QA Collaboration in the Early Stages of a Software Project

by Sony 

Quality Assurance is an important part of software development at Gurzu (and at every software development team generally). However, it is not always given the importance that it deserves.

I have heard stories of companies introducing Quality Assurance after the actual coding process. But doesn’t that reduce QAs to just bug finders? QAs have much more value to offer that the team needs to unlock.

A continuous collaboration of the development team with the QA team can reduce workload from both parties and completely redefine our perception of quality.

Why introduce QA early in the development process?

More often than not, introducing the QA part later in the software development life cycle leads to costly delays and a never-ending chain of quality issues.

As the market grows crowded with extraordinary software, it gets more and more challenging for us to deliver high-quality software that meets and exceeds our customers’ needs. 

Well, we consider many things big and small during the software development phase to keep the software of the highest quality. One thing that we have been prioritizing in our projects is involving quality assurance right since the beginning of the project. By doing this, we ensure that the involvement of QA engineers is not only limited to testing the product but is extended to many aspects of projects, such as:

  • Reviewing project documentation
  • Participating in design reviews
  • Ensuring that project requirements are clearly defined

So, what would be the issues if there is no QA involvement since the beginning?

  • When there is no QA collaboration, it can be challenging to identify potential quality issues in the project’s early stages. This can lead to more significant problems down the line that are tougher and more expensive to fix.

    QA and Developer argue over if the letter is 6 or 9

  • There may be miscommunication between the development and QA teams. This can lead to misunderstandings about the project’s requirements, goals, and expectations, leading to project delays and inefficiencies.

What would be the benefit if we engaged the QA from the beginning?

  •  Incorporating QA processes into the project plan is a key benefit of early QA involvement. QA can help integrate QA processes into the project plan, ensuring the team is aware of QA processes and requirements. This integration ensures that quality checkpoints are defined and integrated into the project plan.
  •  Early QA involvement helps to ensure that the product is tested thoroughly and meets the highest quality standards. They can help develop a testing plan that covers all aspects of the development, from functional testing to performance testing to security testing. This comprehensive approach helps identify and address issues before they impact the end users.
  •  Early identification of potential issues is another benefit of early QA involvement. It enables teams to identify potential problems before they become major obstacles. 
  • QA can help identify gaps or inconsistencies in requirements, which can be costly to fix later in the development cycle. By working closely with the development team, they can review project requirements and design documentation to ensure they are vivid and accurate. This involvement helps to ensure that quality is built into the project from the start rather than being added later as an afterthought.
  • QA is responsible for ensuring that project requirements are testable. By working closely with developers, designers, and other stakeholders, they can provide valuable feedback that helps to ensure the product is designed and developed with quality in mind. This collaboration can help teams avoid the siloed thinking that can lead to quality issues down the line and help ensure that the project requirements are met and meet the desired quality standards.

Tips to improve QA collaboration

But how do we actually improve the collaboration between QAs and Developers? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Eat your own dog food - test your own code before sending it to QA. 
  • Make quality the common goal.
  • Foster open and transparent communication channels between QA and developers.
  • Promote a culture of mutual respect and understanding between QA and developers. 
  • Create documentation to keep track of both teams’ activities
  • Cross-train both parties on each other’s activities

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, involving QA in the early stages of a project is essential for ensuring high-quality products that meet customers’ needs. “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution” (Will A. Foster). Involving QA early can prevent potential roadblocks and ensure a smoother project outcome. By prioritizing collaboration and quality, we can stay ahead in the competitive marketplace and deliver products that exceed expectations.


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Further Reading

6 Tips to Improve collaboration between software developers and QA

Design QA as a system - Gurzu Inc