3 steps to plan for high quality

Dev teams always believe the software they’ll deliver will be of acceptably good quality. But without specifying what is meant by “good” and making a plan for it, the results may be far from the expected.
12 July 2019
QA consulting
Quality assurance
The article by a1qa

In today’s post, we’ll raise your awareness of how good quality can be defined and achieved. This material will be useful to project managers and company owners who are running software projects either regularly or on a one-time basis.

Let’s start.

Every project manager knows that when planning a project, it’s essential not to leave any issues up to chance. And it’s not about the software only. When planning a trip, house repair works, or a wedding, it’s vital to take all but tiny issues into account.

When speaking about IT projects, it’s highly important to plan for the scope of work, for the budget and timeline, select the right tech stack and skills that every team member will bring to the table.

However, there is one thing that is often taken for granted. Quality. Believe us on the say-so: high quality is not a matter of course. Quality is as important as budget, deadlines, and toolset. And if you don’t plan it, you still leave it up to chance.

Quality plan: what to include?

For every project, there is a project plan. The point is that for every project, there should also be a quality plan. Unfortunately, very few of us know what it looks like. Right?

A quality plan is not the same as a test plan. A test plan outlines a testing strategy, while a quality plan helps to assure that you will deliver the flawless system.

To excel, make sure you have the comprehensive step-by-step quality plan in place. Mainly, planning to produce a decent software product of high quality is a three-step process, and we’ll list all the steps.

So what are the steps your team should take to deliver a high-quality product, free of flaws and vulnerabilities, and satisfying both the stakeholders and your users?

1. Agreeing on “good” quality

For those who have no or little experience in setting quality goals, this step may be rather daunting. But once you set your first goals, it will be less challenging for you next time.

The simplest way, to begin with, is to analyze what has made us or our clients, or management judge the system to be of unacceptably poor quality before. What made the client go crazy or why the users left bad reviews you’d prefer to delete from the store? Was the software too buggy to be used successfully? Was it slow? Was it insecure?

Try to make a list of all quality dimensions that turned out to be critical in the past.

2. Setting measurable quality goals

Sounds quizzical? Indeed, the budget is set in terms of money, deadline – in terms of calendar dates. How can one measure quality?

Once you’ve completed the list mentioned above (with various quality dimensions that matter), think how you can measure each of those dimensions.

For instance:

  • If you care about the number of defects, then apply the “defect density” notion. (Defect density = total number of defects detected in software for a certain period of time/product size, where size is measured in some concrete way, i.e., lines of code).
  • If the final performance parameters are important, then you can speak about the time of response (measured in seconds), throughput (bytes per second), or load (simultaneous users).
    Once you’ve identified the key quality attributes, it’s high time to figure out what your reasonable quality goals are.

Previous software development and testing projects will be much of help. However, very often, the quality on the prior projects fell short of expectations. If this is the case, still measure the goals achieved and set new ones with improvements.

3. Planning quality-related works

Defining measurable quality goals is not the end. In order to achieve them, you or your team must do something.

There are three main types of quality-related activities you should plan: detection, correction, and prevention. Let’s specify each of them.

Defect detection activities are designed to isolate defects. “But we have a QA engineer who’s responsible for reporting bugs to the developers”, you might say. You’re right, but are you sure that testing doesn’t happen too late on the project? To answer this, reckon up the costs of the bug fixing activities. How much effort does it take?

You can improve quality by doing more detection activities earlier on the project. The results will astonish you.

To do this, try the following:

  • Introduce code review in the early stages of the project.
  • Consider implementing a test-driven development approach. Writing the tests first requires a software engineer to consider what he wants from the code.

Defect correction activities are focused on verifying that the bugs that have been detected and fixed haven’t introduced any more flaws or vulnerabilities to the system.

The last (but not the least) kind of activity is defect prevention. If conducted properly, it will provide you with the biggest payoff. Remember a wise saying assigned to Benjamin Franklin? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The essence of the defect prevention is to consider the problems you faced before, and try to enhance tools, methods, or approaches to keep them from happening again.

Of course, some experience is required to perform defects prevention. Otherwise, it is likely to take too long to search for all possible bottlenecks. We would advise addressing specially trained staff, be it business analysts or QA consultants, to do this work and avoid high rework costs.

Bottom line

In today’s post, we’ve focused on planning for quality. Now you know that alongside the project plan, there should also be a quality plan in place. Have we convinced you?

We’ve also specified how to choose quality parameters and measure them. The three activities you must plan if you don’t want to leave your quality goals up to chance have also been mentioned.

Now you know the route to successful project delivery.

Any questions? To get a free quote, drop us a few lines.

More Posts

31 August 2022,
by a1qa
4 min read
Why do bugs get missed? Learn the problems and tips to avoid them
Still, finding overlooked bugs after the app goes live? Let’s find out why this happens and how to fix it.
Quality assurance
Test automation
21 February 2022,
by a1qa
5 min read
Continuous testing 101: a comprehensive guide
So many companies take a chance to introduce continuous testing. What is it like, and how to smartly implement it? Let’s get to know in the article.
Quality assurance
Agile and DevOps in eCommerce QA_mini
30 September 2021,
by a1qa
5 min read
Agile and DevOps: Boosting the quality of eCommerce apps
What benefits do Agile and DevOps bring to eCommerce business, and how QA helps with that? Find it out in the article.
Quality assurance
AR/VR testing infographics mini
30 August 2021,
by a1qa
< 1 min read
AR/VR testing in retail: turning challenges into opportunities
Welcome to read the infographic on AR/VR in retail: new shopping experiences, issues, and how to address them with QA.
Quality assurance
6 October 2020,
by Dmitry Tishchenko
4 min read
A clear view of smart team scalability
Get to know how to scale your team sagely and gratify end-user needs and fast-paced tech-market requirements.
Quality assurance
6 August 2020,
by Elena Yakimova
5 min read
How to arrange fruitful joint work with an outsourcing QA team
The head of the web apps testing department sheds light on how to establish more transparent and effective work on the project cooperating with a remote QA team.
Quality assurance
4 June 2020,
by Vitaly Prus
4 min read
SAFe vs. Scrum, and PI planning essentials
Let's shed some light on the SAFe differences from Scrum that are to be considered by the development and QA teams who have migrated from Scrum.
Quality assurance
29 April 2020,
by a1qa
4 min read
5 lessons we learned from COVID-19
Here are five key lessons the businesses need to learn during this pandemic to somehow achieve the planned outcomes. 
Quality assurance
17 April 2020,
by a1qa
5 min read
QA-focused retrospective: identifying and solving project problems
The a1qa experts came up to consider an effective approach to identify project bottlenecks and get rid of problems successfully.
Quality assurance

Get in touch

Please fill in the required field.
Email address seems invalid.
Please fill in the required field.
We use cookies on our website to improve its functionality and to enhance your user experience. We also use cookies for analytics. If you continue to browse this website, we will assume you agree that we can place cookies on your device. For more details, please read our Privacy and Cookies Policy.