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How to Build a Successful QA Strategy to Save Time and Deliver Better Software

by Thijs Kok, on April 5, 2022

3 people sitting at a table looking at laptop and papers

Performing quality assurance (QA) on your software development projects should never be a “check-the-box” exercise.

In fact, performing QA should be viewed as an opportunity to ensure your team is developing software that not only meets customer requirements, but also adheres to security, integration, and usability standards.

Without quality assurance, you might deploy software with defects. And the effects of that can be more than just financial—it can impact customer experience, your brand’s reputation, and even your team’s sense of pride.

So how can your team create a consistent and effective approach to QA from project to project, no matter who is on the QA team? That’s where having a QA strategy comes in.

Why Do You Need a Software QA Strategy?

Much like the software development methodology, development tools, and schedule that your team utilizes from project to project, the way that your organization approaches QA strategy can provide many benefits.

Some of the most prominent include:

  • Ensuring that every project is in scope with a consistent set of tools, tests, roles, and expectations.
  • Establishing your organization’s standards or best practices for software, quality, security, and performance.
  • Preventing defects from being delivered in a client release to avoid costly reworks or even reputational damage to your brand. 
  • Allowing your organization to plan schedules, resources, and level-of-effort estimates.

Get expert recommendations for ensuring top-flight quality assurance in your  testing environment with our QA Guide >>

The Key Components of a QA Strategy

Although the formalized software QA strategy can vary in type and content, several components should form its foundation. 

Whether you are beginning a software QA strategy for the first time or looking to update your existing approach, ensure that your strategy includes these key components:

Mission Statement

Create a mission statement that captures your development team’s customer-focused purpose, values, and goals.

Acceptance Criteria

Define the specific acceptance criteria used to confirm software meets its scoped requirements, including the full range of functional and technical perspectives. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Outline the expectations for which job functions will be responsible for test management, testing, coordination, and documentation, among other key roles.

Testing Approach

Define your team’s testing approach, including:

  • How the prioritization of tests and defects will be handled.
  • The testing types and standards to be performed.
  • Expectations for how and where testing results will be captured and stored.
  • The test management and testing tools that will be utilized.
  • How defects, delays, or issues will be triaged and escalated, if needed.

How to Start Implementing Your QA Strategy Plan

Creating your strategy is only a small part of implementing your organization’s structured quality assurance process. The next step is putting the necessary elements into motion to ensure that the QA strategy is woven into your workflow and team expectations. 

To do this, you should:

  • Create and promote a culture of quality throughout the organization.
  • Identify a cadence and job role responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of your QA strategy and updating it as needed.
  • Utilize a test management tool to ease the implementation and management of your QA strategy plan with project and test case templates. 
  • Encourage and support professional development and continuous improvement among your project team.

Take Your Test Management Capability to the Next Level

Creating a QA strategy is not only an administrative exercise, but also an opportunity to document, communicate, and nurture the key elements of your organization’s quality assurance standards and goals.

The QA strategy will evolve, and the process will spark conversations about expectations, encourage collaboration, and help your team work together toward a common goal of exceeding customer expectations for quality, security, and functionality.

Want to learn even more about how your team can take your quality assurance processes to the next level? Then check out TestMonitor’s comprehensive QA Testing Guide.

QA Testing: A Helpful Guide for Software QA Professionals

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