QA Finest Practices for Product Managers

Within the software program improvement life cycle, high quality assurance (QA) is usually the final step earlier than code is launched—it’s nearly an afterthought. Due to this, it is usually often under-resourced, with insufficient individuals, processes, instruments, and time devoted to it. That is evidenced by a 2022 report from Katalon, which surveyed greater than 3,000 software program professionals and located that solely round half of respondents have been happy with their workforce’s QA efforts. It’s no shock, then, that 67% of respondents stated their main software program high quality purpose was to enhance QA processes and practices.

High quality assurance isn’t sometimes the remit of product managers, however I argue that it ought to be. There isn’t a one on a product workforce higher outfitted to make sure that the product imaginative and prescient is delivered with out points that might value you prospects—or worse, trigger your organization to lose market value.

Fifty-three percent of software professionals surveyed said they were satisfied with their team’s QA practices; 67% said their primary software quality goal was to improve QA processes and practices.
The outcomes of a current survey of software program professionals point out the clear need for enchancment round QA.

Ideally, QA ought to be ongoing all through your entire product life cycle, and product managers ought to lead the cost. Throughout my 25 years within the subject, I’ve discovered that the next QA greatest practices and ideas—which will be carried out whatever the course of getting used—yield higher-quality code and happier prospects.

What Defines High quality Software program?

There are 4 important areas that outline high quality software program:




The software program does what it was supposed to do. For instance, should you’re designing expense administration software program, it ought to correctly calculate issues like taxes and totals. QA take a look at plans ought to cowl all practical assessments, ideally in an automatic vogue, in order that any newly launched code doesn’t trigger current capabilities to interrupt.


The consumer expertise ought to be straightforward, intuitive, and environment friendly. The software program also needs to carry out effectively constantly. Expense administration programs, that are sometimes used on Fridays or Mondays when individuals are submitting expense reviews, ought to carry out effectively even throughout these high-use durations. Efficiency testing ought to be included as a part of a whole QA plan.


The software program ought to be operational as supposed and error-free. An essential facet of QA testing is protecting as many potential error and edge instances as doable, in order that the software program can cope in any circumstances. As an example, it ought to know tips on how to deal with an expense that’s entered as a destructive versus a optimistic quantity.


The software program have to be safe and defend consumer knowledge. That is key for each consumer-based and enterprise enterprise software program. Investing in good penetration testing and different safety testing is important.

QA Finest Practices for Product Managers

Product managers ought to facilitate a mindset and perspective shift throughout the workforce with the intention to construct and preserve a tradition that allows the creation of high-quality software program. The next QA greatest practices embody each overarching ideas and extra particular concepts that supply fast wins to achieve buy-in and momentum in your journey to strong QA.

Make QA a Prime-down Effort

Promote high-quality software program and make the investments in sources to make sure good QA. Once I was head of product at a startup, I used to be given the price range to rent a small QA workforce and procure the mandatory take a look at automation software program. I made it a degree to develop relationship with the engineering workforce in order that we have been in a position to alter the design, improvement, and launch processes to include QA gates. With this funding in QA, we have been in a position to produce software program quicker and with fewer points.

Instill a QA Mindset Throughout the Workforce

QA isn’t one thing that solely the QA workforce ought to take into consideration—it begins with a product supervisor defining the product by an in depth set of necessities and complete acceptance standards. I realized early on in my product administration profession to decelerate and take into account all of the potential methods a consumer may make a mistake or misread a perform. It’s straightforward to put in writing a product necessities doc (PRD) that focuses on the perfect path or default situation, however PRD ought to embody error and edge instances too, in an effort to construct probably the most intuitive expertise doable. Instilling this sort of QA mindset in your workforce ranging from the early levels of improvement results in higher-quality software program.

Moreover, implementing test-driven improvement (TDD) methodologies will be very efficient in selling a QA mindset. Whereas a non-TDD workforce would write the code first after which the take a look at instances afterwards, which frequently leads to transforming code, TDD means take a look at instances are written upfront as a part of the necessities and used repeatedly all through the event course of to make sure that the code passes all assessments earlier than being launched.

