Is Your Process QA-Friendly?

Posted by Huimin

9 September 2015

The following post is featured in DZone’s latest research guide, the 2015 edition of the Guide to Code Quality and Software Agility. This guide showcases articles from industry experts and includes key findings from a survey of over 400 developers. You can download the free research guide here.

If you have a very vocal QA on your team, you’re lucky. Quality Assurance is a unique department and can be an important catalyst to improve your processes. But what if your QA isn’t speaking up? Here are some red flags that your current process isn’t working for them.


Fixing QA Collaboration

If you recognized some of those red flags, here are some things you can do to help.

Involve QAs in Planning Meetings

Encourage QAs to voice their opinions during planning meetings: they can help the team oversee quality risks in the whole delivery process. Acting as a quality consultant, a QA is like a street lamp— he or she sheds light on the risks so the team can plan accordingly.

Pair Devs and QAs

When devs start coding user stories, they can pair with a QA to communicate testing expectations as acceptance tests. This isn’t just ATDD (Acceptance Test Driven Development): it’s also adding more communication opportunities for the team to stay on the same page.

Connect QA With the Deployment Process

In a continuous delivery environment, let QA deploy to production. Deployment can be a better use of their skills (and potentially more fulfilling) than spending time on searching for unimportant defects.

Moving Toward a Better Model

Many teams represent their workflow on a physical or digital board. I recommend this because it encourages collaboration and visualizes your daily process. When you’re ready to improve your QA process, it’s easy to start by changing your board: for example, adding stages like “QA story review ” or “deployed by QA.” A flexible agile project management tool like Mingle can easily accommodate new stages like these, and will adapt as your team refines its new workflow. As your team and processes evolve, Mingle will support you instead of limiting you.

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