Synchronize Business Analysis, DevOps, and QA with Cloud Testing
By Vivek Mannotra, Community Contributor - June 29, 2022
As software development and testing continue to grow and evolve, so must the team architecture and management practices of leadership. With a growing team comes new challenges and common issues that must be detected and addressed on time.
In this article, we will explore the dynamic phases of team growth and the common challenges faced by tech leadership during each stage and also learn about tools and techniques to avoid pitfalls, because according to a Harvard Business Review report, disharmony among teams and investors is among the top reasons why tech companies fail.
Tech Start-ups and Team Management
The historical background of tech startups can be traced back to the early days of the internet and the dot-com boom. This is when a new breed of entrepreneur emerged, one more comfortable with technology and its potential to create new businesses and disrupt existing ones. These entrepreneurs were quick to seize on new opportunities and were willing to take risks to achieve their goals.
Today, the tech startup landscape has changed dramatically. There are now many more verticals, each with a distinct set of challenges and opportunities.
However, the core ethos of the tech startup remains the same: to identify and capitalize on new opportunities through technology. The most common pattern for team management in today’s tech startups is to divide the process into three parts:
1. Business Analysis (BA)
The business analysis process is a set of activities to identify business needs and determine solutions to business problems. Business analysts use various techniques to perform these activities, including requirements gathering, process modeling, data analysis, and business process improvement. In the context of a tech company, BA will determine the design specifications and requirements for a tech product.
2. Development Operations (DevOps)
DevOps is a set of practices that aim to automate and improve the process of software delivery. It is a response to the intersection of two significant trends in the IT industry: the increasing complexity of software delivery and the rising expectations of customers and businesses for faster and more reliable software releases. In a modern tech startup, the technical leadership/architects plus coders form the DevOps workflow and are responsible for actually developing a software product.
3. Quality Assurance (QA/QAOps)
At a tech startup, the quality assurance or QA team is responsible for ensuring that the products and services the company produces are of high quality and meet customer expectations. This involves developing and executing test plans, testing new and existing products, and reporting any issues. The QA team works closely with the engineering team to ensure that products are designed and built to meet quality standards. Also, they are responsible for validating product features and versions and approving releases.
Read More: How to Set Up QA Processes from Scratch
A tech company will likely have dedicated teams for all three activities. Still, in a rapidly evolving market and ever-increasing degree of automation, the most-optimal team structure will depend mainly on the specifics of the business use case.
The three processes are interdependent because they all need to be in sync to produce a high-quality product
- BA is responsible for understanding the requirements of the product,
- DevOps are responsible for ensuring that the product is developed according to those requirements
- QA is responsible for ensuring that the product meets the quality standards set by the business.
There are several common validation checkpoints that these processes need to be in sync with.
- The business analyst (BA) ensures that the requirements are clear and achievable.
- The development team (DevOps) needs to ensure that they are building the product according to those requirements
- The quality assurance team (QA) needs to ensure that the product meets the quality standards set by the business.
If any one of these processes is not in sync with the others, it can lead to problems. For example, if the business analyst does not understand the requirements. Or, if the development team does not build the product according to the requirements, the quality assurance team may find defects that could have been avoided.
Must-Read: Stages of Development Sprint Cycle
Common Trends and Challenges in Startups
As a startup grows, so too must its structure and management practices. There are generally three phases of team growth:
- The startup phase is characterized by small team size and a high degree of uncertainty. The biggest challenge during this phase is ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding the project goals and objectives.
- Another common challenge during this phase is managing expectations. Setting realistic goals and expectations for what can be accomplished given the limited resources available is essential.
- The expansion phase is characterized by larger team size and a greater degree of specialization. The biggest challenge during this phase is coordinating the different moving parts.
- Another common challenge during this phase is maintaining quality control. With more people working on the project, there is an increased risk of errors or defects slipping through the cracks. To combat this, it is essential to implement rigorous quality assurance procedures early on in the expansion phase.
- The maturing phase is characterized by regular team size and well-defined processes and procedures. The biggest challenge during this phase is sustaining momentum as everyone settles into their organizational roles. This can be accomplished through continuous improvement initiatives that encourage everyone to identify improvement areas within their workflows.
- Another common challenge during this phase is managing change requests effectively. As new features or functionality are added to the project, it’s important to have a clear process for managing change requests so that they don’t fall through the cracks.
In the startup phase, the primary goal is to build a working product and capture a decent market to ensure business sustainability and profitability. After a working version of the product is released to the customers, there is an immediate need for a quality assurance process to be set in place. But considering the lack of resources and rapid pace of change during that particular period, it is hard to come up with a testing strategy and plan that can scale up with the product and company smoothly.
As the team grows, the structure of the team will change. The most common challenge is making sure that BA, DevOps, and QA are in sync.
In order to do this, the tech leadership needs to be aware of:
- Establishing a consistent and repeatable testing process.
- Managing testing resources as the company grows.
- Keeping up with the pace of change as the company expands.
- Dealing with legacy code and outdated systems.
- Ensuring the quality of software releases.
- Managing customer expectations around software quality.
