Being front and center in every software project, robust quality assurance (QA) allows developers to reduce time to market, mitigate risks, improve user satisfaction, and more.

Below are five essential QA aspects that can help you proactively address the pain points hampering your project’s success.

1. Process Excellence

In order to outstrip the competition with your new product, you need to drive quality across the entire software development lifecycle. A comprehensive QA strategy will help you with that.

Such a strategy will be a kind of blueprint for ensuring product and process quality—on both program and enterprise levels. You’ll be able to smoothly pinpoint project deficiencies and find ways to address them while keeping in strict compliance with your SLA-powered KPIs.

A quality-driven strategy will also help you decide on the optimal software development methodology, QA roles and responsibilities, communication methods, QA scope, testing types, automation test coverage, and relevant testing tools.

2. Expert QA Team

A well-oiled team of experienced QA engineers is half the battle. So be scrupulous about choosing your QA army—no matter if you engage your internal resources in performing all key QA operations or decide to outsource testing experts.

Project success hinges on QA teams who are well-versed in various testing types, including functional, usability, performance, and security, and who understand the peculiarities of testing domain-specific solutions.

Your QA team composition may vary depending on the project scope, software development methodology, and budget, but at the top of your QA process should always be a robust testing culture to ensure outstanding product and process quality.

3. Robust Test Automation

Automated testing is an excellent way to improve the consistency of running tests, optimize development workflows, cut project costs in the long-term, and accelerate time to market for your solution.

But test automation for the sake of automation is not a way out. To drive maximum value from this procedure, implement a data-driven ROI analysis. This will help you to determine the value of test automation at every stage of your project.

Automated tests are especially important for handling regression. You can run automated tests in parallel—across multiple devices, platforms, and browsers—as many times as needed without having to pay for manual testing over and over again.

4. Comprehensive Testing Infrastructure

You can have a great test case definition and experienced QA engineers, but to get the most out of test cases, you need a well-established testing infrastructure that enables you to create and manage multiple testing environments.

These dedicated environments will allow you to isolate the code and set up particular test beds for verifying solution behavior and quality within a certain development phase. Then, this testing data should be reset so that you can create new environments to test other functions of your solution.

For successful implementation of your testing infrastructure, you’ll also need to select the optimal hardware and operating system, configure the network and database, and document all of the actions for further environment replications.

To automate the process of setting up and managing your environments, you can leverage a deployment pipeline using a continuous integration tool like Jenkins.

5. Project Transparency

Meaningful communication within the team is another must, but to effectively manage your project and address possible issues in a timely fashion, you also need a 360-degree view of the entire QA process. Business intelligence analytics can help you with that.

A data-driven analysis will empower you and other stakeholders with real-time insights into every aspect of product and process quality, including the number of passed, failed, and blocked tests, bug status, QA team performance, test automation, regression debt, and budget spending.

With interactive business intelligence dashboards at hand, you’ll be able to not only drastically improve your solution’s quality but also optimize resource utilization and accelerate time to market.

Originally published on TechWell Insights.