QA Greatest Practices for Product Managers

Within the software program improvement life cycle, high quality assurance (QA) is commonly the final step earlier than code is launched—it’s virtually an afterthought. Due to this, additionally it is 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 had been happy with their crew’s QA efforts. It’s no shock, then, that 67% of respondents stated their major software program high quality purpose was to enhance QA processes and practices.

High quality assurance will not be sometimes the remit of product managers, however I argue that it must be. There is no such thing as a one on a product crew 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 want for enchancment round QA.

Ideally, QA must be ongoing all through the whole 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 finest practices and ideas—which will be applied whatever the course of getting used—yield higher-quality code and happier prospects.

What Defines High quality Software program?

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




The software program does what it was supposed to do. For instance, if you happen to’re designing expense administration software program, it ought to correctly calculate issues like taxes and totals. QA check plans ought to cowl all purposeful assessments, ideally in an automatic style, in order that any newly launched code doesn’t trigger present capabilities to interrupt.


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


The software program must be operational as supposed and error-free. An necessary facet of QA testing is protecting as many potential error and edge circumstances as attainable, in order that the software program can cope in any circumstances. As an illustration, it ought to know learn how to deal with an expense that’s entered as a unfavourable versus a optimistic quantity.


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

QA Greatest Practices for Product Managers

Product managers ought to facilitate a mindset and perspective shift throughout the crew in an effort to construct and keep a tradition that permits the creation of high-quality software program. The next QA finest practices embody each overarching ideas and extra particular concepts that supply fast wins to achieve buy-in and momentum in your journey to sturdy QA.

Make QA a High-down Effort

Promote high-quality software program and make the investments in sources to make sure good QA. After I was head of product at a startup, I used to be given the finances to rent a small QA crew and acquire the mandatory check automation software program. I made it some extent to develop a superb relationship with the engineering crew in order that we had been capable of modify the design, improvement, and launch processes to include QA gates. With this funding in QA, we had been capable of produce software program sooner and with fewer points.

Instill a QA Mindset Throughout the Crew

QA will not be one thing that solely the QA crew ought to take into consideration—it begins with a product supervisor defining the product via an in depth set of necessities and complete acceptance standards. I discovered early on in my product administration profession to decelerate and take into account all of the potential methods a consumer might make a mistake or misread a perform. It’s simple to jot down a product necessities doc (PRD) that focuses on one of the best path or default state of affairs, however a superb PRD ought to embody error and edge circumstances too, so that you could construct essentially the most intuitive expertise attainable. Instilling this sort of QA mindset in your crew ranging from the early phases 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 crew would write the code first after which the check circumstances afterwards, which frequently ends in remodeling code, TDD means check circumstances are written upfront as a part of the necessities and used constantly all through the event course of to make sure that the code passes all assessments earlier than being launched.

Doc Check Outcomes Clearly

Check outcomes must be effectively documented, significantly when a check fails. A transparent course of—together with instruments that allow fast and seamless recording of check outcomes, that are routinely routed to the developer—will assist the product crew be extra environment friendly.

Set Up Common Milestones

At every stage of improvement, put QA milestones in place. The sooner a difficulty is caught, the much less disruption and energy it takes to deal with it. Establishing mid-development QA integration assessments, for instance, means code will be introduced collectively and examined in an effort 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 a number of time. I’ve typically utilized Jira plugins, comparable to Xray or Zephyr Scale, to assist handle QA check circumstances.

There are additionally AI instruments, which have lately turn out to be accessible, that may assist with some areas of QA, comparable to making the upkeep of automated assessments simpler. Many automated assessments depend on a single methodology of figuring out a display screen factor, comparable to its title or location. Presently, if a developer strikes or renames a display screen factor, the automated check will fail, regardless of the performance staying the identical. With AI, the display screen factor will be recognized utilizing many extra attributes, enabling modifications with out the check failing. Then, over time, the AI learns which attributes to depend on in an effort to precisely establish the display screen factor.

One other space wherein AI can help QA efforts is autonomous testing. You possibly can prepare AI by exhibiting it how customers navigate your utility in manufacturing. The AI then creates automated check scripts that mimic widespread consumer flows. This, mixed with the upkeep of automated assessments, means you possibly can obtain increased protection with extra sturdy assessments that require much less upkeep. Try AI-based testing instruments like Appvance, SauceLabs, and Testim.

Implement a Peer Evaluation Course of

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

Check Throughout A number of Gadgets and at Peak Masses

For software program that runs on a number of platforms, comparable to net, iOS, and Android, testing must be completed on all of the platforms and even on totally different variations of working programs and browsers. Particular load testing is necessary in figuring out if there’s important efficiency degradation at peak hundreds. With new browser, iOS, and Android releases popping out at totally different instances, it’s necessary to run assessments frequently and never simply throughout your individual utility launch cycle. I lately discovered this lesson the laborious means when a brand new model of Android got here out and induced 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 elements are working or not working, and the way they are often improved. After a dash, a improvement crew 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 present retrospective.

Strong QA Means Higher Effectivity, High quality, and Innovation

It’s essential to put money into QA in an effort to produce high-quality software program. As a product supervisor, you possibly can put some instant steps in place to information this effort:

  • Take the lead on implementing QA methods and advocating for enough QA sources and instruments on your crew.
  • Deliver a QA perspective to necessities gathering and work with the event crew to shift to a test-driven method.
  • Leverage automation instruments to make your crew’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 is not going to solely allow your crew to work on new improvements, quite than fixing bugs, it can additionally allow you because the product supervisor to appreciate your product imaginative and prescient sooner.