Compared to QA services, Quality assurance as a service offers a much more comprehensive and flexible range of testing capabilities. Due to the crowdsourced nature of QA as a service, numerous testers evaluate and double-check specific product components in actual environments.
Quality assurance as a service can be used on-demand to test software across the whole software development life cycle, to test one particular prototype, or even to test a specific aspect of a much bigger product. As a result, you can cover any level with testing—from broad to detailed—while costs scale proportionally to those needs.
In this article, we will cover the importance of software quality for businesses, the key advantages of Quality assurance as a service for software quality, and best practices for integrating QA as a service. It is based on cases from Techstack, a full-stack software development company with extensive experience offering technology solutions, including QA as a service.
The Importance of Software Quality for Businesses
If you require flexible and specialized QA-related services on demand at a particular stage of product development, you will benefit from QA as a service.
What Your Business Can Get with QA as a Service
Quality assurance is essential to corporate expansion. Reducing costs associated with repairing, retesting, and reselling defective products is another advantage. Users' dissatisfaction with the company's products has a negative impact on the company's reputation.
QA as a Service is a method of testing that will help you reach top-notch quality standards amid constantly changing product and app settings and to find structured, quick, efficient, and affordable testing solutions. Let’s look precisely at the benefits of QA as a service for your business.
- Rapid input on the product's reliability, usefulness, and quality before the initial launch.
- Strengthened testing teams during particular phases of development, such as regression, exploratory, and usability testing.
- On-demand QA activities and cost-effective QA optimization without maintaining a full-time crew.
- Use of automated tests integrated into a CI/CD workflow to cover pre-release testing tasks and reduced testing time.
- Quick and correct establishment of your QA procedures in accordance with your present development procedures.
- Assessments of the effectiveness of your QA team and the procedure as well as suggestions for improvement.
How Software Quality Helps to Scale Your Business
Poor software quality is one reason why startups may fail, among others, making it difficult to build products that may soon expand significantly. Our experts shared the strategies to overcome the challenges that prevent businesses from seamless scaling:
- Providing microservice architecture testing processes.
- Addressing technical debt.
- Taking proactive steps to stem rapid increases in bug quantity.
- Searching thoroughly for the bottlenecks in the platform to ensure that it tackles user load.
- Optimizing infrastructure expenses through an audit of services used by the product and their limitations.
Five Types of QA as a Service: Techstack Core Competencies
There are various types of QA as a service. At Techstack, we assist product, engineering, and QA leaders in receiving an immediate boost for quality assurance functions at critical points in the product lifecycle, offering five types of QA as a service. Let’s look at each of them, when they are applicable, and their service flows.
Regression Testing on Demand
Regression testing involves examining software to ensure that no functionality has been broken as a result of a change or addition. This service is applicable when there is a reason to expedite the regression testing process. The output of the QA service includes reports on defects discovered and the execution of the regression test suite.
Regression testing on-demand service has a defined workflow:
- Examine the testing setting and accessibility.
- Verify the suitability and quality of the documentation for regression testing.
- Adapt test cases for users of the QA service.
- Define the terms and the number of users of the service.
- Set up QA service execution intermediary tools.
- Post progress updates throughout the service run.
Exploratory and Usability Testing
Exploratory testing is an approach to software testing that is briefly described as simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution. Usability testing is research carried out in order to determine the convenience of some artificial object for its further use.
These testing types apply when there is a need to fix any potential bugs or inconsistencies before releasing the product onto the market for the first time or releasing an update into production without testing documentation. Exploratory and usability testing services can also be applied when there is a QA team, but new, unbiased input on the usability and quality of the product is required.
QA service output includes a testing checklist for additional regression/smoke testing, detected defect reports, and usability feedback.
The following is the exploratory and usability testing service flow:
- Obtain access to product and development environment.
- Look into the product documentation requirements.
- Build a testing checklist and incorporate it into communications with the development team.
- Test under the specified test plan.
- Point out critical observations to the group.
- Provide the completion report for the QA service execution.
Testing Processes Set up from Scratch
Testing processes set up from scratch are the procedures you use to make sure your clients are receiving a product of the highest quality when no prior testing of the product has been performed. Simply put, it refers to setting up the methods used to avoid problems with your software product or service and to guarantee a positive user experience for your clients.
