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A Guide to Forming a QA Strategy

What’s it for? 

The purpose of a QA strategy document is to clearly define the quality objectives, test approach, techniques & scope of a software project. In this article, we outline a guide for Quality Assurance teams on strategy, execution & management of the test process. A QA strategy also provides assurance to the customer that the Quality Assurance team are striving for a successful implementation with maximum test coverage. 

A QA Strategy document introduces: 

* A Test Strategy: This outlines the rules which testing will be based on, including the givens of the project (e.g.: objectives, assumptions, limitations, exclusions); description of the process to set up a valid test (e.g.: entry/exit criteria, creation of test cases, specific tasks to perform, scheduling, data strategy). 

* Execution Strategy: This describes how the test will be performed and defines the process to identify and report defects. 

* Test Management: This process handles the logistics of the test and all the events that come up during execution (e.g.: communications, escalation procedures, risk and mitigation, team roster, defect tracking) 


What are Quality Objectives? 

Quality objectives provide reassurance that OpenSky Data Systems will consistently provide future-proofed services that meet and exceed the requirements and expectations of our customers. Quality objectives also state that we will actively pursue quality improvements through programs that enable each employee to do their job right the first time and every time.   

Quality in an information system can relate to many attributes and factors. 

Common quality goals are usability, reliability, correctness, efficiency and testability, and qualities relating to future needs, such as flexibility, capacity, maintainability and reusability.  


What does a QA Strategy include? 

The document should include, but not limited to, the following criteria: 

* Project overview – this will include a high-level business requirement of what the application is intended to achieve. 

* Scope – this will outline the key components required for complete test coverage. 

* Limitations & Exclusions – this will highlight any areas that could pose as a risk to the testing of the project. 

* Test Tools – an overview of the tools which will be used for testing & collaboration. 

* Test Techniques – the various test types that will be utilised during the testing of the project. e.g. Functional, Exploratory, Regression, Performance, Load & Stress, Security, Automation & GDPR testing. 

* QA Test Acceptance Criteria – what the QA team require in order to successfully test the application. 

* Test Deliverables – the output from the QA team to the stakeholders. 

* Test Management & Defect Tracking – metrics for determining test execution progress & how defects are tracked throughout the project lifecycle. 

* Communication Plan & Team – this section manages the expectations related to the roles directly involved in the management, planning or execution of the test for this project. 

* User Acceptance Testing – this phase of testing provides end users with an opportunity to conduct a series of tests that ultimately builds confidence in the system prior to Go-Live. 

* Success Factors – defines the entrance & exit criteria for what is acceptable when moving through each stage of the project lifecycle. 

“OpenSky Data Systems will consistently provide future-proofed services that meet and exceed the requirements and expectations of our customers”

The Benefits of a QA Strategy 

A QA strategy document is very important to have in place for a project and benefits all associated parties.  It ensures smooth transitions from development to quality assurance (QA) right through to the delivered end product. 

When an application doesn’t perform as expected, users become annoyed, distracted and impatient with software. That’s why quality assurance (QA) is completely integral to any software project. QA is all about making sure that software works the way it is supposed to work every time. 

Quality is one of the key factors that keeps users attached to applications. If the quality is good they will keep on using the product and allows us as a company, to keep on upgrading and perfecting it. If the quality is bad, they look elsewhere for a different application. 

Quality is especially important when it comes to testing high risk projects within sectors involving medical or financial needs. Having a QA Strategy in place is vital to ensuring a strict process is maintained to avoid loss or misuse of data which could cause issues with financial, health or legal consequences. In the unlikely scenario where this may occur, a QA Strategy document could help outline the steps to take to rectify the problem. 


About OpenSky 

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, real–time monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processes, connecting citizens – building a smarter nation.