Testing the Tester: Building a High-Impact QA Team
Although the software industry understands the importance of testing, many QA teams still fail to. Teams don’t always understand the impact their roles have on the business outcome, so their lack of focus on the outcome affects the software quality and leads to an array of disasters. And the testing teams seem resigned to this fate, as if that’s how it is supposed to work.
The good news is that it is possible to build a high-performing QA team. Many may say that it’s by hiring great testers, but I think great test teams and testers can be made. Here’s what you can do to transform how your QA team functions.
Have a Distinctive Value Proposition
Testing teams should have their own value proposition. This makes them more in sync with their roles and their contribution toward the final business outcome. Other groups cannot define what testing will do; the QA team needs to take charge and define their strengths themselves. The bottom line: Believe in yourself and believe in your value.
Focus on the Outcome, Not Just the Process
Are you wondering what the difference between good testing and bad testing is? Well, there’s none! There are only testers or teams that are aligned with the business outcome and testers or teams that aren’t. This is the deciding factor.
When I say a testing team is not aligned with the business outcome, I mean the testers do not understand the purpose of the software being tested, what they are validating, and why. They aren’t sure of the product’s goals or the customer’s perspective and how their job is affecting the business outcome. An unaligned testing team often ends up not getting the desired outcome from testing that fits in the organization’s larger picture. For starters, the QA team needs to have clear-cut and detailed insights into the business outcome that is expected and what the customer actually wants to see.
Maintain an Agile Execution Model
Having a value proposition and understanding the outcomes to drive it need to be converted into a plan for execution. The test team needs to have a sound execution model that is simple to measure and adaptable to changes. Being agile especially demands both.
Be Creative and Fearless
The ability to think in creative ways is an explicitly human trait, and no machine can ever replace the power of the human mind. So, in the future, the only jobs that AI will not pose a threat to are the ones that involve creative intelligence. For testers to have an upper hand, they need to add their own distinctiveness to testing that cannot be replaced by AI.
With cutthroat competition in the market for every product and service being offered, even tiny flaws can give competitors a strong advantage. A well-aligned and healthy functioning QA team is critical to delivering high-quality products and achieving the desired outcomes.