All software applications depend on the QA team to work properly. The QA team ensures customers are satisfied with the delivered IT products by finding bugs and issues in the solution. Still, in the past few years, there has been a significant reduction in the budget allocation for this task worldwide.
Software containing bugs can have a negative impact on the client onboarding process and business success. End-users encountering any problems with your software can find it frustrating and eventually stop using it. For mobile applications, this is a serious concern. According to estimates, 34% of smartphone users will stop using an application if they experience any issue. To control this number, it is essential for the QA team to improve their testing process.
By identifying these common mistakes and learning different ways to avoid them, the QA professionals can deliver flawless products. Following are the five critical mistakes that must be avoided in your QA testing process:
1. Undefined Testing Scope
The major mistake QA professionals normally make is failing to get the complete scope of their job. Software testing is a complex process having many different tasks. All areas and modules must be covered during the testing process, and different types of testing should be performed like functional testing, security testing, performance testing, usability testing, and so on.
What’s important is that testers must set enough time for required testing. Testing the software at the end of the development phase can cause more issues. At this point, testers are more likely to make mistakes due to time constraints and other pressures. Though there is plenty of time allocated, testers would need to prioritize certain tasks over others.
One of the main things is to ensure code quality. Regression testing must be performed on the application. This is because a new feature could bring issues and impact the existing functionality. Performing regression testing regularly helps avoid this problem.
2. Poor Documentation
Another mistake that testers often make during the testing process is to have poor documentation in place. The ideal approach is to document all project requirements and functionalities before the testing phase begins. If you are unable to do this, outsource this task to someone expert in writing documentation.
Outsourcing offers a number of benefits – it enables you to recruit talented professionals and start strong. This ensures the QA team understands their job and all tasks are completed according to the defined plan. The documentation also helps clarify any questions regarding resources’ duties and track progress on specific tasks.
Poor documentation is an indication of the inefficient work done by the QA team. In extreme conditions, lack of proper documentation can also lead to features getting tested more than needed for no purpose, while others are left full of bugs. Proper bug reports are also important to be in place. If there is a poor bug report, it can cause serious misunderstandings and impact the development progress. On the other hand, a proper report containing everything required and suggestions for possible solutions helps streamline the overall process.
When tasks and progress are clear, QA team members get a better idea of what is everybody’s duties. Plus, in case anything goes unintended, it is easy to find out what has been done wrong and how it can be fixed.
3. Improper Use of Tools
There is a wide breadth of tools available for software testers. The problem is that some of them rely too much on certain tools, while others fail to use tools to full effect. Most of the testers go for automation now. For various areas of software testing that don’t require continuous human attention, automation can be quite useful. This is also the case for tasks like performance, regression, and load testing.
However, it is important to get that automated testing is not the solution for every problem. There are many reasons for this, and it is always better to consider when to test software manually or to perform automated testing. For instance, if the network connectivity changes over time, automated testing will not be quite useful for this. What’s more, there is a wide variety of automation tools. Most of the tools come in both open-source and paid variants. But not every tool is the right choice for your testing environment.
Another issue is that while automated testing saves time, it may increase the financial costs for the company deploying it. These costs come from switching to another tool if the previous one doesn’t work as intended or if you have to modify tests due to their improper design. Therefore, it is important for QA teams to strike a balance between manual and automated testing. If you depend too much on automated tools, it may lead to overlooking issues or increasing costs during the development phase.
A great way of balancing efficiency and cost is to check the tools that accelerate manual testing, such as test or task management tools. By using these tools, you can better visualize your testing process. These tools also offer benefits like test cases and defect management, and integration with other applications in certain events.
4. Hostile Work Environment
Another important thing to focus on during the testing process is maintaining nice interactions with our coworkers. Though it is the job of testers to find out bugs and issues, experiencing multiple problems can lead to some odd but important conversations. What’s more, it is not always clear what would be the best approach to handle this.
Learn to be diplomatic while delivering criticism. While everyone in your workplace will strive for professionalism, there are higher chances of hurting their egos. A hostile work environment must be avoided at any cost as it can have a negative effect on the business workflows. Refrain from saying anything bad. Instead, offer a solution to the issue or appreciate something that the developer did well while delivering your criticism.
Above all, remember you’re all on the same team, so it’s in your best interests to cooperate and get the job done. There are chances that your department has already got some guidance in this area as part of the business process transformation. If so, consider consulting another department for advice.
5. Ignoring the Last Few Steps
Software testing is a continuous process, so experts must monitor it from the start to the end, which also involves checking the test results. Automated tests usually take place in uncertain test environments. We can’t know the test results until their completion, so failing to check these means we fail to overlook significant issues in the software.
Likewise, it is easy to miss test results from the previous test runs. Though these can be redundant, previous test results can help you spot the origin of the problem. For this, there is no need to keep all results – keeping the most recent ones will fulfill the need.
Above all, remember that a single test has an endpoint, whereas software development is a continuous process. Always show flexibility by accepting that software will continue to change and considering an adaptable QA strategy to keep it working efficiently.
Undoubtedly, software testing is a continuous and challenging process, but it can be made easier with some focus and work. Getting to know the nature of your job helps you with starting right. Fixing these problems ensures that QA professionals can perform effectively, even in the era of limited budgets.