality assurance to quality engineering:
1. Include Quality in the Company's Mission
In the modern business environment, quality is no longer just the responsibility of the QA or testing team. In the traditional testing mode, QA teams found themselves isolated in their arguments about the importance of software quality. The main argument in quality assistance is that quality standards are the priority for all project teams, including development.
Here's why the company's mission must highlight the value of software quality:
- Satisfied customers drive a successful business model.
- High-quality products and attributes contribute to customer satisfaction.
- Software products deliver the quality attributes.
So, as a common mission, companies must first incorporate quality standards in their software requirements.
2. Build an Organizational Approach to Quality Assistance
The next strategy is for product companies to build a "quality assistance" mindset in their approach. Here are some best practices in this approach:
- Gather adequate information and understand how various teams work – and how to unify the approach.
- Understand that quality is not embedded into the application code; it depends on the right people, culture, workflows, and skillset.
- Follow the long-term goal of facilitating developers to release high-quality products (without software testing as a separate process).
- Follow Agile and Lean principles to remove bottlenecks and enable continuous improvements.
- Build testing frameworks and tools to improve the efficiency of the software development process.
3. Focus on Acculturation
Acculturation is the process of making people (belonging to other cultures) aware of accepted behaviors and eventually adopting the same into their culture. This process in any organization requires consistent communication till a tipping point when other project teams accept the improved way of working.
In quality engineering, other project stakeholders will change their focus when they:
- Understand the “why” of moving to quality assistance.
- Visualize the results of this transition.
- Gain a few benefits by moving to quality assistance
For instance, quality engineering teams can highlight the vision of "successfully deploying an application in less than 5 minutes."
4. Embed the Quality "Mindset" Into Development Teams
As the complexity and scale of software products proliferate, product development teams keep increasing. In general, large product development teams divide into smaller groups (or product teams), each with its product lead, designer, engineer, and business analyst.
As a quality assistance strategy, quality engineers must highlight the sense of product ownership for each of these groups. Generally, one quality engineer must support up to 5 product teams or groups. To embed a quality mindset, QA personnel must have technical expertise or specialization in frontend, backend, mobile, or web development.
5. Align the Various Quality Roles and Responsibilities
The final step in the quality assistance strategy is to align the quality roles and responsibilities of the involved project teams. This strategy highlights the importance of "quality as a shared responsibility" for all roles along the software lifecycle.
As a result, this step involves multiple changes, including:
- Defining the quality mission statement.
- Taking ownership of all quality deliverables.
- Performing quality reviews and other supported activities.
Quality engineering teams can set the priorities by:
- Mapping all the business-critical value streams within the organization.
- Clarifying all the quality deliverables and collaboration for a smooth workflow.
- Updating each project team on their quality roles and responsibilities.
In addition to these strategies, organizations must select the right tool and platform to switch to quality assistance. All things considered, this choice could rest on multiple factors, including ease of use, test automation capabilities, customizability, scalability, accommodation of different testing types, and more. To this end, let's discuss why ACCELQ is the best platform for quality engineering.
Why Choose ACCELQ for Quality Engineering
Among the latest technology trends, AI is enabling innovation in the quality engineering space. Furthermore, no-code and low-code platforms are breaking down barriers like limited scalability and lack of skilled resources.
Powered by AI, ACCELQ has developed a codeless test automation platform that is easy to implement in any software testing environment.
Here are the top reasons to choose ACCELQ for quality engineering:
- AI-powered codeless test automation
- Cloud-native platform
- Unified platform for testing web, mobile, API, and packaged applications
- 3x higher productivity and 70% savings
- No vendor lock-ins
Our team of qualified QA consultants can advise you on how to improve your quality initiatives. Contact us today.
Technical Consultant at ACCELQ.
Yuvarani Elankumaran is a highly skilled technical consultant at ACCELQ. With over a decade of experience in the field of Test Automation, Yuvarani is a seasoned professional who is well-versed in a variety of programming languages and automation frameworks.