Quality assurance enables and supports the team to build in quality, deliver high-quality products and assesses the quality throughout the entire lifecycle.
Quality assurance is process-oriented and testing is a part of this.
It's about processes that ensure that quality is achieved in an effective and efficient way (built-in quality). Quality assurance is all about preventing defects and the process is consistently followed by the team.
Quality assurance reduces costs and increases revenue while shortening time to market. With proper quality assurance, we build in quality from the very beginning instead of having to find and fix issues at the end of the process. This leads to reduced overall and compliance risks and lower operational and support costs. Furthermore, with QA we constantly inspect and adapt our processes and tooling. Quality assurance has a strong focus on people. Having the right people with the right skills in the team boosts team motivation, efficiency and quality. High-quality products boost user and customer satisfaction, which leads to an increase in revenue. With professional QA, time to market accelerates.
Testing is a part of quality assurance. It is product-oriented and has a strong focus on bug detection. Testing includes various tasks such as planning and control, analysis and design, implementation and execution, evaluating exit criteria and reporting, as well as test closure activities. Examples of testing include technical reviews, functional testing and code inspections.
QA and testing specialists (aka testers, QAs, QEs, test engineers, etc.) are specialised in the area of software testing and/or quality assurance. They bring the right quality mindset and required skills to the team. They ask the (painful) questions everyone else forgets about. Having professional QA and testing skills in the team is crucial to the quality and efficiency of the team's output. Every team member has their strong suit that brings value to the product and the team. Diversity is key to success and outstanding quality. QA and testing specialists are real chameleons when it comes to finding their role – they can act as the team's quality coach, test manager, test engineer or manual tester (to name just a few) depending on the specific needs of their team.
The smart use of test automation and relevant tools enables your team to focus on tasks where the human brain is needed. It frees people up to focus on the more interesting, fun and tricky stuff. Additionally, it speeds up integration, deployment, testing and release.
Quality over quantity! Automation in general does not solve any quality issues. You need the right amount of automation across all test levels in combination with the tools that best fit your organisational needs. This supports high-quality development, testing and quality assurance. Clear transparency on test coverage across all levels and avoiding test duplication are key to success.
Pia Wiedermayer is a passionate quality personality. Quality and first-class service were already a special concern for her original professional field, the top hotel industry. She places particular value on a holistic approach in which quality is understood and lived as a principle and not as an annoying evil at the end of the process.