QA as a Service | QAaaS

QA-As-A-Service, The Missing Link For Product Managers

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QA-as-a-Service for Product Owners is more than software testing. QAaaS provides fast and easy development testing plus your business goals delivered on time and with eliminated or reduced risks.

QAaaS is a flexible way to bridge the gap between freshly coded features and your customers’ needs and desires. QAaaS is capable of testing a wide range of software systems, platforms, and applications in real-world environments and using real-world user and test cases. It uses agile and flexible processes across the entire software development life cycle from Alpha and Beta phases, through production. It is highly focused on needs and encompasses large-scale system testing as necessary.

TESTCo was founded in 2002 to serve the unique requirements of Software Product Managers. Our QA Managers and Test Engineers know the services and procedures needed to support every aspect of Quality Assurance as a Service.

You can take advantage of this experience right now, just by downloading the Product Manager’s Check List for QA.

Quality as a Service Check List

Find and Eliminate Risks Before They Become a Problem

Risk remediation is a biggie. Product Managers (and their bosses) don’t like surprises. Therefore, our QA-as-a-service reduces surprises by cutting risk. Here’s how:

  • We simplify complexity so that everyone can understand it.
  • We measure real progress towards goals and release dates.
  • We trap and control blocking issues before they stop your project.

A good example is regression testing: Nobody wants to wait through a long regression testing cycle, but releasing without one is very risky. We recommend fast regression testing through release, so there aren’t big surprises on the eve of the target release date. 

Regression testing allows you to:

  • Prevent functionality crashes: When new features are added to a product or platform, several difficulties can arise due to misalignment between the new features and old features. With regression testing, functionality crashes that can be detrimental to your product are prevented
  • Detect all bugs and defects: Regression testing also identifies all bugs and defects before they make an impact on the product deployment. These harmful bugs can be prevented, assessed and fixed before deployment. This leads to less time and money on efforts related to resolving bugs; this directly reduces the time to market for the product.
  • Continuous integration: If you have a platform or product that needs continuous integration, regression testing is vital. Performing regression tests after incorporating new code ensures that any new changes don’t affect the current performance of a product. As a product has more code integrated over time, regression tests become more beneficial.

What Concerns Product Managers

Product Managers care about more than “testing,” and some haven’t had the opportunity yet to see how the advantages of a QAaaS company can help them achieve their customer goals.

Here’s what concerns Product Managers.

  • “Oh, we should have caught that in grooming.”
  • “Our stories (storyboards) are missing something but I’m not sure what.”
  • “What are the real acceptance criteria?”
  • “QA is just an expense or tax that we want to minimize.”
  • “We’re not sure what DONE really means yet.”
  • “We need more QA, not just testing.”
  • “Are we testing the user experience enough?”

Additional concerns for product managers include doing enough customer validation to ensure the product being built is truly useful and can be validated by the customer. Customer validation drives product and platform success because it provides valuable insights before launch. Without customer validation, it’s easy to overlook features and other requirements that the customer wants.

In addition to customer validation, tracking KPIs is crucial. Tracking KPIs allows product managers to assess if new features or changes have improved or weakened any aspects of the product. Tracking KPIs exposes strengths and weakness while setting expectations and improving overall management. KPIs are some of the few ways product managers can quantify progress, so tracking it is extremely beneficial.

Lastly, it’s important to ensure that QA has all the possible use cases and protocols to verify no additional bugs are introduced. With this, QA is well-equipped with a plan of action to handle any difficulties that emerge like bugs.

When QA as a Service is Missing

Each of these Product Managers was missing something (or someone) in the QA function that if present could have had a very positive impact on the product’s goals. QAaaS provides everything you need to bridge the gap and ensure your product delight your customers.

Some problems that can arise from lack of QA include bugs and “fire” based problems. These problems can be detrimental because it can halt a customer from using a product or platform. By using QA, any bugs can be detected before they cause significant issues to a product.

QA can also be more value-oriented. It’s known that QA can detect bugs and perform similar tasks, but QA can power work in solutions architecture. This can turn QA into a deploy able utility for sales teams and customers. This helps shift QA past being a part of the product definition phase to being more utilizing in other aspects of the business. This in turn makes QA directly generate value independently (from a non-functional requirement to a functional requirement).

A Product Manager’s Dream Come True

QA-as-a-service comes through in our complete understanding of software company priorities, goals, and constraints. By gathering information upfront, we form and make recommendations, test plans, and feedback targeted to the client’s needs. Product Managers get their products delivered faster, cheaper, and better.

With TESTCo, project managers can easily communicate with QA teams. In the case of an urgent bug that stops the platform, project managers can let QA teams know exactly what problems they are experienced and the QA team will focus on fixing the bug until the platform works properly. QA teams can start addressing the specific bug at hand within a matter of hours after contact.

