Modern software testing has come a long way over the years, with more capable and feature-rich testing solutions making it easier for organizations to accomplish their testing needs while refining their workflows and testing strategies.
With that said, any standard discussion about software testing for organizations starts with a basic assumption – that the organization has a dedicated QA or a Quality Assurance team staffed with expert testing engineers.
In most scenarios, it is the QA team that manages and executes testing duties, with the sole purpose of optimizing and improving the quality of the final software product.
But, what about organizations that do not have a QA team? In these cases, software testing requirements still need to be fulfilled. Without a QA team available, these testing needs need to be taken care of by other people. In fact, everyone involved in the process of software delivery would likely have to pitch in and fill the testing void.
Here, we will discuss software testing for organizations with a dedicated QA team.
Organizations without QA
While having a dedicated team of QA experts is of paramount importance in order to develop and release quality software, it’s true that many organizations either choose to or are obligated to function without the services of a fully-fledged QA team.
One of the primary reasons certain organizations try to operate without a QA team is lack of funds. Smaller organizations might not have the funds to find and recruit an in-house QA team of the right caliber. Some organizations with limited output or light release schedules might feel that stretching their financial resources on QA personnel might be a bad idea. While these considerations do not really hold water if you consider the larger picture, such constraints might come into play and prevent organizations from hiring QA.
With that said, there are also organizations that feel that having a dedicated QA team is not sufficiently important. This unfortunate notion can arise from having too much confidence in software developers and their competence, or having inadequate knowledge about the complications of testing and the consequences or bad testing. Some organizations might feel that hiring interns or freelance QA engineers might be enough to take care of testing duties. While this is a short-term solution for small projects, it’s usually not the brightest idea.
Some organizations might even feel like using their customer base as their QA team. Organizations that rely on a customer-driven beta testing program can fall into this category if they don’t have sufficient pre-release testing. This can have a detrimental effect on the public perception of the organizations and its ethics. Although there are ways to take care of testing without a QA team, the best-case scenario involves having an in-house team of QA experts to take care of testing.
How to Achieve Quality Without a Team
For organizations without a dedicated QA team, testing can become a struggle, especially if you consider the breakneck pace and heavy workloads that usually come as a part of modern development workflows. To maintain high standards of quality and complete the requisite testing, it’s fundamental to create and follow the right strategy, using all the resources at your disposal to accomplish these goals.
The trick here is to make sure that your core business and technology teams can take care of the testing duties. Choosing the right testing platform can make a huge difference in this area. Ideally, your testing platform should make the process of creating and maintaining tests easy and intuitive so that anyone can use it.
Testing without a QA team means ensuring that your business and IT personnel can be tasked with testing duties in a manner that ties in organically with their existing responsibilities. This may require more hand-holding to enable everyone who might not have much testing experience. However, a simplified testing strategy, the right testing platform, and astute time management can definitely help you maintain quality.
Here are some important steps you can leverage to accomplish your testing goals in an organization with no dedicated QA team.
Tools and Mindset
Convincing already overworked business and technology personnel that they need to spend even more effort on testing can be a difficult task. Giving them the right tools to make the process easier and faster can help immensely. Using an automated testing platform like Functionize that allows no-code test creation, cloud-based parallel testing, and easy AI-driven test healing and maintenance can work wonders in this regard. Functionize makes it remarkably easy to automate tests, which takes mundane repetitive tasks out of the testing process.
Coupled with the right tools, you need the right mindset. When the pride of ownership and responsibility for software quality is instilled in your business and technology personnel, it can help create an active interest in seeing the testing process through. This will translate into effective testing and better quality.
Shift-right testing or testing in production is one of the techniques prevalent in modern CI/CD workflows. Rather than using a staging environment for testing like QA engineers often do, this involves testing during production using live user traffic. For testing without a QA team, a strong strategy is to get your IT personnel involved in the shift-right testing process.
Many organizations task IT engineers with monitoring applications for issues during the development process. With the shift-right testing approach, they will not just be monitoring the application but also using the insight gained during the monitoring to actively help out in maintaining and improving the quality of the software.
Test Automation by Business Owners
With their subject matter expertise, business owners are in the perfect position to create automated tests. Oftentimes, product owners or business analysts are already representing the needs from the business for requirements anyway. So, they are likely to be tasked with user acceptance testing. Since they will need to manually verify that their application behaves as expected, tasking them with automating tests makes a lot of sense.
A no-code testing platform significantly helps business testers since there is no need to create tests using programming. No-code test creation abilities, like those provided by Functionize, allows anyone to visually click through an application to create tests with ease. Moreover, Functionize automatically keeps tests maintained using machine learning. This removes a larger amount of time that is normally required for automated tests that are created with code.
Fill Gaps with Feedback
In organizations without a dedicated QA team, one of the major hurdles that can get in the way of proper testing is gaps in knowledge and competence. The QA team usually knows in detail the ideal behavior that developers might expect from the software they write. Similarly, they also know how to relay information back to the developers regarding quality issues as and when they are found in a manner that they can understand.
Without the QA team, developers and IT personnel have no way of understanding each other and effectively communicating back and forth. This is why, if you are going to allocate the task of testing to these groups, it’s critical to create a system of constant, transparent feedback. With both groups communicating their expectations clearly, the notion of quality is firmly established and quality issues can be effectively communicated back to the developers. Fortunately, Functionize provides a defect integration to Jira so that anyone can log bugs to show developers how to reproduce the issues they find.
To Wrap Things Up
There is no debate that having a dedicated QA team is a huge advantage in terms of being able to release quality software. Testing engineers have a particular set of skills and an analytical mindset that puts them in a prime position to seek out quality issues in software. Taking this into account, for organizations without that luxury, it’s possible to carry out adequate testing workloads with the right strategy and helpful tools. With some workflow tweaks and the right testing platform, organizations without a QA team can also create and publish quality software.