The Importance of Quality Assurance Engineers in Product Delivery Teams
The following article highlights key aspects about the importance of Quality Assurance Engineers in Product Delivery Teams.
In this era of Agile software development, is very important that Delivery Teams have available the proper expertise and corresponding interaction between the members of the team in order to ensure the release of a product with optimal quality a success with the end users.
Quality Assurance Engineers (QA) are a key aspect of Product Delivery Teams. They can provide the proper domain knowledge related with the product, end user’s perspective, contribute to understand the scenarios needed to be covered, provided valuable input on the requirement definitions and setting of the acceptance criteria, and ultimately, they can make the Delivery Team more efficient by providing in real time, feedback of the product being developed by the Engineering team.
Domain Knowledge of Quality Assurance Engineers
One key aspect that QA can provide to Delivery Teams, is proper domain knowledge. QA can have a better understanding of limitations and workflow logic that is usually use in the domain field where the software is used, for instance if the software is used in mechanical engineering, domain knowledge allows to know the range of values of certain parameters that are usually implemented in real life problem, if is a software applied to finance, domain knowledge allows to have information about economic indicators, factors that cause fluctuations in the economy, and so on.
This kind of input will help the Delivery Team to create a software adapted to the conditions and demand of real life situations. Sometimes a Subject Matter Expert (Domain knowledge expert) can be trained and assigned the QA position in a Delivery Team, other time is a QA engineer who is trained in the respective domain knowledge. Also, there is the possibility that exist QA engineer and Domain knowledge expert as two different positions in a Delivery team. Which way is better to assure the proper domain knowledge is provided to the team, it will depend of the resourcing, experience available, and organizational structure of the company, but proper domain knowledge should be present in a Product Delivery team.
Requirements, testing, and risk identification
QA engineers can provide critical inputs to the Delivery team in terms of requirements definitions, testing organization and implementations, and risk identification.
In the requirement definition process, QA engineers can provide a broad perspective about what the users expect to see as end-to-end workflow, different type of validations needed, and features compatibilities.
Of course, QA engineers are the main creator of test plan and test cases, whit the contribution of all the Delivery Team, including the Portfolio interest and needs. In general, QA engineers can provide with proper time estimates for testing, and can identify risk in advance, in order to be considered during the development process.
QA engineers in Agile process
In continuous delivery development, QA resourcing is critical to the success of the product delivered, as continues feedbacks and iteration are needed in order to be able to release specific features. If a Delivery team has to produce different features simultaneously, it is probably needed to have at least one QA engineer assigned to each feature in the Delivery team. Also, the interaction between QA engineers of the same Delivery team can improve the testing process, the understanding of the features to be release, and the interaction between them.
In summary, Quality Assurance engineers are very important members of a Delivery team, being the first user representations inside the team, and bringing unique first hand evaluation of the product.