QA Testing Company

Does Your QA Testing Company Know Your Goals and Constraints? 

Why does it matter if a QA testing company, hired for a quick project, knows your goals and constraints for the project?

You know it needs to be tested, you’re already behind your plan and waiting for testing to be completed seems like a waste of time. You just need it done.

We’re frequently asked to “just get this tested out by tomorrow”. We can do that and we’re happy to do so. You’re in a rush, we know it and we want to be helpful to you.

But taking a few minutes up front can have a huge return.

Pause, Take a Deep Breath, Write Down Your Goals and Constraints

Just do a little bit of thinking about Goals and Constraints (or spend just a few minutes talking with us). You’ll dramatically increase your Certainty of Success. It works every time.

You’ll also get about 10X in increased value from the work of your QA testing company if you can explain your goal and/or constraint in a way they can understand and achieve.

All this can be a little tricky because software quality can be a goal or constraint – or both.

If you are clear about which one, you have an opportunity to either reduce your expenses or increase the return on your investment.

If you aren’t clear about which one, you’ll probably be disappointed with either the cost or the outcomes.

Here’s why:

Software Quality as a Goal

If software quality is a goal, is it specific and how much are you prepared to invest to achieve your goal?

What return do you expect for your investment after the QA testing company finishes the project?

For example, “No critical defects” is a software quality goal. “No customer-found defects” is another, but different, software quality goal.

One of these goals focuses on the types of defects and the other focuses on the availability and likelihood of defects. They appear similar but require different software testing approaches. Not all QA testing companies can recognize or build a strategy and plan to achieve these goals.

If your selected QA testing company isn’t clear on this type of goal, you’ll get as much testing as you can afford but you might not achieve your goal.

Software Quality as a Constraint

If software quality is a constraint, what is the most you’ll spend and the minimum you’d accept?

Will meeting the constraints be sufficient to achieve your business goals? You don’t want to come up short.

For example, “No previous features broken” is a type of goal and constraint. “Must fail gracefully without data loss” is another type of constraint.

Your unique constraints have an impact on the type of software testing strategy that your QA testing company chooses. Some constraints are very easy to accommodate and others can be a real challenge. Many QA testing companies skip this step and wind up disappointing their clients when they fail to achieve the goal AND the constraint.

When Software Quality is Both a Goal and a Constraint

When software quality is both a goal and a constraint, how will you measure the boundaries of expense versus investment?

If you limit your expense as a constraint, will the investment be sufficient to achieve your goal?

Yeah, those are some tough questions. It really helps to have a trusted testing partner to discuss the scenarios and risks.

What is Your Quality Goal or Constraint?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone – most of our clients don’t have a clear idea when they first come to us for help.

At TESTCo, we prefer the “SMART” goal format and can easily help you “sharpen” your quality goal.

When software quality is  viewed as a constraint, you should be able to clearly define the limits. We see this frequently with new clients, “We need this tested within X days and for $Y price, can you do that?” At TESTCo, we work with this situation frequently.

Why All These Hard Questions?

At TESTCo, we have a strong team of experienced and talented software test engineers. We can “point” those talented engineers at almost any goal and they will achieve it. They like this a lot! We can also ask them to “just test it”. They don’t like this as much but they’ll do it gladly.

If we understand your goal, we can help you achieve it.

If we understand your constraint, we can meet it.

If we know both, we can deliver the “Sweet Spot” – high quality that delights your customers and a cost that delights your CFO.

Curious about avoiding pitfalls of outsourced software testing? This article highlights some important lessons.

This QA Testing Company Will Get the Right Answers in 45 Minutes

Our Scoping Process, a 45-minute conversation with you about what is important to you and your project, is designed to clarify your goals and constraints so that we have a perfectly clear picture of exactly what you need and want.

If you’re talking with a QA company and they aren’t asking about your goals and constraints, please give me a call and I’ll help you figure them out – and then achieve them! Here’s my number, 888-254-9709

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software qa services

Software QA Services Ignored Value

When is the value of software QA services lost or ignored? More often than you might believe.

In many software testing projects, there is a large chunk of real-world value that is left laying on the floor – ignored or overlooked. It’s a shame really, because software testing is actually just a small part of delivering the software QA services that result in the top-quality software that your customers expect.

And, here’s the kicker, that real-world value that was just left on the floor?  It could be had just for the asking – at no additional charge! In some cases, it is even offered and declined!

