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QA at the Beginning of a Project: Do I Really Need It?

June 17, 2015

Quality assurance is an essential part of software development cycle that prevents defects, reduces costs and enhances quality. Software testing should start as early as possible in the software or system development life cycle and should have defined objectives. Let’s find out why!

In our previous post, we discussed the importance of the Quality Assurance process in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). According to external research, deficiencies in software requirements and errors in software design documents have more damaging effects than errors in the source code itself.

Interesting Fact: Quality assurance is most effective when implemented from the very beginning. In Salesforce, Unit tests cover only methods implemented by software engineers; while QA engineers can test and scan the entire system. The involvement of a QA specialist at the early stages provides you with a thorough and independent review during the whole development process.

Why you should use QA from the very beginning?

1. The involvement of a QA specialist in the early stages allows you to plan testing more carefully in all development stages. The attendance of a QA engineer in all meetings (including those in the early stages) enables the QA specialist to more precisely understand the customer’s requirements. By doing this, the QA engineer can spot and correct any error in the requirements before the development process.

2. A QA specialist can write test cases and scripts that can be used by developers during the design process. This documentation can reduce time, development costs, and efficiency of the whole bug fixing process.

3. A QA specialist involved from the earliest stages of development may be one of the main sources of information for the Project Manager, developers and other team members for ways to significantly improve the development process.

Top 3 reasons why testing should be implemented at the beginning of a project:

The Systems Sciences Institute at IBM revealed that the cost to fix defects found after product release is 4 to 5 times as much as one uncovered during design; and up to 100 times more expensive than one identified in the maintenance stage:

Relative Costs to Fix Software Defects
(Source: IBM Systems Sciences Institute)

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1. Errors in software requirements and software design documented from the very beginning can have real impact on future development cycle steps.

2. Costs of fixing a defect increases across the development life cycle. The earlier in life cycle a defect is caught, the cheaper it is to fix it.

3. To perform testing cycle more effectively, it’s important to develop test cases at the end of development cycle.

The ability to catch and prevent errors in the development cycle is the result of a well-tailored business model and hard work.

In CodeSWAT, we combine a well-tailored Salesforce QA audit process along with innovative tools and methods to provide our customers with tangible results for business value. Our quality control procedure includes:

1) Getting QA involved in a project from the very start;
2) Planning and defining the objectives of test activities;
3) Design of test scenarios to reach target test coverage;
4) Execution of test scenarios, documentation, and results analysis;
5) Implementation of all kinds of testing (smoke, functional, regression, etc.) at any development level;
6) Implementation of automated testing on projects where it is beneficial; and
7) Generating reports and comparing test results with exit criteria.

Software quality assurance is not an individual operation but a team effort. The software development team should strive to improve its processes by identifying errors early, minimizing resolution time, and therefore reducing project costs.

At CodeSWAT, we are always on track of new and upcoming trends. We hope you find this article useful, as we’ve identified the necessity of QA at the very beginning of a project to help you save money and achieve a high quality product. If you want to learn more, please feel free to leave us a comment or email us at marketing@codeswat.com