This service is applicable if you need to design proper, efficient, and well-defined QA processes and implement them across the team during the product development initiation stage. Another use case is a currently working product that needs robust testing under the current development model. This way, you can speed up the time to market and guarantee consistently high quality.
As an output of the QA service, you will receive high-level testing documentation covering all aspects of the testing process and its phases. What else? A pre-selected and configured bug tracker, test management tool, document management system, communication channels established between the QA team and other product functions, an infrastructure for automation testing setup, and an automation testing framework designed for integration into the CI/CD process.
The service flow of testing processes setup from scratch looks as follows:
- Look into the product development model.
- Examine the technology stack, infrastructure, and architecture.
- Evaluate the product's roadmap, milestones, and objectives.
- Write the draft QA procedure and connect it to the current development process.
- Use high-level test documentation to complete the QA process.
- Align the QA team onboarding with the process.
- Watch the procedure in action and fine-tune it.
- Show the product leadership a process demo and the QA team's efforts.
Existing QA Process Audits
A company's quality assurance processes are audited in order to compare them in real time to accepted standards and best practices. Audits of existing QA processes are needed in the following cases:
- The quality of your product is unacceptably poor, and you need to improve it.
- Time to market must be shorter.
- Product leadership realizes that product quality must be better, but they need more expertise to do so.
- You require opinions on the effectiveness of the present QA procedures as well as a list of ideas for enhancements.
As a QA service output, you will get a QA process evaluation report and a list of all suggested improvements.
Creating Automation Testing Infrastructure and Integrating It Into the CI/CD Process
This service is appropriate if your current QA team has many manual test cases and you want to accelerate regression testing. In addition, to quickly receive an update on the status of necessary functionality after release, you must automate post-release testing. Finally, you can apply it when establishing an automation testing team and a solid basic design for the process, infrastructure, and framework.
As an output, you will receive an automated testing framework, an automated test suite, installed and configured CI/CD pipelines for automatic execution, an automated test execution reporting system, and integration of automated tests with the current team management system.
Service flow comprises four steps:
- Investigation. In this phase, we examine the product's manual quality assurance procedures (if any), product development methodology, infrastructure, architecture, and current technical stack.
- Automation. To identify candidates for automation, we prioritize manual test cases and automate the first part of the tests after setting up the automation QA framework's initial architecture.
- Integration. The automated testing solution is integrated into the CI/CD workflow, putting in place CI/CD quality gates and adapting the development/QA process to include automation testing.
- Setting up a team and processes. We onboard the automation QA team into the established process and solution, observe and fine-tune the current procedure, and demonstrate the process and the QA team's efforts to the product leadership.
We contribute our expertise and developments in automation testing to the global community. Our utilities and extensions have gotten 100,000+ downloads on NuGet.
The Benefits of QA as a Service for Software Quality
Understanding distinctions between crowdsourcing and outsourcing will help us recognize the difference between QA services and QA as a Service. The latter's advantages stem from this. QA as a Service's crowdsourcing component makes testing procedures adaptable, efficient, and cost-effective.
QA as a Service is similar to adaptable, on-demand cloud-based services. You're effectively hiring a broad range of people from all backgrounds, at whatever level of detail and scalability your product requires. As the product requirements change, you can scale QA as a service as necessary. For instance, from week to week, or one component to another.
Because QA as a service is crowdsourced, it is far more flexible than when QA services. Since each person in the much larger population approaches the testing from a slightly different angle and perspective, this frequently leads to the discovery (and ultimate squashing) of a wide variety of defects and quirks that would have gone unnoticed in a more strict QA Service setting.
While QA services normally charge flat fees and rates in addition to dynamic charges for the team's collective person-hours, many providers of QA as a service only ask for a fee for the amount of time spent completing a predetermined number of tasks. This implies that with QA as a service, you get testers with a personal incentive to work effectively and efficiently. Also, you refrain from paying for unnecessary services or fees that might not yield valuable results.
Best Practices for Integrating QA as a Service: Techstack Cases
Our company has extensive experience implementing QA as a service. Below are the Techstack case studies that may help you grasp how your business may benefit from QA as a service.
Case #1: Auditing Existing QA Processes to Prevent Frequent Issues in Production
A large fintech enterprise application with a long development history and several releases requested the audit of the QA procedures. Their QA engineers were dispersed across many sites and needed to adhere to a single methodology. The requirements needed a solid framework, and constructing a clear image of the process to identify bottlenecks took time.