The Ignored QA Report

Insane at it seems, recommendations for improving the software development process are often ignored when provided along with the defect report by a software testing company. Here’s why this crazy thing happens.

Very few people wake up and decide to make a strategic decision about their software quality. Most people wake up, go to the daily stand-up meeting and get whacked with a software quality problem. Then, they either change their plans to stay late for the rest of the week, OR start looking for help with the specific software testing services they need to solve the problem that whacked them that morning.

The Expense of Re-Applying the Band-Aid

Adding some software testing services will help solve the software quality problem from today’s daily stand-up. More software testing will almost always find more defects that can then be corrected and retested. This will improve your current software product’s software quality.

There’s a catch – fixing today’s broken software will NOT help, improve, benefit or change the quality of your next software release.

If you’re in the software business or build software to run your business, you should know that this strategy is an expense rather than an investment in long term software quality.

And, it could be an investment if you just asked for or read that software quality recommendation report that is often provided by an outsourced software testing company (this is in addition to the usual defect reports).

Extracting the Total Value from Software QA Services

Software testing is only the measurement activity in a larger activity of producing quality software. Again, testing only locates defects and measures your current quality.

If you don’t read and analyze the root causes of the defects discovered, whatever problem that caused the software defect will still be there – lurking in the background to pop up again when it can harm you the most.

TESTCo’s Software QA Services delivers everything you need to find and fix your software defects. What’s more, TESTCo also provides you with the analysis and recommendations (at no additional cost) you need to convert the cost of testing into a long-lasting investment in software quality.

Expense or investment? Just software testing, or QA improvement? You choose.

 

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Software Quality Assurance Dedicated Software Testing Company

It’s easy and somewhat common to think that almost any technical services company could provide software quality assurance- even something as simple as software regression testing from a set of test cases and a test plan that is already written. The test cases just need to be run, right? We think there is a difference in a company that ONLY provides software testing and the other companies that claim to be a software testing company and provide a host of other technical services.

We believe that the primary difference is our people and our talent. Since we ONLY provide software testing, we attract and screen for the very best software testing talent – and there is a difference between a software test engineer working for a software testing company and a general software engineer who works for a company with a broad service offering.

For an example using software regression testing – a typical tester in a broad technical services company will run the test cases and report the defects – exactly as you’ve asked. A test engineer working at TESTCo performing software regression testing will also run those test case according to the test plan AND will offer just a bit more.

See if these might be valuable to you – the count and percentage of test cases run, passed, blocked and with defects; notes in the test cases where additional data sets might be valuable for boundary testing; timings on test case execution so you can estimate more accurately next time; daily status and production reports that provide real time adjustment of our software regression testing process to your changing needs; a dedicated Software Quality Assurance Manager who is responsible for making sure that the test engineer performing the software regression testing has everything they need to deliver according to exactly what you need.

We think there is a difference between a dedicated software testing company and our competitors who offer a broad range of technical services, including software quality assurance. Contact us for further discussion.

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Software QA Testing Second Aspect Software Quality Assurance

Software QA Testing is, generally speaking, the process of assuring the quality of a software or web application release. The best and easiest measure of software quality is the number of defects still open or unfixed by category of severity. An additional measure of software quality assurance is test case coverage. Test case coverage can be very complex and difficult to determine but a simplified measure can provide a lot of benefit without simplifying it to the point of incorrectness.

Determining Coverage Within a Software QA Testing Process

The easiest method for determining test case coverage within a software QA testing process is to index the test cases into a functional map to determine the amount of the application where a test case has been written and then compare that functional map to the most recent run of test cases to determine A – the percentage of the application covered by a test case and then B – the percentage of test cases most recently run.

Software QA Testing Goals

The goal of Software QA Testing is to provide a measure of quality, in terms of business risk, so that the decision makers can determine whether or not a current release meets their business goals.

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Software Testing Quality Assurance Tactics and Strategy

Consider that software testing and quality assurance are a tactic to achieve a strategy. The purpose of software testing is twofold. One aspect is to test the software and provide feedback to the software development team on defects. Another aspect of software testingis to provide a set of metrics for the activities and accuracy of the software testing efforts.

Quality assurance is the strategy that is used to meet business goals – a quality of X with features of Y that produces sales of Z. Quality assurance is not a goal, rather it is a strategy to achieve a goal. Software testing and quality assurance go hand in glove to help business decision makers meet their goals.  There are many avenues you can pursue to ensure that your clients and customers receive what they need, making your business sustainable.

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