How High-Quality Production Standards and Processes Help You Build High-Quality Software
What is Software Quality Assurance?
Software quality assurance is the process of ensuring that all the methodologies and workflows that are adopted for software development adhere to and comply with accepted standards such as ISO 9000 or ISO 15504 or a combination of them. It is of utmost importance to ensure that these regulations are strictly adhered to, starting right from the outset of the development process to its very delivery.
Why Does Software Quality Matter?
A Second Annual DevOps survey, “OverOps State of Software Quality Report,” says that about 70 percent of the respondents prioritize software quality when compared to the speed of delivery. The survey also says that teams would rather delay their product development roadmap than risk any errors that impact the overall quality.
According to a survey by Gary Wilson Jr., the most important attribute that about 70 percent of the respondents identified with the quality of the software was its correctness. Your prospects will be hampered terribly if you are offering software that is faulty.
This mainly happens due to poor quality checks and the inadequacy of testing measures that are in place. If you do not capitalize on a software’s initial release, it is almost certain that the product will bring you little success worth the investment and effort you have put in. If you fail to deliver quality from the start, your customers will abandon your brand forever! Developing quality software can pave the way for your software itself to serve as the best advocate for your brand.
Why Is Quality Assurance for Software Important?
1) Customer Satisfaction
Quality software paves the way to customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers not only provide you with an enhanced lifetime value but can also serve as the best ambassadors for your brand. The development process should be oriented and framed in such a way that it emphasizes the perspective and priorities of the end-users as the process progresses through each phase. Quality software provides a better user experience and enhances customer satisfaction. QA checks can ensure that the software is free from defects and other bugs and performs in line with expectations.
2) Competitive Edge
Software that is devoid of glitches and other bugs and offers the customers a top-notch experience can enable you to gain a competitive edge. According to a CA Technologies commissioned study, ‘The Battle for Competitive Advantage in the App Economy’, 43 percent of the respondents opined that being a software-driven enterprise is a critical driver for competitive advantage. A good approach to QA, apart from enabling you to spot errors, can also ensure that you won’t find yourself in an untoward situation like recalling the product after it has been delivered to your customers. A defective software product can give you a bad name and can also entangle your company in legal issues.
3) Predictability and Responsiveness
Software that is subjected to thorough QA checks can help you determine whether it can provide a guaranteed real-time response to the users. A real-time response may not be a stringent requirement, especially if the software is not a hard-real-time system-based one. But ensuring real-time response can offer better engagement to the end-user, thus avoiding unnecessary lags. QA checks can help you ensure that the software satisfies all these requirements and can thus provide a predictable response to the users.
Let’s now see how you can ensure quality for your applications and software.
How to Ensure the Quality of Software
1) Describe the project’s outcome.
This includes outlining the deliverable both quantitatively and qualitatively. Having a well-thought-out picture of the deliverable can enable an organization to emphasize the quality that a product should have as it traverses through each phase. Such a strategy can help you direct your time and money most judiciously.
2) Test Early
To ensure the quality as well as to improve it further, it is of utmost importance to test your software early and often. This can ensure that errors and bugs do not accumulate. It is way easier to act on small failures than it is to act on a big and large failure, which is multiple times the complexity of small failures.
According to a Kobiton survey, 55 percent of respondents believe that automation can improve software quality. The survey also reveals that 51 percent of the respondents are updating their software daily or weekly. Automated testing enhances the overall efficiency and functionality of the software by enhancing the testing coverage and drastically reducing the downtime, thus enabling faster marketing of the product.
4) Quality Assurance Should Be Ensured Throughout
Quality assurance is the practice of monitoring the software engineering process as well as the underlying methodologies that are deployed in the process, thus enabling you to ensure the proper quality of the software apart from ensuring that the software is at par with the agreed-upon standards like ISO/IEC 9126. QA testing thus enables an enterprise to oversee the processes and methodologies that are used in developing software and thus ensure its best compliance with the accepted norms and standards.