To get a sense of the development lifecycle, QA service team started paying attention to all development processes and taking part in all meetings of all teams. QA as a service offered a perspective on how the testing efforts were coordinated across the teams and the release process.
To showcase the QA quality, QA experts then calculated key KPIs. The development and testing process was impacted by dozens of areas of analysis. The final report with improvements contained not only recommendations for QA-related process improvements, but also generally impacted the entire development process.
Most of the suggested improvements recommended during QA as a service were implemented with the QA team’s support. Since the QA team established a sound testing pyramid, the number of significant production flaws has decreased to zero, the defect containment rate has reduced to under 5%, and the pre-production testing phase has accelerated.
Case #2: Building an Automation Testing Solution Architecture to Ensure High-Quality Product and Scheduled Releases
A fast-growing 3-year-old fintech product had monthly product releases. There were 1K test cases in the regression test suite, only manual testers in the team, and no testing automation solution. Before each production release, the number of regression tests that were required to be run quickly increased due to the rapid growth of features, which resulted in delays and decreased application quality. QA as a service provided a suitable technical stack for an automation testing framework. The hired QA team created the foundation of the automation testing solution. Automated test scripts covered the most crucial functionality. The automation solution was integrated into the CI/CD pipeline.
As a part of QA as a service, existing manual QA team members received a training on how to use the continuous integration tool to run the automation tests and analyze the results. In the end, the service team assisted with the interview and onboarding of an on-site automated QA specialist for our testing framework and procedures.
QA as a service allowed the team to resume the product’s monthly releases on schedule and at the expected quality. The automation testing solution, developed and incorporated into the CI/CD pipeline, enabled the team to set up quality gates for the deployment of the features between product environments and covered the most crucial functionality. The environments above staging stabilized with time. With recurring audits, the automation QA specialist continued automation testing of new features.
Case #3: On-Demand Regression Testing for More Efficient Defect Detection in Security Firewall Product
A security firewall's team released new versions every 1.5 months, with the three weeks before each release set aside for regression testing. Since there needed to be more manual team members to complete this testing, our partner asked for additional manual QA for three weeks before each release. Our manual QA engineers had to sign NDA agreements to conduct tests, which, taking in account the number of participants, could have slowed down the process and made it ineffective.
The QA service team assigned each regression phase of each release to a single individual. This person gained access to the partner's bug-tracking system after signing an NDA. They carried out service orchestration and all partner communication and coordination.
Participants in the QA service team were entering identified defect reports into the internal bug tracker while the regression execution was taking place. The orchestrator added new bugs while determining whether these bugs had already been added to Jira on the partner's end. For the QA service team, a duplicate of the testing environment in a different internal network with a connection was added to the Techstack office network.
As a result, the QA team completed eight regression cycles before the product was reorganized and transferred to a new company. During each regression phase, the service team completed around 65% of the tests and discovered roughly 50% of the regression-specific defects. Compared to the three weeks required for the regression testing phase, each phase took 2-2.5 weeks to complete.
Case #4: MVP Defects Clean Up Before the First Time to Market
A travel startup was required to develop an MVP in several months to test its concept with real users. Because there was no QA position during the whole development stage and no testing documentation or QA processes, the MVP never got tested. Before releasing the product to production, the team had roughly three weeks to clean it up.
As part of QA as a service, QA service team looked into each implemented story first. Then, we developed a checklist for final regression testing based on the description of the criteria for each narrative. All discovered flaws were recorded in the partner-side bug tracker. The members of the QA team took part in daily standups with the development team and highlighted problems.
QA as a service helped to launch the application into production in a timely fashion with no significant flaws. It had positive UX feedback from the first actual users, and did well commercially. However, the QA team discovered many significant problems, including edge-case faults, during service execution, and offered a functional checklist for that product's subsequent regression testing phases.
Boost Your Software Quality with Techstack
Quality assurance as a service offers a considerably more comprehensive variety of testing possibilities than QA services do. It can be used on-demand to test software across the entire software development life cycle, a specific prototype build, or even a single component. QA as a service may be done at any level. Thus, expenses scale proportionally to those needs, giving you flexibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
Techstack is a full-stack software development company that offers five critical competencies in QA as a service. Depending on your needs, we can implement regression testing on-demand, exploratory and usability testing, testing processes set up from scratch, existing QA process audits, and creating automation testing infrastructure with integration into the CI/CD process.
Assess your QA processes with Techstack experts.