Software Quality Management: A Comprehensive Guide With Examples and Best Practices

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  • Software Quality Management: A Comprehensive Guide With Examples and Best Practices

OVERVIEW

Let’s say you are designing a food delivery app. What would you expect it to do? Commonly, these are the expectations imposed by users:

  • The app must be able to track the delivery status.
  • The app should help me choose the restaurant of their choice in a customized way.
  • There should be a way to leave feedback to the delivery partners.
  • I should get the best UI/UX experience.

To build an app of such high zeal, developers should work on many factors, such as choosing their front end framework and the limitations of app size. Testers have to ensure that they do their job with a near-perfect notion to ensure there are no bugs or defects. They may have to conduct several tests, including UI testing and online browser testing. Nobody wants to order their dinner on an app that would freeze each time you try to order.

How do you ensure your app is on the top ladder of customer satisfaction caliber? That’s where Software quality comes into play. This tutorial on software quality management will look into the nuances of software quality management and the benefits and best practices involved.

What is Software Quality Management?

A general definition of software quality management would be “a field of practice and study describing the needed software product attributes”. Simply put, your software should help your customers realize their needs by being defect-free and fulfilling all the quality attributes.

The software quality management process. aims at developing and managing the software quality where you can ensure that your product meets every expected quality standard set forth by your customer with concerns regarding the needed regulatory and development needs and requirements.

How does Software Quality Management work?

Generally, software quality management is of three types: Quality Assurance, Quality Planning, and Quality Control.

  • Quality Assurance (QA):

    This is a systematic quality management process where you determine if a service or product would meet the needs and requirements of a customer. In quality assurance, you establish and maintain the needed requirements to manufacture products you can rely upon. With a proper quality assurance system, you can skyrocket customer confidence to the next level while you improve how you handle your work efficiently. Do you want to stay a step ahead of your competitors? Quality assurance is the key you need to unlock the doors.

    No one can deny the role that ISO (International Organization for Standardization) drives the QA practices and maps the processes needed to implement quality assurance standards. For many companies, ISO 9000 is a set-standard approach to ensure they meet the quality assurance needs.

    Starting from the manufacturing industry, it has slowly spread to most industries, including software development.

  • Quality Planning:

    How accessible is your product to different users? How about the modularity aspects- can your developers reuse the code to perform the same action at various locations? How robust is your website when multiple customers log in? Answering such questions is where quality management and planning come into the picture. You address different aspects such as the market you intend your product to outperform, the release date of new updates, addressing potential risks, possessing quality goals, and developing the needed risk management policy.

  • Quality Control:

    A quality control team's job is to test and review if the software adheres to quality assurance standards and processes, be it as an organization or a project. Every software development firm has to prefer agile quality management since it creates a ruckus if you don’t adapt control procedures. One example includes following up on software review to ensure you address any changes in the previous test. Another one would be releasing software testing with the proper documentation support for the testing process.

So, what’s the way for software engineers to achieve software quality?

Every software developer must clearly understand how to carry out quality assurance through their project. Quality engineers should look at the activities they need to set when they begin the exercises. You must set suitable checkpoints at the required intervals for quality management purposes. Some practices like implementing BDD testing for quality test automation can also help.

Benefits of Software Quality Management

Software quality = Software success. There is no other say in this claim. How does it help your business? Here you go

  • Increase in development team productivity.
  • Improvement in product quality.
  • Get more favorable, up-to-date, and precise defect tracking and test statistics for your website or mobile app test strategy.
  • Bring down rework costs as soon as you detect your defects in the software development lifecycle and software testing life cycle (STLC).
  • Take your confidence level to the next stage when you bring product development and test management strategies.
  • Save more time and budget.
  • Increase software credibility and quarterly profit.
  • Take your client confidence and customer satisfaction to heights.
  • Help with user experience aspects.

What are Software Quality Management metrics?

In a software project, you have the freedom to build the code at a point. Then, you would need to take a short break to check if you are doing the work the right way with key performance indicators in mind. To ensure you are on track, you can take the help of metrics.

