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What Does a Quality Assurance Specialist Do for Your Software Project's Success?

You need to have a good tester in your software engineering team to complete your project successfully.
'I'm always asked, 'What's the secret to success?' But there are no secrets. Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.' Dwayne Johnson.
The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen tells about continuous improvement of your business processes, development, delivery, and many other aspects. Focusing on product quality falls within the philosophy.

62% of users uninstall glitchy apps.

Software glitches not only incur financial losses but may also significantly damage your business' reputation, which is challenging to restore. If you haven't included QA and testing in your software project agenda, you risk losing more than you possibly gain if you try to save under that heading. Let's see what and how QA specialists may contribute to your project quality and its successful completion.

QA for Project Success
By Dzmitry Seachouk, Senior Manual QA Engineer
June 3, 2022

What is Project Success?

Your project is considered successful if it's delivered on time, meets the desired quality goals, and stays on budget. Therefore, its success depends on three major factors: time, cost, and scope.

Businesses often focus on time and budget but forget about software quality assurance. Overlooking QA may result in financial losses in the millions:

$61 billion is lost annually by the enterprise software market due to software failures.
620 million person-hours are wasted annually on software debugging.

A minute software glitch can lead to a catastrophe and ruin the efforts of an entire development team. This can even happen to industry leaders sometimes when they decide to omit QA and testing to hasten the project's release date and/or to cut development costs.

Nest 'Smart' (A Google Company) thermostats malfunctioned as a result of a failed software update. The temperature dropped and the thermostat left Nest's users unable to heat their homes. Over 99% of Nest's users were struggling with the consequences of bugged software until Nest finally released a costly update.

In 2013, Reebok faced a major software glitch in which customers were offered to get £100 in footwear from their website by just paying only for delivery. This glitch went viral on social media and frenzied customers rushed in for the deal. Reebok had to cancel the orders, apologize to the customers, and also had to offer 20% off on the next order to retain audiences and save its valued reputation.

Your goal is to have a completed software solution that corresponds to what has been initially planned. You need a high-quality product or solution that will resolve your users' pains better than one of your competitors.

To that end, consider strengthening your development team with QA and testing specialists. They will control the product and/or solution quality at each stage of the process and help ensure the successful completion of your project.

    Who is a Quality Assurance Specialist?

    A QA engineer is a specialist who checks how well a solution is implemented and also conducts quality assurance audits. Such engineers use the best QA and testing practices and inspections to ensure that the final product meets the industry standards and also the client's objectives.

    A good QA should be competent to determine what and how to test your project and what is necessary to make QA processes the most efficient. To become a valuable asset to your software development team and contribute to the project's success, this person should have a particular skill set which includes:

    • Understanding of SDLC and STLC development processes and how they differ depending on methodologies
    • Knowing how to prepare product requirements
    • Be experienced in working on a project as a part of a testing team and on his/her own
    • Understanding the basic principles and having experience managing projects
    • Have well-developed software skills for QA that result in being able to mitigate conflicts and to offer constructive criticism
    • Have critical thinking processes
    • Loves the QA job and works despite a changing and challenging context

    When you hire QA specialists, always check to see if they have the skill sets listed above. Nothing can be worse than purposeless software development and testing that lacks understanding of the processes and in-depth analysis. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to identify violations of the testing logic or process flow. A well-versed testing specialist can and will contribute immensely to your project's success.

    How Does a Quality Assurance Specialist Work to Ensure a Project's Success?

    You have to put a test engineer at the center of your software project. The testing quality defines a project's success and usability and also ensures a high appreciation of your app by a user. Otherwise, you risk both losing money and your user loyalty.

    Top-tier testers take a vested interest in your product's quality, which is the paramount goal of a testing process. But just the absence of bugs alone is not enough for your software solution or product's success.

    A good QA ensures that the project's final results meet user expectations and also provides a set of functionalities that resolve real-life user pains. Making what has been planned initially to comply with the final results falls within the scope of a tester's task.

    Developing the right way from the start is always better than having to redo everything over and over again later. And the earlier a QA specialist identifies shortcomings in the requirements, there will be a reduced amount of unnecessary modifications and changes that you will have to make.

    So a testing specialist delves into reviewing the functional requirements for a project hand-in-hand with business analytics.

    Project requirements change as your development team goes along the project flow and based on user feedback, market and competitor research. A QA specialist is the right person to search for and find possible gaps and inconsistencies that require special attention. Experienced testers are the first to notice what development processes go smoothly and which ones require the software engineer's close attention and improvement.

    A great QA can get a gut feeling that something is going wrong with a project. For instance, a specialist can detect a broken testing logic or a skipped verification stage and he/she will bring that to the attention of a PM. Then the ball will be on the PM's side, and that specialist will decide on what steps to improve the development process and more engineers may have to get on board if necessary.

    Experienced QAs focus on continuous communication with software engineers and project managers. Thus, by communicating closely with testers, PMs can help testing specialists become better at what they do and overcome the pesticide paradox, a phenomenon occurring when the amount of testing increases and the software becomes resistant to tests.

    A competent QA engineer keeps records consistently. Thus, mere statistics on creating Jira tickets for a specific functionality or for developers may ease tracing the development progress and detecting weak points. It will then be easier to fix issues and find ways to stabilize processes, improve a project workflow, and more.

    Final Note

    The software solution or product is only successful when it complies with its initial specifications. It should be of high quality and resolve the real-life problems of users. So it's critical to test the product quality at every development stage unless you wish to risk wasting a substantial amount of time and resources.

    You need to have a good tester in your software engineering team to complete your project successfully. A good tester looks at the product from a user's perspective when running tests and reviews it from a developer's perspective when searching for what's causing a defect.

    Keep your testers on their toes and ask the right questions, not only at the moment a defect occurs but also throughout the entire development process, from reviewing project requirements to testing final results. That is how Solvd's QA and testing specialists approach each client's software development project. Keeping focused on your project's success, they will carry out a comprehensive testing job, so let's get in touch.