QA Testing Services

How QA Testing Services Elevate the Role of QA Manager

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It’s safe to say that QA Managers are under-appreciated in their companies. Too often they’re seen by the rest of the organization as the person who prevented the product from launching on time. Ouch!

It’s completely unfair to be seen as the goat, and it’s certainly no fun to always be in firefighting mode.

What if I explained how using the right QA testing services can change the perception from goat to hero? Or, from “the head of testing”, to “our #1 brand ambassador?” I believe that QA can deliver a lot more value to the organization than simply testing software and reporting bugs. Consider this axiom:

“Testing” happens when you tell your tester what to test.

“Software Quality” happens when your team knows the goals and constraints, has a well thought out strategy and plan to achieve them, and a unique person to support and hold everyone accountable to their part in achieving the goals.

I talk with QA Managers every day who want their team to be perceived as contributing more to the business. They just aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Permit me to present a perspective I’ve developed since founding TESTCo in 2002 (yep, that’s a lot of QA experience).

Identify and Communicate the Real Business Value of QA

The quality of your software is reflected in:

  • Customer satisfaction or complaints
  • Engineering staff retention or turnover
  • Business goal success or failure
  • Your personal delight or embarrassment

In fact, software quality probably means more than you realized! At the core of what QA does is mitigate risk that threatens to rob profits and dilute brand loyalty.

If your business builds software, mobile apps or websites (for yourself or others) then your business risk is high because of technology. In these cases, QA testing services become a very necessary and strategic asset for the organization. After all, it’s your software, mobile app or website that brings you new customers. What could be more critical to your business than that? Answer: Nothing.

Anxiety in the Face of Risk

It’s understandable if your anxiety is growing because your testing team (internal or outsourced) is giving you the run-around.

You know, those weekly Sprint meetings where you’re supposed to help Engineering get everyone on the same page, but you wind up feeling disgruntled? Like you didn’t get the information you really need from the testers.

Or, you’re having to calm down a frustrated engineering manager because of a fix-one, break-one scenario where software defects get fixed but something else breaks. Yeah, and what about the angry phone call from the product manager who’s hearing about surprising bugs that users are finding after release? There’s a way out of this nightmare.

The Best QA Testing Services Start with the Right Strategy

You’ve heard it before – there is more than one way to skin a cat. There is also more than one way to test your software. The key (and our preliminary goal for you) is to get as much QA testing services benefit as possible at the lowest possible cost.

Effective strategies start with a clear goal and list of constraints. These are the boundaries of the strategy and there are a variety of different ways to combine QA testing services in order to achieve your goal within your constraints.

The best strategy will provide you with the most benefit for the least cost. At TESTCo, we’ll provide you with several strategies we’ve considered and a recommendation for the one that suits your goals the best.

With a defined strategy you’re able to better communicate with Engineering and Product Management. You can set expectations more accurately.

Best Practices Beyond the Testing Tool Stack

We’ve been testing software since 2002. In that time we’ve perfected a process and philosophy that work really, really well for delivering business value beyond simply finding defects. You see, we don’t just find bugs, we help the development team deliver software that thrills and excites your customers. It’s not the tools we use, it’s the brain power and discipline we put into every assignment.

As QA Manager, when you have access to accurate information and clarity of purpose you’re in a stronger position to deliver business value that is broadly recognized and appreciated. The following is a list of “must-haves” if you seek to elevate QA’s contribution to the business.

  1. An understandable report on the exact features completed and tested every day – twice daily. Not just completed. Completed and Tested.
  2. A detailed understanding of your business and technical goals and priorities and their current daily status during your Sprint. Your priorities, not whatever the Dev team can get done.
  3. A strong foundation of regression testing and measurement of coverage. Yes, good old-fashioned test cases built over time and then run as a final regression prior to releasing. No more surprise defects after you launch.
  4. Weekly product quality meetings with the project QA Manager to review your software development quality measures and processes with recommendations for small improvements that make a big difference. Say goodbye to bad or missing estimates and buggy code that causes missed dates. You’ll see your software quality metrics in real time and be able to make smart adjustments to achieve your goals.
  5. Daily software testing by a Test Engineer.

