How QA Testing is Moving Up in Today’s Agile Value Chain

How to move QA testing up the value chain

In the past, the core goal of testing is to find bugs and fix them. But the dynamics of IT and testing landscape have changed now.

Agile QA approach and user experience driven development (UXDD) have taken modern software development and testing by storm. 

Are your QA testers up to speed? 

As a QA tester or manager, how you scale up your skills to match today’s innovative challenges is the key to improving testing productivity and advancing your career prospects.  

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
William A Foster

Testing is changing, how are you adapting?

Speed is the name of the game now. Amazon has reported deploying thousands of times per day. And over 50% of software firms have daily new releases. This trend is bound to increase with iterative development, continuous integration, and rapid deployment becoming the norm.

You have highly dynamic mobile apps to e-commerce websites to cloud applications working on ‘Software as a Service’ model. Technology has advanced to higher levels of integration where collaborated devices pass data to multiple devices.

Today’s agile methodology demands speed and agility in all phases of software development – including testing. However, is your company still using the old methods and tools to deliver application testing? This could lead to poor quality and low productivity besides a demotivated QA testing team.

Risk of QA failure in the agile workspace

Agile software development practices have led to faster product development lifecycles. You are developing products rapidly and delivering it in a short sprint of 2 weeks. Or in a half sprint based on your urgency

There have been instances like the bitcoin nodes disappearing from the network due to software failures. There have been instances like the bitcoin nodes disappearing from the network due to software failures causing bitcoin transactions to take more than usual time. And Suncorp banks having money disappearing from its customers’ bank accounts after a software upgrade. These type of issues cause a major dent on the brand’s reputation besides the loss of trust and financial losses.

the role of QA testers in 2019

New testing platforms. New QA mindset

Effective QA and testing along with adequate tools and automation could have prevented some QA failures. Time saved can be utilized in multiple test iterations coupled with higher permutations and combination of test scenarios.

In addition, you are facing new technology platforms, devices, automation tools which require you and your team to acquire new skills and levels of expertise to be productive. Has your company’s testing function adapted to these new demands? Are your QA testers empowered enough?  

Agile development also involves working with cross-functional teams. This requires better communication and collaboration between QA and developers. QA is an in-between role for product developers and end-users.

Customer Quality Assurance (CQA) is a new terminology that focuses on the use of VOC (Voice of Customer) in product evaluation and improvement. Involving customers’ opinions during QA will ensure higher user acceptance and greater product usage.

This is crucial for QA success. And business growth.

Software testing trends you need to keep up with

There are a few crucial disruptive innovations that have impacted the way software is being tested and delivered. QA testers need to learn and adapt to these innovative trends.

“A human touch by QA teams for exploratory and usability testing is still essential “How to analyze software to discover key points of vulnerability and design experiments on the fly is still your QA explorer’s arsenal.”
Elisabeth Hendrickson

1. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD)

CI/CD is a streamlined process that can help your team to release software updates into production release cycles quickly with lower costs and lesser risk. Automation can cover units and API testing, but it may never be 100% at all times.

2. Cloud computing and ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS)

Cloud computing has enabled providing infrastructure, platforms and, applications as a service. You can rapidly deploy with the flexibility to scale up or scale down at lower costs and make your new application feature available to a global audience at a single point of time.

3. Mobility solutions

Mobility solutions require a different set of test skill sets. Mobile apps have their upgrades and fixes delivered weekly to a global audience who download them from the play store or elsewhere.

4. The Internet of things (IoT)

You may have heard of sensor-based devices that collect data and pass on to different devices. IoT has been used in various industries such as manufacturing, home automation, energy, food, and automobiles. This opens up a new area of QA where special expertise in IoT is needed.

5. Societal changes

Today your customer prefers to text rather than call customer service. So we have chatbots with natural language processing capabilities and some backed with artificial intelligence as well. Mobile shopping and quick e-commerce requires 100% uptime delivering the best digital customer experience.

6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI-based applications are being used in new business use cases and may have good potential. These offer new scope for QA services in ways never dreamt before.

Is your QA testing team geared up to deliver to the new challenging agile environment and dynamic applications?

Where QA testing stands in today’s product value chain

Your success in today’s QA testing world with the new digital disruptive environment needs a new set of skills, attitude, and mindset.

The World Quality Report 2017-18’s key recommendation is to support DevOps and agile development by transforming smart QA and Test function and increase platform investments.

You have to move up the QA value chain in the agile workspace. You must redefine the team structure and roles and responsibilities so that the QA staffs are productive and keeping pace with the agile model.

You have seen the varied dynamic testing landscape. It is your testing team that has to give the green signal to the bug-free and user-friendly product. This is where good QA people are important and attrition can have major impacts on your testing area.

QA in improving CX through digital transformation

Technology has gone digital. Yet businesses are failing to deliver an effective digital customer experience (CX). Companies have reported digital transformation to improve CX leading to following benefits

  • Increased customer loyalty (92%)
  • Uplift in revenue (84%)
  • Cost savings (79%)

With mobile applications and AI based chatbots, there are numerous channels for engagement and the winning strategy is in providing a unified omnichannel experience. Customer data analytics helps in building new analytic data models with simulation models. All these help in driving digital business. It is a key competitive strategy for companies to get the winning edge.

QA testing has moved to more of a QA engineering approach today to meet the challenges of digital transformation. Businesses can engage with customers in a one-to-one model. This brings CX to the forefront in selling to the customer and retaining their brand loyalty. QA strategies and support models have to follow an enterprise-wide approach.

QA platforms and test automation tools help in providing the much-needed coverage to have a bug free and rapid delivery of your product to the marketplace.

88% organisations view CX as a competitive differentiator | Usersnap Blog
Source: Dimension Data

New tools that match agile testing

Your testing today demands faster turnaround. That means faster reporting of bugs, fixes, re-testing, deployment, and releases. QA testers are the driving force here.

According to State of DevOps Report 2016, high performing IT organizations experience 200 times more frequent deployments, have 3 times lower change failure rate and 24 times faster recovery from failures.

To keep up with the speed game, you can’t afford to waste time in communicating issues. A visual feedback software for QA like Usersnap collects bugs and feedback on the webpage and in-app. It captures the QA tester’s or user’s screen and allows drawing, comment boxes and highlighting in the specific area of the issue.

You will get instant submission of bug reports with Javascript logs and URL, browser and screen information for easy debugging. Track the tickets and communicate in Usersnap dashboard by assigning to the right stakeholders and using the live conversation feature.

QA process made easier with Usersnap feedback widget
Source: Canva streamlines feedback with Usersnap

Or send your tickets to your existing project management tools. It provides integration capabilities with over 20+ applications like JIRA, Asana, Slack, Google Tag Manager, and WordPress.

Usersnap will improve the productivity of the QA testers and the QA testing team as a whole in the agile workspace.

Improve productivity with better QA

Quality is cross-functional today and with testing approaches moving towards engineering user experience. QA testers have become a very important component in the agile delivery model – contributing from product conceptualization to CX to post-implementation support.

Adapting and learning the new QA platforms, tools and agile delivery practices is the way forward to an enriching career.

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