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Top QA pain points & ways to improve software testing

We conducted research among our clients to determine what pain points they had encountered using an outsourced QA team. In this article, you will find tips on how to minimize the risks of outsourcing software testing and how to improve the results of the agile testing team.

August 2021

As software development continues to rapidly change and evolve, so does quality assurance. Software testers constantly face new challenges that require them to have a solid understanding of the latest QA methodologies and testing procedures. To ensure a high-quality product, you must make sure that the QA professionals you use, whether from a local or an outsource software testing company, are knowledgeable and experienced.

Testing is a vital part of the development life cycle, and it is most effective when implemented at the start of the development process. By testing early and continuously, you can reduce the amount of time and money spent fixing bugs. Modern QA best practices provide improved processes, better quality, and optimization, and increased productivity. However, there are still some key challenges in QA testing and pain points that testing professionals face.

In this article, we’ll cover the most common software quality assurance team challenges and share some QA process improvement ideas. We’ll also clear up some myths about software testing outsourcing and show you how to manage your outsourced QA teams.

1.0 Challenges

Changing Requirements

While it is not recommended when using an Agile methodology, management sometimes makes substantial requirement changes in the middle of a sprint. As a result, in-progress work may need to be modified or completely eliminated, meaning that the scope of testing changes as well. While changes are inevitable, consistent, effective communication between all parties will help form a solid collaboration and ensure that changes are implemented in the best way possible.

A good Agile development team will be responsive to changes in requirements and use techniques and processes that allow for adjustments without sacrificing project quality. The QA professionals should be able to adapt to changes, as well, and maintain thorough testing records. By sharing these records with the rest of the team, they can help determine the optimal way to make the necessary changes.

Unclear Expectations or Objectives

Since test scripts need to correlate to the end objectives, it’s important to ensure that these objectives are clearly laid out upfront. If the testing team is not clear on the final outcome, you may end up with a very different product than what was expected.

To avoid this pitfall, it is vital for stakeholders to clearly define the scope of the project and their requirements and expectations before work begins. It’s also important to maintain a constant line of communication between the project team and the stakeholders. If there are any unclear expectations or conflicting requirements, these issues must be cleared up as soon as possible to ensure a high-quality product that performs as intended. The acceptance criteria formulated by the business and the use of the Three Amigos Concept are the steps to success.

High Testing Costs

Studies show that outsourcing software testing can reduce testing costs by 25-45%. However, to maximize your ROI and avoid the risks of software testing outsourcing, it’s important to thoroughly research and vet an outsourced QA service to make sure that they have the proper qualifications and experience and will fit your needs.

A competent Agile testing team will help reduce your QA costs by beginning testing at the first stages of the project and continuing throughout the development cycle. A bug uncovered and fixed at the requirements stage will cost a tiny fraction of the amount of the money it would take to eliminate it after release.

True QA professionals can also utilize a Risk-Based Testing approach to determine which areas of the product may be impacted by new functionalities. By prioritizing and testing these areas first, you can reduce testing volume and quickly ensure that new features will not break your product.

No Quality Measurement

One of the significant Agile testing challenges that many companies face is that their Agile teams do not have a quantifiable way to measure the overall quality of a product. They have individual metrics, like test coverage and code complexity, but these elements do not come together to present a clear view of the project’s quality. As a result, they are unable to proactively uncover and focus on specific areas where quality is lacking.

However, there are many Quality Intelligence platforms available that Agile teams can use to help optimize their testing. These tools work by analyzing data and discovering gaps in testing. These testing gaps show the QA engineers what areas they need to focus on and prevent them from over-testing other areas, ensuring that the entire project is covered in tests and reducing the risk of quality issues.

Lack of Collaboration Between Teams

One of the big problems of testing is that, too often, the testing and development teams work independently, resulting in constant downtime as each team tries to reactively adjust to what the other is doing. For example, regression testing uncovers a number of issues that are attributed to changes in the code. So, the QA engineers begin rewriting the test cases to better align with the new code. The developers are idle while testing drags on, and the release date gets pushed further and further into the future.

By synchronizing the work of the testers and developers, you can reduce time to market without sacrificing quality. This may seem like an impossible task when the two teams are located around the world from one another, but the open lines of communication facilitated by the Agile methodology can make it a smooth collaboration.

Rather than rewriting test cases after regression testing, Agile testing teams will work in sync with the developers who are changing the code. This allows test cases to be updated quickly and more efficiently and eliminates idle downtime for both teams. When you use an experienced Agile team, you can avoid many of the outsourcing QA team challenges.