Doc Take a look at Outcomes Clearly

Take a look at outcomes ought to be effectively documented, significantly when a take a look at fails. A transparent course of—together with instruments that allow fast and seamless recording of take a look at outcomes, that are robotically routed to the developer—will assist the product workforce be extra environment friendly.

Set Up Common Milestones

At every stage of improvement, put QA milestones in place. The sooner a problem is caught, the much less disruption and energy it takes to deal with it. Organising mid-development QA integration assessments, for instance, means code will be introduced collectively and examined with the intention to uncover points or failures earlier than the ultimate launch candidate is constructed.

Leverage Automation and AI Instruments

Automated testing and bug reporting instruments are important in producing high-quality software program rapidly, significantly in steady integration and steady supply environments—and so they save lots of time. I’ve usually utilized Jira plugins, resembling Xray or Zephyr Scale, to assist handle QA take a look at instances.

There are additionally AI instruments, which have lately turn out to be out there, that may assist with some areas of QA, resembling making the upkeep of automated assessments simpler. Many automated assessments depend on a single methodology of figuring out a display screen component, resembling its title or location. At the moment, if a developer strikes or renames a display screen component, the automated take a look at will fail, regardless of the performance staying the identical. With AI, the display screen component will be recognized utilizing many extra attributes, enabling modifications with out the take a look at failing. Then, over time, the AI learns which attributes to depend on with the intention to precisely determine the display screen component.

One other space during which AI can help QA efforts is autonomous testing. You’ll be able to practice AI by exhibiting it how customers navigate your utility in manufacturing. The AI then creates automated take a look at scripts that mimic widespread consumer flows. This, mixed with the upkeep of automated assessments, means you may obtain increased protection with extra strong assessments that require much less upkeep. Try AI-based testing instruments like Appvance, SauceLabs, and Testim.

Implement a Peer Overview Course of

Pair programming—a typical observe in coding whereby one developer writes code and the opposite critiques it—might help catch bugs earlier than they’re ever launched. At the same time as a product supervisor, I’ve usually discovered it useful to have a colleague look over my necessities doc, for instance. Implementing peer critiques at each stage, even throughout the discovery and design phases, might help create a stronger product. It might be a good suggestion to have somebody from the QA workforce overview the acceptance standards of your consumer tales to make sure they’re clear and full.

Take a look at Throughout A number of Gadgets and at Peak Masses

For software program that runs on a number of platforms, resembling net, iOS, and Android, testing ought to be carried out on all of the platforms and even on completely different variations of working programs and browsers. Particular load testing is essential in figuring out if there’s vital efficiency degradation at peak hundreds. With new browser, iOS, and Android releases popping out at completely different instances, it’s essential to run assessments frequently and never simply throughout your personal utility launch cycle. I lately realized this lesson the arduous means when a brand new model of Android got here out and prompted our Android utility to be unavailable for obtain as a result of we hadn’t upgraded it.

Repeatedly Enhance Your QA Course of

After placing a QA course of in place, make sure you consider it commonly, noting what facets are working or not working, and the way they are often improved. After a dash, a improvement workforce will sometimes maintain a retrospective, reflecting on what occurred within the iteration and figuring out actions for enchancment going ahead. Maintain the same assembly on your total QA processes and procedures, or incorporate QA evaluation into your current retrospective.

Strong QA Means Higher Effectivity, High quality, and Innovation

It’s vital to put money into QA with the intention to produce high-quality software program. As a product supervisor, you may put some rapid steps in place to information this effort:

  • Take the lead on implementing QA methods and advocating for ample QA sources and instruments on your workforce.
  • Deliver a QA perspective to necessities gathering and work with the event workforce to shift to a test-driven method.
  • Leverage automation instruments to make your workforce’s QA processes simpler and extra environment friendly.

By making QA a precedence and constructing these methods into your product processes early on, your merchandise will undoubtedly be increased high quality. In the end, this won’t solely allow your workforce to work on new improvements, reasonably than fixing bugs, it can additionally allow you because the product supervisor to comprehend your product imaginative and prescient quicker.