Most small business owners guarantee the quality of their employees’ work by a simple, time-consuming process, checking everything they do. This, however, is an extremely inefficient way to ensure quality. Not only does it take up time that leaders could be using more effectively, but it can also lead to inconsistent results.
QA refers to the processes and procedures that are used to systematically and consistently assess the quality of the products a company produces. These processes, like the products they are used to assess, can be highly varied. They may relate to physical products, software, or even customer services.
In addition, QA becomes exponentially more important at several key times in the growth and development of your business. It’s important, for instance, to perform a QA audit as you launch your online business, in order to catch any errors and issues before they can hurt you.
Every software development life cycle includes testing as one of the essential steps to creating a great product. Various aspects of the software system are checked using different tests that can be divided into functional and non-functional.
- Functional – the product’s compliance with functional requirements and design specifications. This aspect focuses on the practical use of software, from the point of view of the user: its features, performance, ease of use, absence of defects.
- Non-Functional – system’s inner characteristics and architecture, i.e. structural requirements. This includes code maintainability, understandability, efficiency, and security.
Why Your Small Business Needs a QA Checkup
No matter the size of your business, you need a quality assurance program. Even at its most basic, it should include the following:
Take care of your brand’s image. At the most fundamental level, having a QA process in place is a way of protecting your brand image. Your company will ultimately be judged by the quality of the products you put out into the world, and, if these fall short of consumer expectations, you will soon acquire a reputation for poor-quality goods.
Maintain the user experience. Designing a good user experience is the key to helping your visitors find what they need and take the necessary actions that will achieve your business objectives. Hiring an external QA auditor can also be a great way of getting an independent assessment of the user experience you are offering.
Ensure quality work. This is particularly important for Startups, where a dynamic work environment can create confusion when it comes to the expectations you have from team members. A successful QA system will have a set of well-defined criteria that are understood by both your quality assessors and the staff their assed.
Achieve security benefits. Security is the primary concern that everyone today focuses on to keep the customers’ sensitive data and information safe from attackers. Your products and services need to be protected from possible intruders, and it could only be made possible when you consider security testing for your startup-based software, products, and services.
With security QA testing, you can assure that all resources and data of your system are free from any risks or threats that further become the reason for hacking.
How does Quality Assurance Work?
Software testing is an essential component in an organization’s Quality Control (QC) procedures. Testing involves executing a software component to evaluate its properties and ensure that there are no errors, bugs, and defects in the product before it is released to the public. But where does Quality Assurance come in the product development life-cycle in relation to testing? Software testing dove-tails with QA, which is a process that includes all activities that center around implementing standards and procedures associated with ensuring that software meets a certain set of requirements, is beneficial to the end-user and free of errors. This does not include testing the products themselves. QA for software addresses usability issues that are centered on delivering the best possible outcome to the customer that might not be technical in nature. In a QA context, a software defect is not just a bug but can be any problem that impacts the end-user experience, from poor navigation to slow load times or unclear web copy.
Must-Know Quality Assurance Approach for Small Businesses
QA is often overlooked by small businesses. Even if your company doesn’t produce physical products, you can hire a freelancer to perform an online QA audit of your web presence, and of your customer service offering. This independent perspective will shed light on your business’s shortcomings and is invaluable in informing future business decisions.
The smaller your business is, the more important it is to hire a good Quality Assurance team. Customers want top-notch service delivered consistently, so you must revise every project before release with the utmost study, which is significantly less effective if done by, for instance, developers only.
Quality Assurance guarantees a consistently high-quality customer experience, thus making sure you’re satisfying your clients’ needs. We all want to take pride in what we do, and that wouldn’t be possible without keeping your business at the top by ensuring your users are happy.
If you want to be absolutely sure that every project your company delivers is up to the highest standard take a proactive approach and start implementing best practices.
Best Practices for Quality Assurance
- Create a robust testing environment.
- Form dedicated security and performance testing team.
- Allocate time appropriately for each process.
- Select release criteria carefully.
- Apply automated testing to high-risk areas to save money. It helps to fasten the entire process.
- It is important to prioritize bugs fixes based on software usage.
- Simulate customer accounts similar to a production environment.
Every small business is only as good as the products and services it offers. This means that, without a well-developed QA system, business owners have no way of knowing how their company is seen by their customers. Quality Assurance is to check whether the product developed is fit for use. For that, organizations should have processes and standards to be followed which need to be improved on a periodic basis. It concentrates mainly on the quality of product or service that they are providing to the customers during or after the implementation of software.
Setting up a new QA team can be time-consuming and costly at first, but over time, QA processes will ultimately result in more efficient production and resource management. If you have the budget, it can be worthwhile to invest in a QA specialist to springboard your program into action.
If you choose to create your team yourself, these steps and the software mentioned will help you enhance and automate the testing process.
Here at SEOmoft, we’re passionate about quality and helping others deliver quality software solutions. Our approach to QA and testing supports our approach to delivering value to our clients early and often. Whether you’re looking for a refresh or wondering how other teams approach QA, this article is dedicated to guiding you.
Have questions about our methodology or want to have a chat about QA? Get in touch with us!