Developer Downtime

When there is a testing bottleneck, developer downtime typically occurs, which can then result in excessive developer overtime. If a developer submits an application change, they are often left waiting several minutes or even hours for test results. If they continue working on their current task before the results come in, then they risk making additional errors. So, they are often stuck just waiting around for the test results. This may lead to them working overtime to finish the task, costing additional time and money and leading to frustrated, overworked teams.

However, you can significantly shorten testing times by implementing AI/ML smart testing. Developers can get their test results back in seconds, rather than hours. Automated testing eliminates the testing bottleneck, reducing downtime and overtime and increasing productivity and efficiency, solving one of the key QA challenges.

2.0 Ways to Improve Software Testing 

You must have set software testing practices and processes in place in order to have effective software quality assurance. However, these planned processes need to have flexibility and be able to adapt to changing tasks and timelines. So here are some tips on how to improve software testing and optimize your QA processes.

Quality Assurance Culture

Quality assurance must be a priority, not an afterthought or a crisis management tool. Too many companies don’t fully understand the role of quality assurance and do not get the QA team involved at all until the end of the development process. To get the most out of software testing, you need to adopt a QA culture that focuses on quality management throughout the development life cycle.

When you have an established QA culture, you can:

  • Streamline your QA processes
  • Experiment with innovative new techniques and tools
  • Test faster and more efficiently
  • Consistently deliver quality products

Testing Early and Often

We’ve already established how important early testing is for software quality assurance. While implementing early testing is easier said than done, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. By beginning testing at the start of development, you can identify potential bugs and issues much sooner and fix them for a fraction of the cost. You’ll also get valuable input from the QA engineers that can help improve the product and speed up development.

However, early testing requires thorough documentation to be effective. So it’s important to make sure that you have a professional, committed QA team that can create self-sufficient stories for testing. Frequent regression testing can also help mitigate some of the challenges of testing early and often. When your QA team can identify the specific areas that may experience regression, they can minimize testing times without sacrificing test coverage.

Automation is also an excellent way to implement frequent testing, and it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing method. You can start with functional testing that automatically takes care of repetitive, simple tasks, such as verifying login capabilities after each new iteration; or automate the verification of calculations, which take several hours of manual labor, but can be checked by autotests in just 10-15 minutes.

Training and Assessment

Of course, all the best plans and processes won’t mean a thing if your QA team members can’t carry them out. In addition to properly vetting and assessing new hires, your QA team leads also need to make sure they have effective training programs in place and regularly carry out QA performance reviews. These programs should also be frequently re-evaluated to ensure that they are still teaching the required skills.

As team members go through the training programs, the team leads can assign them various tasks to assess their progress and competency. If a team member cannot perform the tasks adequately, then they may need a different training method, additional training, or they may simply need to be replaced.

At Evrone, we focus on continuous learning and encourage our employees to travel to professional conferences, as well as take specialized courses to improve their qualifications.

Adoption of Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Testing

With the growing adoption of Agile and DevOps, there has been speculation that software testers will soon no longer be needed. But this could not be further from the truth. The fact is that, while testing methods and processes are changing, testers will continue to be vital for quality development.

In our article on QA trends, we discussed the future of QAOps, which is a combination of QA and DevOps. QAOps essentially combines DevOps with continuous testing, allowing the testing and development teams to work in sync. By implementing a QAOps approach, companies can:

  • Speed up time-to-market
  • Consistently release thoroughly-tested, high-quality products
  • Automate more processes
  • Improve workflows between departments

Why choose Evrone as your QA team?

Evrone is a leader in the industry, and we have provided quality assurance services for companies of all sizes and across all domains. Our QA professionals never stop learning and improving, and they are dedicated to consistently delivering high-quality products, using the latest QA best practices.

Each client is unique, with their own needs and challenges, and we focus on their company as a whole, not just on the task at hand, to ensure that all of their QA goals and objectives are met. Our team members know how to work remotely, collaborate with existing teams, and avoid the key problems with outsourcing QA.

When you take advantage of our QA outsourcing services, you’ll get a high-quality, high-performing product that meets your expectations, while saving time and money.

If you would like to schedule a consultation regarding software QA outsourcing, or you have questions about our QA processes and methods, feel free to contact our experts.

Software testing is crucial because it detects problems, bugs before they are delivered to the client, ensuring the quality of your project. It improves and ensures the software's reliability and ease of use. Moreover, thoroughly tested software can save money in the long run.
Tatyana Sukhodolovа
QA Team Lead,
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