If you're into creating software, you must have discovered the need to ensure that the software is robust, scalable, and bug-free. After all, this enables you to offer exceptional service to your customers or clients. But how do you guarantee commendable software quality? The answer to this is simple - Software Quality Assurance Plan or SQAP.
But what exactly is a software quality assurance plan, and why do companies need it?
It is a set of actions that assures software performance before deploying it in the real world for users. Quality checks are usually carried out parallel to the software development process, wherein the QA or quality assurance team establishes suitable processes, procedures, and standards to ensure software quality. Simply put, a software quality assurance plan improves the software development process by preventing any issues or bugs before they become precarious crises. That’s why companies opt for reliable Software Quality Assurance Services as it gives them access to world-class quality assurance mechanism and ensures high-performance for software applications.
This article will cover everything about quality assurance planning, from the scope and intent to the checklist and tips to create an effective software quality assurance test plan.
Let’s get started!
A software solution that performs poorly and breaks easily can cause customer dissatisfaction and compromise security, which can be disastrous for any company. Let's take an example of a software failure case study like the flawed patient-management software of St. Mary's Mercy Medical Center in Grand Falls, Michigan, that led to mistakenly mentioned approximately 8,500 of the hospital's patients as “deceased” on paper. You can research and read many such cases online to understand how critical quality assurance is and why companies should prioritize it.
Efficient, secure, and trustworthy are the characteristics your software application must offer, and a software quality assurance plan ensures you get that. With the right strategies in place, you can find all the possible shortcomings beforehand, meaning fewer headaches for the team and improved application performance. Consequently, you boost customer satisfaction and retention, leading to enhanced revenue.
Let’s dive into the details here:
The ultimate goal of a software quality assurance plan is to find all the bugs and defects during the development stages so that the team can take the right actions before it turns into a major crisis. Although deficiencies are inevitable during development, with proper planning and execution, they can be identified, fixed, and prevented promptly, avoiding any risks of losing customers.
Think about the last time you used an application or visited a website with confusing navigation, uninformative content, and overall terrible functionality issues. Wasn't it frustrating?
That's why meaningful customer experience is the key to developing loyalty and securing long-term growth. Companies have recognized this advantage and are always looking to meet the constantly rising customer demands. A software quality assurance plan paves the way to building high-quality software solutions that the customers want while ensuring that you deliver the same excellence every time you drop any updates or deploy a whole new application.
A faulty software solution can lead to downgraded consistency and customer confidence leading to companies having to compensate for the damages done. You might have to correct or redo programs to fix out-of-control errors, which is highly time-consuming and takes significant effort and resources. However, a software quality assurance plan enables you to consistently check, identify and fix bugs before they cause severe damage.
A well-structured and organized approach to quality assurance allows you to avoid the chaos of faulty software solutions. Adopting Agile methodology and enacting the QA process from the beginning of software development eliminates future stress and keeps everyone aligned with the progress. This also allows the team to identify blockers and take action at the right time to ensure quality development. Consequently, not only the QA process but the entire software development process will go efficiently and productively
Quality assurance can impact your profits and turnovers in various ways. Besides the benefits mentioned above, it can bring innovation, competitive advantage, brand awareness, and more to the table. With a strong software quality assurance plan, you can drive more profound insights, improve accuracy, enhance performance, increase revenue and ensure better control of your expenses.
As mentioned earlier, a software quality assurance plan is a set of activities against a standard software solution to evaluate performance quality. However, before starting the QA process, it is always beneficial to keep a checklist to ensure everything is in order and everyone is aligned with the work status or progress.
A quality assurance plan must include some of the most common elements/sections:
Now that we have covered why we need QA and what elements you should consider when creating a software quality assurance plan. Let’s move on to creating the plan effectively:
The first step is envisioning what your customer wants and aligning it with what your business stands for. This empowers you to effectively define the goals that you want to achieve and how you can accomplish them. When you realize what direction you want to take for the desired positive outcome, you can create a solid software quality assurance plan.
Once you have the goals and objectives ready, you need to implement the right policies and practices to ensure an efficient and effective quality assurance process. These guidelines must be communicated with the team and relevant stakeholders to ensure strict adherence and compliance. That's why make sure to communicate and share reminders in the weeks and days leading up to the start of the QA process.
More than just clarifying QA policies and guidelines is required; you will also have to explain the process, including a list of risks, mitigation practices, and documentation techniques. Here are some examples that QA professionals usually follow to implement QA strategies and to test the product thoroughly:
Once you have established the policies and methodologies, it’s time to review the progress. If you find any shortfalls that require priority attention during the review process, it is better to address them sooner rather than later. If you make the adjustments after the project's completion, it can cost you heavily and might even require hefty resources and efforts to fix it. So, always be prepared to audit regularly and make changes to the software quality assurance plan as needed.
Once your software quality assurance plan is ready to be implemented, note that you might need to revamp your plan based on evolving technology and ever-changing industry trends and demands. However, with continuous improvements, you can deliver successful software solutions that meet the customer’s/client’s expectations.
Are you looking to hire a quality assurance development team?
Turing can help you. We help companies build a distributed QA team that will help you in boosting your software testing efforts and expedite time-to-market. Sign up with us today and Join hundreds of companies that trust Turing to hire various development teams.
Anupriya is a content writer well-versed in researching and writing on an array of topics. She works closely with businesses and helps them get rapid and organic growth through compelling digital marketing content. When not working, you can find her reading or sketching.
Tell us the skills you need and we'll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.