The importance of software product testing cannot be overstated. After a lifelong debate, the software world has finally accepted that testing is as critical as development if not more or less. Although there have been several instances that have highlighted the need for testing, the Prison Breakout brought to notice that the lack of testing not only affects the functionality of software but the security of humans too!
In December 2015, over 3,200 prisoners in the U.S were released before their declared date, owing to a software glitch. This software was introduced in 2002 and was created specifically to monitor the behavior of prisoners. The problem led to its peak in 2015 but had been occurring for about 13 years! Each year several prisoners were being released way before the predetermined date. So, the moral of the story is that lack of software product testing can create issues that are beyond product failures.
Now although the industry understands the importance of software product testing, most QA teams still fail to see this. So how can one make a high-performing QA team? A lot may say that it’s by hiring great testing teams. But we think great test teams and testers are not found but made! Here’s what can be done to transform the functioning of QA teams:
Create a Value Proposition
Testing teams should have their own value proposition. This would make them more in-sync with their roles and contribution towards the final business outcome. Other groups cannot define what testing will do, QA needs to take charge and define their strengths themselves.
Maintain an Outcome-oriented Approach
Now there’s nothing such as good testing and bad testing. There’s only a test engineer or a team that is aligned with the business outcome and a QA team that lacks vision.
By an unaligned testing team, we mean where testers do not understand the purpose of the software being tested, what are they validating and for what reason? They aren’t aware of the product’s ultimate goal or the customer’s perspective. They don’t even realize how their job as testers is affecting the business outcome. Therefore, the QA team needs to have a clear-cut and detailed insight into how their job and its outcome is helping the organization.
Maintain Execution Excellence & Transparency
Having a value proposition and understanding the outcomes to drive need to be converted into execution. The test team needs to have a sound execution model which is simple to measure and adaptable to changes. Agile demands both.
Thrive on Innovation
The growth of artificial intelligence has been remarkable in recent times. Sooner or later, AI will emerge victoriously and replace humans in a lot of fields. However, the one thing that AI will never manage to defeat is creativity. The ability to think in unique ways is an explicitly human trait, and no machine can ever replace the power of the human mind. The only jobs that AI cannot touch are the ones that involve creative intelligence. Now, for testers to have an upper hand in such a scenario, they need to add their own distinctiveness to testing, which cannot be replaced by AI.
The success of software product testing largely depends on QA teams and hence, their focus and attitude towards testing makes all the difference. With cut-throat competition in the market for every product being offered, even tiny flaws can give competitors a strong advantage, which is why functional testing is vital. Therefore, a well-aligned and healthy functioning QA team doesn’t play a support function but a critical role.