Testing What Users Really Want

There is much more to accurately and effectively testing a software project than just running the tests! Our Product Manager clients consistently tell us that their top priority is a valuable user experience. Yes, this does require testing to make sure nothing goes wrong – the app doesn’t crash and it provides useful information. But, there’s another aspect to user testing that’s frequently overlooked. User Value Testing – does the software project truly deliver on the promise and prompt them to return for more? TESTCo provides this as a regular part of our strategy.

Easy and Painless

TESTCo never outsources software QA testing work. Keeping the job in-house makes reaching the results both easy and painless.

Projects Delivered on Time

Test plans are accurate, followed with care and precision, and projects are delivered on time. Sprint Goals, exit criteria, and key performance indicators are clear to prevent the team’s attention and efforts from wandering. Everyone knows when they are “done” because that point is clearly defined.

Faster Development Cycles

The developers are fast when they have two things: crystal-clear stories and requirements, along with inline and real-time validation. TESTCo Test Engineers test and validate work as soon as it is completed, based on the stories and requirements.

Achieve Business Goals

Our QA-as-a-Service is designed to support the business goals of the product. You can expect us to ask what the goals are before we start. QA helps Product Managers meet the expectations of the business and their customers. QA drives the testing before the processes start and are ready when you are. 

Find and Eliminate Risks Before They Become a Problem

Risk remediation is a biggie. Product Managers (and their bosses) don’t like surprises. Therefore, our QA-as-a-service reduces surprises by cutting risk. Here’s how:

  1. We simplify complexity so that everyone can understand it. 
  2. We measure real progress towards goals and release dates.
  3. We trap and control blocking issues before they stop your project. 

A good example is regression testing: Nobody wants to wait through a long regression testing cycle, but releasing without one is very risky. We recommend fast regression testing through release, so there aren’t big surprises on the eve of the target release date.  

When the Phone Rings

When a problem occurs, or the situation gets tense and time is rapidly sliding by, Product Managers give us a call to line up a Test Engineer/QA Manager team to step in and help get the hot-spot cooled off. They appreciate TESTCo’s ability to staff a Test Engineer and QA Manager for as little as a day and as quickly as tomorrow. 

Why let those problems linger?  And least you think our being extra valuable to Product Managers means a higher price tag, you can relax. We offer comprehensive solutions that increase ROI. 

How QAaaS Can Fit into Your Team

Your goals are our goals! Bringing an outsourced team into your software project team can be a big challenge. At TESTCo, our goal is to fit seamlessly into your team and processes without any disruptions. Our scoping process helps us uncover all the information we need to build a strategy to work with your team without disruptions! At a minimum, you’ll hear from us twice daily. But, if your team has stand up meetings, our Test Engineers and QA Managers sure like to be included.

Must-Haves To Elevate QA’s Contribution

When QA managers have access to accurate information and general business objectives, they are in a better position to provide value. Some of the ways to improve QA’s contribution to your business includes:

  • An understandable report with the exact features completed and tested every day. It’s important to emphasize that the features must be completed and tested twice daily.
  • A detailed understanding of your business and technical goals; this should include the current daily status of your sprint and your specific priorities in your business
  • A good foundation of regression testing along with measurement of coverage. This should be old-fashioned test cases built over time and then consequently run as a final regression prior to release. This will prevent surprise defects after launch.
  • Weekly product quality meetings with project QA manager: During these meetings, software development, quality measures and processes will be reviewed. This will prevent missing estimates and buggy code.
  • Daily software testing by a test engineer.

Maximizing Your QA Manager

Having great communication with the QA manager is vital because they are deeply ingrained into the projects and testing teams. QA managers play different roles and can serve many functions for your business. Incorporating your QA manager in decision-making when it comes to QA teams, hiring, etc. can be very beneficial due to their insights. Some avenues of maximizing your QA manager include:

  • Project leadership: QA managers can help you understand risk areas, identify goals and give you an estimate of what a QA team can produce for your business. The QA manager is involved in almost all projects, so they are the best resource for project leadership. QA managers are knowledgeable on client fears, risk areas and any technical concerns that come with certain projects. By utilizing the QA manager for input on projects, you’ll always have a good idea how a project is going and what are some potential difficulties that can arise.
  • Education: QA managers are a great resource when educating engineers, testers and any other members of the QA team. QA managers know what skills and knowledge the QA team has and how new training can be incorporated into the team while performing normal day to day functions for clients. Consulting with QA managers prior to any education or training programs for your business is crucial. Their insight can provide you the most cost-effective ways to educate your staff
  • Recruiting: Additionally, QA managers can help recruit talented engineers to reach your business objectives. QA managers are the best resource at assessing talent for your QA team. They know the specific tasks that are demanded from the QA team on a day to day basis; this is very beneficial in interviews because the QA manager can assess talent on the spot. Assessing talent is not only limited to technical skills, aspects like culture-fit and soft skills are important to finding the best fit. The QA manager also knows where to find the best talent for your QA team locally and remotely; this can include professional organizations, schools, etc.

How might we help you deliver your software faster, better and cheaper? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call at 888-254.9709, or request a call back using the green button on this page.

Thanks to Richard Howes for contributing to this post - JCH

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