Metrics are nothing but numbers or pointers helping us realize the three P’s- product, process, and project attributes. The product attributes include size, quality, and complexity. The process attributes talk about quality improvement and development speed. The project attributes would bring the productivity, number of resources, and costs into the picture.

How important are Software Quality Management metrics?

They indicate the product, process, and project health. When you possess good metrics with data accuracy, it can help you to:

  • Develop a project, process, and product strategy, directing you the right way.
  • Recognize the area you need to focus on.
  • Make strategic decisions.
  • Drive key performance.

A test orchestration platform such as LambdaTest can help you maintain your software's quality standards.

Here is a video on how a test orchestration platform can help businesses:

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What are the needed Software Quality Management metrics?

There are quite a handful of software quality metrics you need to consider. You need to do so for a better quality of your software product.

Meantime To Recover (MTTR)

We mention the mean time to recover based on the time taken by the developer to find a particular critical system issue, fixing and pushing the fix patch during the production stage. This is known to do more with the maintenance contract metrics, where you prefer the MTTR of 1 day with an MTTR of 2 days.

Cycle Time

Cycle time is a metric similar to lead time, where you measure lead time as per user story and cycle time as per task. The time you take to create the database would be the cycle time, whereas the time you take to get your database completely ready is known as the lead time. We can use it to estimate the delivery timelines during future sprints.

Application Crash Rate

This measures how often a website or a mobile app crash occurs in an environment. This indicates code quality, which equates to the sustainability of the app with no crashing. Recently, agile methodology has found huge traction compared to traditional methods such as waterfall models and SDLC.

Lead Time

Lead time is the time you take between the project time or sprint kick-off towards completion. When we talk about the agile development process , we would be focusing on user stories delivered when the sprint ends. Hence we can define the lead time as the time between completion and delivery of the user stories.

Team Velocity

Team Velocity is quite a vital metric when we talk about Agile/Scrum. It indicates how many user stories or tasks a team has completed during the first sprint. Without involving the items, you move to the backlog along with the incomplete things. We only include fully completed user stories to calculate product release velocity .

Defect Count Per Sprint

These metrics would count the number of defects you find in each sprint. This metric can assess the user story quality during each sprint.

First Time Pass Rate

These metrics align with the agile principle of high quality and fast delivery. This indicates how many test cases can pass during the first run. This also would indicate the development quality. This would mean null defects were found in the code you developed.

The stages of Software Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is the first process when you start a project. This is where a team would define the functional as well as non-functional requirements of a product along with its use case. Every participant can check for compliance with all these criteria to deliver the best results.

Hence, what are the QA stages?

Broadly, we can classify them into discovery, plan, design, execution, and improvement.

Product Test Life Cycle

The job of a QA team would be to define every functional and non-functional software need and check for business correlation along with objectives. Creating a document that describes the product in detail is also necessary. You can use it as a reference point for testers, developers, marketing teams, and stakeholders.

  • Requirement Analysis

    In this, all you need to do is perform project analysis, understand the opportunities and perform a risk analysis to understand the risk hidden behind the test strategy. This is the stage where every project participant would meet product owners and stakeholders to understand their business goals and the end software scope. There are two phases: change management and casual analysis.

    During change management, QA experts would identify the project areas where they expect a change to happen, analyze the benefits and impacts, and discuss further. The team would deny or validate any kind of proposal.

    At the stage of casual analysis, when the project is in the active phase, a QA would analyze the performance while defining the problematic areas. The experts would understand where there was a problem and what they could’ve done to avoid any negative outcome.

  • Test Planning

    Through any sort of test planning, be it UI test planning or automation test planning, we can familiarize ourselves with the situation. At the same time, we focus the planning phase on ideating the right moves. This phase is quite the same as discovery since it involves a lot of research and analysis. The methods are quite different, though. The stages include noting the project requirements, creating a software-oriented document, estimating the project scope and risk involved, and developing a risk analysis and management strategy.

