The Most Effective Ways to Improve Software Quality at ST&P Conference

StplogoEarly on the last morning of the Software Test and Performance Conference in Boston, a group of a bout twenty software quality professionals gathered to consider the most basic and practical question of the conference: What are the things that we can do that make the biggest improvements in the quality of our software?

The idea was simple, each person would share those things that had made the biggest impact on the quality of the products they worked on. No theory or vendor hype here, just actual experience. We used the Group Wisdom Without Groupthink process, and over the course of an hour generated and ranked a list of thirty best practices. Those at the top of the list are the ones that the group identified as the most effective ways to improve the quality of a software project, based on the collective experience of the group.

Tier One
Proper test planning
Simulating customer environment as closely as possible
Developer/Tester collaboration, actually talking to each other every day
Defect Tracking (workflow, reporting, and metrics)

Tier Two
Test cases formally reviewed by QA, Dev, and BA
Extensive & visible automated regression tests
Defect meetings to review, prioritize, and scope
Team collaboration on reviewing issues
Unit testing
Proof of concept demos

Tier Three
Sufficient time and resources
Control of QA lab, clean testing environment
Virtual machines
Build management integration tool that includes automation testing
Scope control

Tier Four
QA Diplomacy
Code reviews
Having developers do QA
QA teams with broad diversified skills
Code coverage

Tier Five
End-to-end testing, downstream, integrated
Gap analysis, BA/QA/Dev
Feature freeze
Documentation of old pieces of the system
Training tools

Tier Six
Giving QA tools and control over their environment
Entry criteria checklist
Docs

Tier Seven
Don’t file stupid bugs
Application training to make QA expert users
Wikis and blogs

What have you or your team found to have the biggest impact on software quality? Post a comment and share.

Cheers,

Chris

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