As a member of Invotra’s manual QA team, it may sound strange for me to say that a QA team is not responsible for the product’s quality, at least not entirely.
“Surely a QA team owns the quality of a product?” you may be asking.
It can be a common misconception that QA teams are solely responsible for all aspects of quality in a product. When bugs have then been found in production we look to QA and ask “ Why was this case not tested?”
While the role of a tester is to find and raise bugs and ensure that the developed code meets the end-user requirements, this is only one aspect of quality.
Your testing team plays a large role in delivering quality but it should not be seen as the be-all and end-all. There are many other factors in play.
Let’s take a step back to define what is meant by product quality. To me, a quality product is one that meets the requirements and expectations of the end-user while continually providing a reliable service without defects.
So who does own quality? In short, everyone.
It is the responsibility of everyone that is a part of the process to deliver a quality product. From the product team, who define the direction and vision of the product, to the developers, who build the product, to the HR team, who hire the talent that is pivotal to the company’s success.
Let’s go over some of the dos and don’ts of creating a quality-driven culture in your company:
Don't play the blame game
When things, unfortunately, do go wrong it’s easy to fall into a cycle of blaming individuals.
The devs might place the fault on QA for not finding the bug, where QA might place the fault on the devs for introducing the bug. Going in circles like this doesn’t help resolve the issues at hand and can lead to an unhealthy environment amongst teams.
Instead, work with one another to find out what the problem was, what could have been done to prevent it and introduce processes to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again. Fostering this mentality will encourage your teams to be open about mistakes, allowing them to be dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.
Do align your goals
For any business that wants to create a quality-driven culture, it’s vital that every department is aligned with that goal.
It’s an essential task for leaders to outline the vision of the business and its values so that everyone in the company understands the end goal. By doing this, each department can analyse their work and processes, looking at possible improvements or changes that could enhance the quality of the product and development workflow.
Don't hide information
Information provides direction to the entire company. Managers are responsible for ensuring that the flow of information is shared between each member of their team as easily as possible.
This flow of communication creates an informative work environment where each team member is able to get a good grasp on the current position of the business and the direction it needs to proceed in.
Now this may sound like an obvious one but all too often is the case where teams can become siloed from the rest of the development process.
Communication is key for any business, so it’s important that team members are encouraged to be open about the good and the bad to promote an honest workplace. With this, you create a culture where people listen to one another and are open to collaboration.