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How to Properly QA

One of the most critical parts of ensuring software launches on time and without bugs is good QA. On the other side of that coin, ineffective QA can lead to a false sense of security and significantly increase the chances of issues at launch.

I will lay out the essential changes you should take that will ensure you perform QA effectively. If you follow this advice, you will be well on your way to an excellent QA system that has the added benefit of giving a good temperature check on your product’s health as you go towards launch.

People with Business Context

A MUST is to have people with business context QA the product. Even the best QA without proper business context is less effective than a stakeholder with business context testing the software in a staging environment and ensuring the functionality fits the business needs.

This doesn’t mean that traditional QA isn’t helpful, but having business context is essential to catch things that QA won’t notice because the software “works.”

Do it Frequently

A misconception that stakeholders often have is that they will review the product when it is complete. Doing this leads to a false sense of security as the project progresses. The development team will likely have misunderstandings between what is needed and what they interpret.

QAing the product frequently will ensure that it is on the right track and also give you a good sense of where the product stands. That’s not even mentioning the primary goal of QA, making sure there are no bugs!

Create a QA Document

Often the most significant obstacle in getting people who aren’t familiar with QA to do it is that they don’t know what to do. Each time QA happens, it is good to create a document that outlines the changes made since the last QA session and what they should test.

Adding all the features that should be tested will make sure that people aren’t just aimlessly clicking around and are actually trying what needs to be tested. One tip is adding edge cases to test into this document will make QA even more powerful and catch more issues earlier on in the process!

Not Just The Happy Path

The biggest adjustment when doing QA is testing not just the “happy path,” but testing what happens when things don’t go as planned. For example, what happens if you enter an invalid email address in the login form?

Making it a habit to test both what you expect users to do and the edge cases will help catch issues early in the process. This is probably the hardest thing to do consistently, but adding these tests in the QA document should help make sure people don’t forget!

Following this advice will make your product launch process much smoother! Ensuring that people with business context do QA and making sure the QA happens frequently will ensure your software works as intended and without bugs. Creating a QA document and testing more than just the happy path will significantly decrease edge case bugs.

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