- Establishing clear and concise communication channels between the three workflows.
- Ensuring that each team is aware of the other teams’ work and how it may impact their work.
- Creating processes and procedures allows for smooth and efficient collaboration between the three teams.
- Managing expectations and ensuring that each team understands their role in the company’s overall success.
The field of software testing is constantly changing, and new challenges are always emerging. As a result, tech leadership must be continuously adaptable and ready to face new challenges.
New technologies and approaches are constantly being developed, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends. However, it is vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments to be able to provide the best possible service to your clients.
The software testing industry is constantly evolving and changing. Here are some recent trends and developments in the industry:
- Automation: Automation is becoming increasingly popular in the software testing industry. Automation can help to speed up the testing process and improve efficiency.
- Cloud Testing: Cloud testing is another trend that is gaining popularity. Cloud testing allows testers to test applications and systems in a real-world environment.
- AI/ML Based Tools: AI and machine learning are increasingly used in the software testing industry. AI and machine learning can help automate the testing process to greater degrees and improve accuracy.
- QAOps: QAOps is a new trend in software testing that focuses on grouping quality assurance teams, techniques, and operations.
- Real-Device Cloud: Real device cloud is a new trend in the software testing industry that allows testers to test applications and systems on real devices in the cloud.
Read More: Calculating Test Automation ROI: A Guide
Importance of Cloud-Based Testing
With the ever-changing technology landscape, the software testing field has had to adapt to keep up. In the past, testing was done primarily on physical devices and platforms. However, with the rise of cloud-based services, testing is now often done in virtualized environments.
Cloud-based automated visual testing can bridge gaps between business analysis, DevOps, and quality assurance workflows by providing a way for all three teams to collaborate on testing and development projects. Using a cloud-based platform, all three teams can easily access the same tools and resources and share information and results. This can help streamline the development process and ensure that all teams work towards the same goal.
Control Team access across all BrowserStack cloud features
Cloud-based testing infrastructure like BrowserStack provide several essential benefits for software testers and tech leaders:
- Industry-Leading Flexibility & Scalability: With cloud-based testing, you can quickly scale up or down your testing efforts as needed without investing in expensive hardware or infrastructure. This is especially helpful when you need large-scale testing for a new release or when unexpected issues arise.
- Reduced Costs: Cloud-based testing can save you money on hardware, infrastructure, and maintenance costs. You only pay for what you use, and there are no upfront costs or long-term commitments.
- Increased Speed & Efficiency: Cloud-based testing platforms offer pre-configured test environments always available on demand. This means you can start testing immediately without setting up and maintaining your test environment.
- Effective Collaboration: Cloud-based testing platforms allow distributed teams to collaborate on test cases and results in real-time. This is essential for efficient and effective team communication during the software development process.
- Better Insights and Analytics: With cloud-based testing, you can collect data from every test run and use it to improve your overall process for agile scaling.
Cloud testing can help validate application projects and syncing BA, DevOps, and QA with the work delivered in several ways.
- It can provide a way to test the product on various devices and browsers. This can be helpful for the business analyst, who needs to make sure that the requirements are clear, and for the quality assurance team, who needs to ensure that the product meets the business’s quality standards.
- It can automate the testing process which can be helpful for the development team, who needs to ensure that they are building the product according to the requirements, and for the quality assurance team, who needs to make sure that the product meets the quality standards set by the business.
Percy dashboard helps collaborate visually for managing differences and approving releases.
Owing to all these practical advantages, we can safely say that the future of business-critical software testing will be cloud-based and highly automated. BrowserStack offers an unparalleled range of modern testing and collaboration platforms, including
- Live: Live is more than just a cross-browser testing tool. It’s your cloud of 3000+ real devices & browsers, constantly updated and instantly accessible whenever you need it, wherever you are.
- Automate: Run your UI test suite in minutes with parallelization on a real browser and device cloud. Test on every commit without slowing down releases and catch bugs early.
- App Live: Test your native and hybrid apps on a wide range of physical mobile and tablet devices for the most accurate testing results.
- App Automate: Test your native and hybrid apps on a wide range of physical mobile and tablet devices, including iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Pixel, Nexus, etc. Teams can achieve comprehensive test coverage as they can now test, debug and optimize their apps for a wider range of mobile devices. Needless to say, automation proves to be time-efficient, convenient, and a far better investment in terms of time, effort, and money.
- Enterprise: Ship quality releases at the speed of Agile. Enable teams to test continuously, at scale, with BrowserStack.
Team management for software testing is a complex process with many challenges. However, by understanding the common challenges faced in each growth phase, tech leaders can make the necessary adjustments to keep BA, DevOps, and QA in sync.
BrowserStack provides a number of tools that are essential to building a CI/CD and DevOps empowered testing pipeline.
- Firstly, it provides access to a real device cloud hosting 2000+ real browsers and devices for testing.
- Secondly, it offers a robust cloud Selenium grid with 99% uptime that enables test automation on real browsers and devices.
- Additionally, BrowserStack offers integrations with all major CI/CD tools, thus simplifying testing protocols for QAs and developers alike.