5) Identify the Risks
Identifying and documenting the potential risks can enable an enterprise to wade through unforeseeable circumstances. It can often be correlated with security or IT audits. Such a practice enables all the key stakeholders concerned with the project to address the typical risks that often pop up during software development. Adopting such a documented procedure for risk identification can ensure better accountability as to who is the delegated authority who can best address the concerning risk. As there can be multiple risks associated with the overall process, prioritizing the risks can better ensure that the critical ones can be avoided as much as possible. Even if such risks were to pop up, they could be addressed appropriately, provided that you have outlined the strategy to be adopted in such scenarios. This ensures that you are not getting caught unawares.
How Can High-Quality Standards Help You in Software Development?
1) Test at the Apt Time
A good approach to quality testing includes proper setup and configurations that can ensure all the processes are in accordance with the predefined, agreed-upon conditions. Quality management can improve the process of software development and result in fewer defects or errors. Having access to high-quality processes and standards can help teams spot and detect issues easily and resolve them instantaneously.
2) Iterate Faster
Adhering to pre-defined quality and process standards can help teams iterate faster and identify and act on small code failures, thus enabling faster rectification of bugs as compared to testing the entire code at the fag end of the process, where teams need to act on the accumulated errors across the multiple phases. This can complicate the overall testing process and can consume additional time in addition to compromising the quality of the software.
3) Leverage Best Technologies
In-house quality and standard process management can help development teams embrace the latest technologies. This enables teams to leverage capabilities like Artificial Intelligence (AI) that enable faster automation of testing processes. The integration of AI and IT operations, known as AIOps, can help software development teams analyze logs and infrastructure changes automatically and detect all the inconsistencies and potential problems beforehand.
4) Saves Costs
Having predefined standard operating procedures and processes in place can ensure that teams do not incur any additional cost overhead for testing as it helps them in the early detection of defects. Detecting any flaws after your product has been delivered to your customer can have disastrous consequences. Adhering to high-quality process standards can help developers test their products thoroughly before they reach the customers.
5) Timely Patching and Upgrades
A software vulnerability is what hackers and attacks often look for the most. Even a single compromised application is more than enough for them to trespass into your whole network and operations. Updates are a herculean task as far as legacy processes and systems are concerned. Timely up-gradation of the software can help you close the security gaps and flaws. Software patching can help you with better management of the application life cycle as well as offset the risks that are associated with vulnerabilities and other soft targets.
Developing a Cloud-Native Perspective on Application Development
Cloud-native applications are those which are designed exclusively for the cloud computing architecture. These applications are cloud-agnostic in nature and can be run and hosted in multiple cloud environments. The cloud-native development model enables enterprises to create scalable applications that can be deployed across any cloud environment. Cloud-native models are a collection of independent, small, and loosely coupled services known as microservices. This enables enterprises to adopt a flexible strategy for application development. As microservices can scale themselves based on the requirements, cloud-native applications can ensure better application uptime, no matter what the number of users is. Also, developers are not tied to a single programming language, as is the case with the traditional strategy of application development. Cloud-native technology enables faster deployment and shipment of applications by enabling developers to iterate much faster and incorporate faster updates and changes on the fly. Such an application development strategy can also ensure better customer satisfaction. Cloud-based application hosting can improve mobility, accessibility, security, scalability, reliability, and disaster recovery.
A quality assurance-oriented strategy enables you to acquire and implement the best set of practices, processes, and tools that can help you develop quality software. A zero-compromise and a zero-tolerance approach to software quality can enable you to enhance your brand reputation and customer success.
Activelobby is an ISO 9001:2015 and 27001-certified company that provides SaaS and cloud-based applications for clients. We have a quality-driven approach to software development. Our in-house quality policy emphasizes developing applications and solutions for customers that ensure a predetermined level of quality as specified by the customer and ensure timely delivery of the services subject to the conditions in the SLA.