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Top 5 Software QA Challenges and How to Overcome Them.

Software quality assurance is an essential part of the software development life cycle performed in parallel during coding and continuing…

Top 5 Software QA Challenges and How to Overcome Them

23rd November 2023


By Alina Karachun 

Software quality assurance is an essential part of the software development life cycle performed in parallel during coding and continuing afterwards, being integral to creating high-performing and secure solutions. However, establishing an efficient QA process takes the effort of the whole team and requires careful planning and collaboration with stakeholders. 

the article, I delve into the top 5 software QA roadblocks and recommend ways to successfully mitigate them.


1. Testing skills gap

Companies struggle with hiring and retaining testing specialists well-versed in the particular domain, industry-specific technologies and processes like 5G or the workflow of banking transactions, testing activities, methodologies, or QA tools specific to the project. All of this can, result in low software quality.

What to do:

To cover skill gaps and quickly scale up your in-house testing team, I recommend partnering with third-party QA providers who have a comprehensive suite of software testing services. Such companies have a pool of seasoned specialists with the required level of industry, process, and technical expertise. 

QA vendors assign software testing engineers at any SDLC stage and help ensure business continuity providing seamless staff replacement in case of vacations, sick leave, or any other circumstances and can provide you with QA engineers experienced in industries, testing techniques, and tools for your needs. In addition, a company can even outsource all QA-related activities and avoid financial and time resources associated with setting up an internal QA department. 


2. Insufficient test coverage

Software test coverage is one of the essential metrics showing that the application’s functionality has been covered with a sufficient number of tests and verified adequately. Poor test coverage can incur extra costs for fixing issues post-release due to unnoticed software bugs slipping into the production environment.

What to do:

Your QA team should use diverse test design techniques like boundary values, state transition matrix, equivalent class partitioning, pairwise testing, etc., and take time to study features of the software to carefully cover user requirements. In addition, if some specific one-time checks are needed, such as performance or security testing, they also can be outsourced.


3. Imbalanced manual and automated testing efforts

Automated testing is less time-consuming and helps lower QA expenses by decreasing the number of manual efforts and ensuring high code coverage. Still, the setup of automated testing requires significant time and money, while getting the expected ROI can’t happen immediately. In case companies decide to implement test automation, they should carefully balance manual and automated workflows, which may be a challenging task.

What to do:

Consider the risks and compare the benefits of both manual and automated testing for your project, particularly the software’s complexity, available budget, and deadlines. 

For instance, manual approach will be the best choice when it comes to ad hoc or exploratory testing that require direct human involvement to go beyond the predefined test suite and apply creativity to finding concealed defects. Also, manual testing is best suited for short-term projects with a flexible testing scope.

While automation can be added to more complex and long-term projects requiring extensive regression testing. In addition, some types of testing, like load and stress, are usually automated as it’s much easier and quicker to automatically simulate the required high number of concurrently working users while testing. 


4. Unoptimized QA and testing costs

Companies often face QA and testing budget overruns in software development projects, so in an attempt to cut costs, managers can decide to put some testing activities on the chopping block. As a result, dealing with missed bugs post-release makes the project costlier than initially estimated.

What to do:

Most of the time, high QA costs amount to testing inefficiency rather than increased testing volume. So, at the early stages of SDLC, before validating your software functionality, set clear testing goals, define test priorities and deliverables, and verify your software requirements for consistency and completeness. The more all-encompassing your quality assurance process is, the fewer the risks of insufficient testing coverage and consequential budget overruns will be. To achieve maximum test efficiency with optimal expenditure, add test automation to your QA strategy if the project allows it.


5. A risk of missed release deadlines

When performing estimations of QA activities on the project, it’s important to plan how much time is required to fix defects, validate them, and conduct regression testing. Allocating insufficient efforts for testing leads to QA engineers working on nail-biting deadlines and potentially missing mistakes. 

What to do:

To avoid testing in tight timelines, create a comprehensive software testing plan to guide QA engineers beforehand. QA planning helps define clear objectives, the scope of work, and testing expectations, clarify the testing timelines and resources, and reduce the possibility of unpredicted issues. In addition, proper communication between the development and testing teams is essential to keep every party informed about the progress and help engineers promptly fix detected issues.


To sum up

The success of any software development project heavily depends on the efficiency of quality assurance processes, but establishing and managing them is a far more complex mission than it seems at first sight. QA managers often face with numerous challenges, like unoptimized testing expenses, risk of missed release deadlines, insufficient test coverage, staff shortages, and balancing manual and automated testing efforts. To tackle them I would advise managers to carefully plan all QA and testing activities to consider risks and allocate enough time and money. Optionally, they can turn to skilled quality assurance consultants, experienced in addressing these hurdles and helping deliver software that meets the highest standards of quality and reliability.

Categories: Articles, Tech

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