What Makes a Good Quality Assurance Team?
Posted by Walid Abou-Halloun Date: Sep 30, 2018 4:58:46 AM
Did you know that quality engineers earn quite a sum of money?
As a matter of fact, their yearly salary in Australia is at $108,000 at an average. If you’re in a company that needs to have a quality assurance team, it’s important to ensure that the team members have the right set of skills to accomplish their task.
This allows you to make the most out of your investment and have the best returns. Quality assurance isn’t the most glamorous of the professions out there since it doesn’t get that much attention until something goes wrong.
Read on if you want to know what makes a good QA team.
How to do Quality Assurance?
When it comes to the right way of approaching quality assurance, you need to address the issues concerning the quality of care. It involves the three quality assurance functions:
- defining quality
- measuring quality
- improving quality
This is often illustrated as a triangle, where each point shows the synergistic nature of each core function.
Each of the core functions has their own set of activities. Its triangular safe represents the fact that all these activities need balance in execution for it to stay effective. Its impact increases as you coordinate the implementation of these core functions.
1. Defining Quality
This core function is what develops the standard of quality within your company. It manages a certain degree of expectation for the inputs, processes, and outputs. These standards can either be administrative or clinical in nature.
Standards set the entire company’s expected level of performance. It trickles down from the facility level to an individual level. It should be realistic, measurable, valid, and reliable.
2. Improving Quality
This core function aims to close the gap between your current and expected quality levels as defined by your company standards. It uses the various quality improvement methods out there such as problem-solving.
The function allows you to determine what you want to improve and analyse your systems and root out the problems that come with it.
Once done, you need to develop a set of solutions that involves quality. You can then test it and see if these solutions help you towards the attainment of your company standards. Based on their degrees of success, you now have the choice of whether to implement, make changes, or scrap the proposed solutions.
3. Measuring Quality
This core function puts your current performance level into numbers that compare it against your company’s expected standards. To do this, your QA team needs to know the performance indicators, methods of data collection, and analysis of what they gather. This function has a strong link with defining quality since its indicators often relate to the standards your company sets when setting quality.
Measuring quality needs your team to comply with the company standards. What this means is that you need to have a clear definition of standards since they derive the measurement from there. This leads to the identification of the various areas of improvement that gives you the first step towards improving your company’s overall quality level.
What to Look for in a Good QA Engineer?
It’s a great asset to have a good QA team at your company’s disposal. That’s the main reason you need to know the right set of qualities that a good QA engineer should have. Let’s have a look at the specific things you need to keep an eye on.
1. Development Experience
Software QA engineers actually rank as one of the happiest jobs around.
What this means is that you need to ensure that the members of your team have at least a reputable background in software development to perform their QA roles and responsibilities. It makes sense, as someone whose job involves testing applications should understand how development workflows, frameworks, and methodologies work.
If your project involves any type of test automation, development experience becomes more important. The more experience your QA team has in software development, the easier it is for them to make more powerful automation infrastructures.
These need to be scalable, easy to maintain, and understandable for the sake of the other teams you have in the company.
2. Team Knowledge
This ability can help in facilitating better communication between your QA team and the product and development teams when your application has bugs. Your QA team often places itself in the middle of the other two teams. They should be willing to reach outside of their own team since they help in the cross-communication processes and interactions among their team members.
Each individual has their own style of communicating and working. That makes working with all these styles all the more necessary since it eases the whole communication process.
When it comes to improving the entire team, individuals within it should have an aptitude of sharing knowledge.
You can apply this to all the people belonging to the different teams within your organisational structure. QA engineers give a unique point of view since they have the most time to test your products and features.
It becomes more apparent when your testers spend more time interacting with your clients.
This allows them to share their insights on the features that seem to have a less intuitive design as they move along with the process of testing quality. This can make them more prone to sharing their expertise and help with improving any existing automation methods you might have.
With this, your QA team should find the importance of receiving knowledge as something equal to that of sharing. Good individuals should have an open mind that allows them to take value from team member advice as well as advice that come from people outside of their own team.
Most important of all, they need to have the aptitude to apply what they learn as they progress through their projects.
4. Improvement over Perfection
A good QA team places a lot of value on maintaining efficiency in every task they do.
They acknowledge the fact that they always have the room for improvement. They should have the intuitive knowledge of the areas that need the most level of improvement in their project and work for solutions in all manner of ways, even incremental.
Individuals that focus on perfection alone can place a limit on the amount of work your QA team finishes. This can create bottlenecks that hinder the entire release process. What this means for your business is that individual QA engineers should acknowledge that the path of perfection isn’t supposed to be what they should focus on. Instead, they need to improve their weak areas in steady amounts of work.
Working towards efficiency is one way to ensure that they’re able to meet their current work timelines. Doing this can help them in both the automation projects and manual testing processes.
In this fast-paced world, your company’s priorities can shift in rapid, unexpected ways throughout the course of your projects.
This means that your QA team members should have the flexibility to handle these changes without losing the drive and motivation. After all, QA teams work in a wide variety of environments as well as developmental stages and testing types that can challenge their patience to its limits.
In any point in time, your testers are often liable to switch between multiple priorities that test their adaptability as both individuals and as a whole team. The main trick is to manage their time in the most efficient manner.
This allows them to provide the support needed by both the development and business teams and give them the insight necessary to get the most desired results.
When the project becomes more complex, it might not be feasible for a single leader to keep track of their team’s tasks.
The main solution to this problem is to shift the ownership on an individual level. It helps get rid of the hindrances that arise from the improper implementation of this virtual leadership role.
Appointing the wrong person for ownership without serious thought can become disastrous. You need to make sure that they can support their ownership in managing the team. This ensures that you get the result you want in every sense of the word.
Get a Good Quality Assurance Team Today!
Quality assurance is an important part of your company. Without it, you might not achieve the results expected by your clients.
Its importance dropped for a bit last year, but it’s expected for companies to start spending more on it within this year, clocking in at about 39% of companies’ total IT budget.
You can apply these qualities outside of the QA team since it’s an indicator of a good worker no matter what industry they might be in.
Formal education and certifications are great, but building a good quality assurance team needs you to have other factors like your company’s culture and expertise areas.
Do you need to build the best QA team for your company needs? Contact us today and we’ll help you find ways.