Advanced Tips For Managing Software Quality Assurance

1. Making Deadlines Work For You

Due to structural factors, some people believe managing quality assurance can never be less than dauntingly complex. While it is true that quality assurance will likely never be a walk in the park, you can make this task much easier if you engage in some basic planning and preparation. Whether you are new to management or an old hand, proper planning can save you from having to repeat your work later on. Even if you consider yourself indispensable to your organization, don’t think you can cut corners in planning without paying the price. However secure your position may seem to you, know that missed deadlines can affect career expectations unpredictably.

2. Three Types Of Software Testing

At the end of the day, you can’t properly manage software quality assurance without a rock-solid grasp of system integration testing (SIT). Surprisingly many project managers achieve positions of responsibility without adequately understanding this topic. First of all, you must understand the differences between integration testing, SIT and user acceptance testing. In quality assurance, it isn’t enough to ensure that each software module is individually scrutinized and optimized. Each module must bear up well when connected to external systems. SIT involves testing all conceptual, technical and organizational hurdles to enterprise-wide reliability. By taking a wider view, systems integration testing varies from integration testing in a subtle yet important way.

There is also some overlap between SIT and user acceptance testing (UAT). However, UAT is more focused on business-oriented metrics for software quality. UAT specialists occasionally neglect testing if they can immediately satisfy customers. On the other hand, some thorough SAT teams have been known over-test modules obsessively and compulsively. As any true techie can tell you, no application is ever completely perfect. Thus we see that SAT and UAT complement each other and neither type of testing can really stand on its own.

3. Know Your Dependencies.

In application quality assurance, organizational charts don’t always reflect dependencies. In other words, it can be difficult to judge which co-equal team members to fault when deadlines pass. Of course, your goal is meet those deadlines, which requires an understanding of how the different functions of your project depend on each other. You’ll need to make one or more charts that outline all system dependencies and process dependencies. Although data dependencies are typically more clear-cut and easier to track, feel free to include these on your chart as well. As a final word of advice, print out your dependency chart and put it on a wall. Everyone on your team needs to be able to look away from their screen and see their responsibilities posted in the stark light of day.