Do our best practices pay off? Read what other QA Manager have to say about working with TESTCo.


Brains Matter

Notice in the previous section that I mentioned QA Manager and Test Engineers. I’ll expand on this important point.

Sure, you’re a QA Manager – in role if not in title. But imagine if you had on the project testing team a like-minded QA Manager to help you get the strategy right, develop the test plan, and report to you daily? This proposition is even more attractive when the QA Manager is available at no additional cost, speaks English fluently, and is based in the Central time zone (as is the case with TESTCo).

For example, if my company works for you, here are the things you can count on your QA Manager for:

  1. Analyze and select the best QA Strategy for your unique situation, goals and constraints
  2. Building and tracking the QA Plan to make sure Real Value is delivered every day
  3. Constantly confirm or replan so that the Goals are achievable within the Constraints
  4. Coach and support the Test Engineers to peak performance
  5. Negotiate and resolve blocking issues
  6. Lead post-mortem meetings to improve the next Sprint

I deliberately differentiate between Test Engineers and Testers. Software Test Engineer or Software Tester. Test Engineers are engineers who love to test. They have the mindset of engineers: “Let’s define the problem set a goal, and make it happen.” In other words, Test Engineers don’t have to be told what to do. They’ll figure out the best path to take once they understand the goals and constraints. Plus, because they’re engineers they know how to communicate effectively with the Dev team. Testers are generally limited to doing whatever you tell them to do.

We Know There’s More to QA Than Just Testing Software

I hope my perspective on QA is helpful to you. Maybe it has inspired you to elevate the role QA plays in the organization. I’d love the opportunity to help you.

We’re experts that diligently and consistently test and measure the quality and readings of your product relative to your business and technical goals.

We do the QA Testing work necessary for effective business and technical decisions. If you don’t have a daily report on your goals and quality, you’re missing key information that you need to build a stronger and more profitable business.

TESTCo provides everything you need in QA Testing Services to easily and successfully launch your website, mobile app or software.

Say good-bye to frustration, buggy software, disappointed customers and missed prospects. Say hello to a stronger and more profitable business because your software is an asset rather than a liability.

If this makes sense to you let’s talk about the state of software QA in your organization. Just click the green button on this page to schedule a time to chat with me.

Make Engineering Fun Again. Improve The Human Stack With The Right QA Service.

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I’ve worked with software engineers, usually the head of engineering, my entire career. First, as a product manager, and since 2002, as Founder/CEO of a QA service outsourcing company. In that time I’ve gained deep respect for the people who carry the burden of bringing a vision to life in a manner that makes money for their organization. I know what thrills engineers. I know what aggravates the heck out of them.

Engineering Managers are architects and builders. They pull together the people, processes and technology required to build the machine that makes the software that powers the business. It’s a very big job. And it’s a whole lotta fun when the right Technical Stack and Human Stack are in place.

It’s a genuine joy when the process is flowing from specs and stories through code and integration into and out of testing.

It’s not any fun when the right tools or people are missing. That’s when the wheels of the Dev machine get wobbly. That’s when release dates are missed. That’s when irate customers complain about buggy software, apps or websites.

There’s a constant pressure to release robust products faster, and to turn out upgrades more frequently. This pressure eventually stresses the machine and it cracks at the weakest point. Where’s that?

Nine out of ten times the weakness is in the QA team. That’s where the bottlenecks and miscues tend to occur. This is when my phone rings and when I have another conversation with a stressed out engineering manager.

Let me get one thing straight here. I’m not talking about just providing your company with more testers. While having more QA bandwidth may solve some of the QA service issues, I know from experience that the core problem in QA isn’t numbers. It’s intelligence and drive.

You see, most testers are just looking for gigs until something better comes along. They might even be developers who can’t cut it in the big leagues. At TESTCo, I hire only software test engineers. These are people who live to develop and execute strategically-sound test plans.  They not only find bugs efficiently they know how to offer feedback that actually improves the entire Dev process.

What if your software engineers had perfect stories with validation test cases as inputs to work from and then had immediate validation as soon as they finished?

What would your software process, throughput and quality look like if your Test Engineers were on the same “wavelength” as your Engineers. Powerful potential, right?

