To make sure the released software is safe and functions as expected, the concept of software quality was introduced. It is often defined as “the degree of conformance to explicit or implicit requirements and expectations”.
The structural quality of the software is usually hard to manage: It relies mainly on the engineering team’s expertise and can be assured through code review, analysis and refactoring. At the same time, the functional aspects can be assured through a set of dedicated quality management activities, which includes quality assurance, quality control, and testing. The following steps outline a sketch of what to expect from this process.
The aim is to analyse system architecture and technologies for discrepancies. It costs more to fix a bug detected during testing. QA professionals should be involved in analysing and defining software requirements, both functional and non-functional. QAs must be offered consistent, comprehensive, traceable requirements and marked. This helps the QA team design tests for the software tested.
Plan the tests
The information gained during the requirements analysis phase is used for test planning. The test plan should comprise the software testing strategy, the scope of testing, the project budget, and established deadlines. It should also outline the types and levels of testing required, methods, and tools for tracking bugs and allocate resources and responsibilities to individual testers.
Design the tests
QA teams must craft test cases and checklists that encompass the software requirements at this stage. Each test case must contain conditions, data, and steps to validate each functionality. Every test must also define the expected result so testers know what to compare actual results to.
It is recommended that QAs start with a measure of exploratory testing to familiarise themselves with the software. This would help with designing appropriate test cases.
If an automation strategy has been defined in the test scope, this is the stage for creating automation testing QA scenarios.
This is also the stage for preparing the staging environment for execution. This environment should closely mirror the production environment concerning the specifics of hardware, software, and network configurations. In addition, other characteristics like databases and system settings should also be closely mimicked.
Execute Tests and Report Defects
Tests start at the unit level, with developers performing unit tests. Then, the quality assurance testing team runs tests at API and UI levels. Finally, manual tests are run per test case. All bugs are submitted in a defect tracking system for effective defect management. Additionally, test automation engineers can execute test scripts and generate test summary reports.
Run Re-Tests and Regression Tests
Once bugs have been found, submitted, and fixed, QAs test the functions again to ensure they didn’t miss any anomalies. They also run regression tests to verify that the fixes have not affected the existing processes.
Run Release Tests
Once developers issue a release notification detailing a list of already implemented features, fixed bugs, recurring issues, and limitations, the QA team must identify the functionalities affected by these changes. Then, the team must design modified test suites that cover the scope of the new build.
The QA team must also perform smoke tests to ensure each build is stable. If the test passes, modified test suites are run, and a report is generated at the end.
It is better to spend time stabilising and polishing a software product for projects limited by time and budget to prepare extensive documentation and careful test planning. Some stages of the development and QA processes can be performed simultaneously. For example, Analysis and Review of requirements, Implementation & Test planning, or even Running different types of tests during development can be run parallelly. In these parallel stages, the testing activities help measure the success of the corresponding development tasks.
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