  • Test Design

    The main objective of a software development project would be to create a strong long-term strategy. A stable test design can help every tester and developer to follow good coding standards while guiding Quality Control teams and measuring the results.

  • Test Artifacts in the Design Stage

    With digital transformation in full stream, we characterize the QA and testing stages through specific documents and activities. The artifacts include:

    • Test Case: A detailed representation of the testing procedure, conditions, results, and inputs.
    • Test Scenario: The problem describing a scenario realistically and believably.
    • Test Scripts: consisting of the instructions you need to perform for verifying a specific feature.

    You can further break down the design stage into six steps: analysis, clarification, outline, defining test activities of software quality assurance, identification, and evaluation of the final state.

    The design stage of any software quality assurance process would be ongoing. While the project is growing, the team would update the QA strategy, look for ways to reduce cost and time, and see if they can automate any processes.

  • Test Execution

    In this process, a QA would be implemented through audits, reports, and protocols. The major task of a QA team would be to hold consistent testing documentation and the development process, measure how efficient the team is, and look out for the compliance of results with the needed standards.

Best Practices for Software Quality Management

Whenever a software team struggles to complete their application testing process, the best place to get started is QA and testing strategy. The right strategy would be to look for defects and segregate them according to the category's type, severity, and priority. It’s also important to know the latest software testing trends to fast-track this process. The functional testing strategy should be planned with the entire life cycle of the defect in mind.

Other needed components would include performing non-functional testing on performance, user acceptance and application stress. Every high-performing software testing team can implement automation strategies while relying on different test management systems. People excelling would cover most of the code across different automated regression testing suites.

These are the seven practices you can apply for software quality management:

  • Separate the security testing and performance testing teams

    When you test the performance and security of an application, it needs two important skills as per the evolution of new application technologies and security threats. These will bring down the individual team members' capabilities.

  • Use a bug tracking tool for quality management

    You need to remember how the bug has impacted your app or website. For that, you need to keep track of it. A bug tracking tool is the best way to combat bugs since you can mark a bug based on severity and priority.

  • Collaborate closely with your product development team

    You need to be aware of what’s happening in your team. For this to happen, communication is a must. It’s always good to use test integration tools for smoother communication. For example, LambdaTest integrates with JIRA and Slack for project management purposes, especially to uplift communication within the team.

  • Try to simulate the end-user environment

    A tester can meet the end-user directly, internally or externally. It’s a great way to uncover different issues of the software. This can help every team member test with end-users in mind.

  • Emulate the developer environment

    To prevent QA teams and developers from going through undesirable application performance, the QA environment must emulate the development environment. As builds go through the development pipeline, you can test your code under different production environments while simulating customer environments.

  • Check out necessary code changes

    It’s impossible to test every code. Hence, you need to prioritize significant code changes to fix bugs. You can use automation testing for repetitive tasks and codes that worked in the last cycle.

  • Make use of the two-tier test automation approach

    It’s good to run quick sanity checks on each source code commit when you want to validate different code changes. You can easily run regression tests at night to provide immediate suggestions and feedback to your developers while focusing on the code portion.

  • Run regression tests

    Running a regression cycle in the final stabilization phase can give you the necessary push when you move the application into the production phase. Since there would be few development changes, it’s a must to validate the complete application.

Conclusion

Software Quality Management is essential when you want to build software which your customers love. To maintain the quality of the software, it’s essential to use the best cross browser compatibility testing tool on the market. LambdaTest is the name you need to trust in such a case.

With LambdaTest, you can test your website or app on Android Emulators , iOS Simulators and real device cloud. Ranging from Selenium to XCUITest, we support a number of frameworks to perform automation tests. What’s more? Testing would become quite simple and less time-consuming with our platform.

Happy testing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are software quality practices?

Software quality assurance (SQA) is nothing but a quality management part, including a planned organizational action set.

What are different techniques for improving software quality?

There are many techniques involved in improving software quality. A few include using a bug tracking tool, running regression tests and mimicking the software environment.

What are the three dimensions of software quality?

The three dimensions of software quality are structural quality, functional quality, and process quality.