Inside TESTCo

TESTCo stresses using software test engineers instead of the normal testers on many QA teams. Choosing a test engineer over a normal tester can decide the success or failure of a given QA service project. Although some of their responsibilities overlap, the test engineer and tester play different roles within a QA team.

First, there are several key differences between a tester and a test engineer. A tester can run test cases and just tell whether the software worked or not. In contrast, a test engineer can find the root cause of why software failed and craft a strategy to fix the root issue. A test engineer helps prevent bugs in the development process and is responsible for improving the overall development process of the QA team. The tester focuses more on running test cases and finding bugs before releasing the product to consumers. The test engineer’s ability to fundamentally understand and problem-solve is what differentiates them from a tester. 

The Test Engineer Advantage

A test engineer can learn your application, write test cases and organize the test cases into suites and consequently run them to write defect reports. These defect reports can be sent to your development team and they can fix the defects mentioned. A tester can’t do any of these tasks and can eventually undermine the efforts of your team; the tester can only run tests and tell you which ones passed or failed. The tester’s responsibility is to follow the given protocols and guidelines provided by the QA team. If there was something wrong in the development process, the tester could not recognize or fix the issue. 

Rounding Out the QA Service Team with Extraordinary QA Managers

At TESTCo we provide a QA Manager for every project at no additional charge. What this does for you, the engineering manager, is two things.

First, our QA Managers are simply the best at identifying the right goals and priorities to pursue considering the constraints of the situation. Even if you have a terrific QA Manager already, our team adds serious brain power and objectivity. The test plans we create are designed to deliver real business value every day. Can you say that about your current test plans?

Second,  you’ll never have to ask, “Where are we with the test plan?” This is because our QA Managers provide crystal-clear reports twice every day. You’re never waiting on QA for feedback. Equally important, you don’t have to be awake in the middle of the night to communicate with a TESTCo QA Manager. They’re located in the Central time zone and speak fluent English. You’ll understand each other perfectly.

The Many Roles of Your QA Manager at TESTCo

In addition to setting goals and reporting, a TESTCo QA manager plays many crucial roles in your QA service team. The QA manager is focused on building the most productive, high-performing QA team. Members of the QA team are often focused on the technical aspects like processes, automation and tools; the QA manager helps the members of the team see how their efforts are aligned with business objectives, product development and more. By connecting the individual responsibilities of members of the QA team with primary business objectives, the QA team will be in synergy with driving business results. 

QA Manager as Quarterback

The QA manager is also a key indicator of how well run a QA service team is. The QA manager provides direction, counseling and mentoring to the members of a QA team. This allows the individual talents of the QA team to be maximized which directly improves the success of the QA team as a whole. 

The QA managers at TESTCo are very skilled and have a track record of building successful QA teams. The QA managers are able to manage and direct QA teams towards the needs of the customers. The QA manager program at TESTCo hires and retains the best QA managers that lead the test engineer teams. Every project, regardless of size, accompanies a qualified QA manager that leads a team to execute on goals set out by customers. QA managers at TESTCo have at least 5 years of experience and one year of experience working with TESTCo. If you’d like to find out more about our QA managers, click here

Experience the Difference at 30% – 50% Less

I describe TESTCo as a boutique software QA service company. We’re not a big test factory. We’re certainly not a bunch of strangers messing with your code. We are big enough, nimble enough, and smart enough to meet whatever testing demands a small or mid-sized company can throw at us.

This includes being able to jump on a single project within a day, or handle all of your QA through many release cycles. (We are the exclusive QA service resource for many of our clients).

Below are reviews of our services written by Engineering Managers like you who trust us and benefit from delivered promises at 30% – 50% less than the cost of internal QA resources.

Strengthen the Development Machine With A Single Call

After a few minutes on the phone with me and one of my QA Managers you’ll notice the TESTCo difference. I bet you'll see that plugging TESTCo's QA service into your team will result in faster cycle times and more thrilled customers.

Oh, and you’ll see there’s a very good possibility that your job will start being fun again.

Click the green button on the page to schedule a conversation with me. I’m looking forward to speaking with you.