Every QA Teams have moving targets. Here are some of the dilemmas that most Software Testing Teams face on a regular basis.
1.How much of the functionality should be covered in Test Cases?
With each new feature being added to the product each week. How Should a QA Manager allocate time to keep the Test Cases updated. Should the Test Cases even be updated is the question that most Managers should ask. The underlying reason for maintenance issues with Test Cases is, more to show the coverage to the management than to actually keep it current for ensuring the quality of the software. This situation comes up when the company just holds the Quality Team responsible for the Go/No Go decision of the release and the development team is not help responsible for the quality of the product. We at 99tests believe that Quality Teams can add lot more value with exploratory testing using charters than trying to run behind keeping test cases updated just for the sake of visibility for management. This leads us to the next question
2. What should be the targets for a QA Team in each sprint or development cycle?
Should each QA team try its best to release the highest quality product in each release or should the management guide the team in terms of what is the acceptable level of quality expected in a particular release. Now most software applications start off with unstable code and become stable over a period of time. While Most of the Quality Teams always try to hit the mythical target of the highest quality possible in the sprint or development cycle. So the question is, should the QA teams not be in sync with the product management goals, i.e. should the organization not try to set goals for each release with the acceptable level of quality needed rather than tying to release the product by trying to ensure the highest quality. This would give the QA Teams larger visibility than just to sync up with development teams for just that particular release and trying to push hard for a mythical quality level which might not be in the Product Managers road map.
3. How much to Automate?
This is a permanent question in every QA Team’s meetings. Most of the senior managers would like to push for maximum level of automation, since they believe that this would lead to maximum level of productivity gains for the quality organization. Now what is the problem with this approach. When the QA Team is not involved in the decision making of the level of automation needed, it leads to either over reliance on the automation scripts, that causes teams to reduce the exploratory testing effort and lots of bugs being carried to the customers. Or it lead to the headaches of maintaining the automation scripts in line with each new releases which are in turn dependent on the test cases, which might also not be an accurate reflection of the product. So designing the right amount of automation scripts is moving target for each team, one which meets the quality targets, keeps the senior managers updated with the coverage and visibility and maintains a correct balance between Machines and Humans.
Upcoming post will cover the tools a QA Manager needs to know and use, so as to measure and report quality metrics to their organizations.